Speedy approval seen for 2003-04 events here


PISCATAWAY, N.J. -- The NCAA could announce as early as this weekend that the 2003 and 2004 championship weekends will be played at PSINet Stadium.

After word got out last winter that the four Baltimore colleges that sponsor Division I lacrosse would team with the Maryland Stadium Authority in an effort to bring the game's biggest event to the Ravens' stadium, no alternate bids surfaced.

Johns Hopkins, Loyola, Towson and UMBC will serve as co-hosts, and Retrievers athletic director Charlie Brown made a well-received presentation on the bid's behalf to the NCAA men's lacrosse committee Thursday night.

That committee will make a formal recommendation this summer to the NCAA championships cabinet committee, which is expected to rubber-stamp the event at PSINet Stadium.

The 2003 final four will be the first in Baltimore. The title was last awarded in Baltimore at Johns Hopkins in 1975, 11 years before the final four format was adopted.

Towson North

Yesterday's semifinal crowd was affected by a steady early morning rain. The fans who did stick around for the second semifinal got behind Towson's comeback, even though Princeton's campus is only a 20-mile drive from Rutgers.

"I thought Towson was the team from New Jersey and we were the team from Maryland," Princeton goalie Trevor Tierney said. "Our parents are superstitious, and some of them say we do better when they don't cheer. It's bad enough that we've only got five fans out there."

Berry comes through

Towson needed possessions in the fourth quarter and Justin Berry produced them. The senior from Chestertown won eight of 10 faceoffs down the stretch in the semifinal comeback that fell short against Princeton.

"Justin has been terrific for us all year, and he did a great job again today," Towson coach Tony Seaman said. "Everywhere we go we hear about other faceoff guys, and he does the job, even though he's been playing on a bad hamstring."

Princeton actually had an 8-7 advantage in faceoffs through three quarters, but it had trouble all day solving Ryan Obloj, the sophomore attackman from Farmingdale, N.Y.

Ryan Mollett, Princeton's best defenseman, began the day marking Kyle Campbell, while Damien Davis, the sophomore from Gilman, had trouble keeping up with Obloj. After some shuffled assignments at halftime, coach Bill Tierney said it was "one of the few times this season we were confused with the matchups."

"Our best player on the field today was Obloj," Seaman said. "Princeton put three different players on him and nobody could stop him."

No Glatzel on Glatzel

Syracuse defenseman John Glatzel thought earlier last week that he would draw a dream matchup -- covering his fraternal twin brother, Tom, who happened to be Notre Dame's biggest goal-scoring threat.

By Wednesday, Syracuse coach John Desko had decided to make a switch. He assigned sophomore defenseman Solomon Bliss to cover Tom Glatzel, while shifting John Glatzel to senior Irish attackman David Ulrich.

Judging by the way Bliss and his Glatzel partner combined to eliminate the effectiveness of Ulrich and his, the matchup changes probably had little effect on the outcome of yesterday's 12-5 trouncing by Syracuse, which put the Orangemen into their 12th Division I championship game.

At the end of the game, the Glatzels embraced and talked on the field. John had enjoyed the afternoon far more, as Tom was held scoreless for the first time this season and for only the second time in the last three seasons John Glatzel and Bliss had a huge hand in holding Notre Dame to its season low.

"I told [Tom] to hold his head up. You had a great year," John Glatzel said. "[Playing against him] was awesome. It's a special feeling that few people can relate to. I know he's had a great career."

Middie and piper

With Notre Dame making its first final four, the crowd at Rutgers Stadium might have seen a glimpse of a quirky tradition that has developed within the Irish lacrosse program.

Each time the Irish take the field, they are led by senior midfielder/faceoff specialist Chad DeBolt, who plays the bagpipes at the head of the line. DeBolt also is a walk-on with the Notre Dame football team.

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