THE WEEK AHEAD

The Baltimore Sun

No. 4 Johns Hopkins (3-1)

Coming up: No. 9 Syracuse, Saturday, noon, Homewood Field.

Comment: The Blue Jays can't afford another slow start against the Orange, who have outscored opponents 13-4 in the first quarter. Syracuse's Danny Brennan and Hopkins' Stephen Peyser lead the nation in groundballs per game with 7.50 and 6.75, respectively.

No. 5 Maryland (4-1) Coming up: At UMBC, Friday, 7:30 p.m., UMBC Stadium; Air Force, Monday, 1 p.m., Ludwig Field.

Comment: Ten months have not extinguished the sting of the Terps' loss to the Retrievers in the first round of last season's NCAA tournament. Joe Cinosky and Max Schmidt are the only defensemen to start every game this season.

No. 6 Navy (5-1) Coming up: Holy Cross, Saturday, 1 p.m., Texas Stadium, Dallas.

Comment: The Midshipmen have won 15 consecutive games against Patriot League opponents. Senior attackman Nick Mirabito has recorded at least a point in 51 of his past 52 games.

No. 13 Loyola (2-2) Coming up: At St. John's, Saturday, 1 p.m., DaSilva Memorial Field.

Comment: The Greyhounds must prove they have recovered from Saturday's 13-goal loss to then-No. 2 Duke. Senior attackman Shane Koppens has recorded eight of the team's 13 assists.

No. 15 Towson (1-2) Coming up: No. 2 Virginia, Saturday, 3:30 p.m., Johnny Unitas Stadium.

Comment: If the Tigers are to end a seven-game losing streak to the Cavaliers, the defense must limit junior attackman Danny Glading, who leads the nation in points with 30. Can senior attackman Blake Best jump-start Towson's offense?

UMBC (2-3) Coming up: No. 5 Maryland, Friday, 7:30 p.m., UMBC Stadium.

Comment: The Retrievers' win last May was their first in nine games against the Terps. The midfield - led by senior Terry Kimener's eight goals and 10 assists - has accounted for 69.4 percent of UMBC's offense.

Mount St. Mary's (0-4)

Coming up: Canisius, Saturday, 2 p.m., Waldron Family Stadium.

Comment: After a brutal nonconference schedule, the Mountaineers open league play with a .789 regular-season winning percentage in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference. Freshman attackman Dan Mohr leads the team in scoring with seven goals and two assists.

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