Loyola must focus

Loyola College coach Charley Toomey faces what he calls one of the most difficult challenges in coaching.

One week after getting his No. 12-ranked Greyhounds ready to play against No. 13 Georgetown, Toomey has to get them mentally prepared to play Fairfield (3-7) on Saturday.


Loyola defeated Georgetown, 11-9.

"I've never owned a horse, nor ever played a horse," Toomey said. "But I knew last week we were going to come out running like a horse. Our kids played hard."


Fairfield's record is deceiving because of close losses to Georgetown, 10-8, and Bucknell, 9-8. Its game with Loyola is at home and being televised. If the Greyhounds win, they win the Eastern College Athletic Conference championship.

"Last week, we were emotionally vested the entire week," Toomey said. "But this is one thing I haven't figured out yet, and that's getting us back up for the second week. I think Fairfield has a lot of fire left, and they've been involved in a few games they would like to take back. They're very athletic, and they're going to be prepared to play us in a tough game."

Tigers focus on CAA

Towson (4-7) has struggled this season, but still has a shot at the NCAA tournament. It basically starts Friday night when the Tigers host Villanova in a Colonial Athletic Association game.

A Towson victory assures the Tigers of a No. 3 seed in the CAA tournament. The CAA winner gets an automatic bid to the NCAA tournament.

"We've played well the last couple of weeks, and we had our chances Saturday, but we lost on a shot that was about 11 miles an hour and deflected off our defenseman's stick," Towson coach Tony Seaman said. 'That's been the story of our season. You have to make breaks, and we haven't made ours.

"Each one of our seven losses has come against ranked teams. But the nice part of being in the CAA is you have the tournament. Maybe we can be like Delaware last year. They entered as the No. 3 seed, won their first game, beat us in the championship and went on. We have our work cut out for us. Villanova is good enough to have taken Hofstra to double overtime."

Terps struggling


Maryland coach Dave Cottle didn't want to make a big deal about his team's two consecutive losses without freshman attackman Travis Reed - who has been suspended for violating team rules - but the evidence speaks for itself.

In the three games in which Reed hasn't started, Maryland has been outscored 24-16, including a 10-4 loss to Johns Hopkins on Saturday.

Also in those games in which Reed hasn't started, the Terps have only scored on three of nine extra-man situations.

Most importantly, Maryland has lost all three games.

Freshman impact

Often overlooked when it comes to conversations about Freshman of the Year is Syracuse midfielder Jovan Miller.


He's fast and physical, and put some speed back in the Orange's fast break this season. The experts predicted that his athleticism would strengthen Syracuse's defense, which it has, but Miller has also scored four goals and had five assists.

His production will increase as he plays more in the offense.

Jays' about-face

Hopkins coach Dave Pietramala has a friendship with New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick, but he has taken a chapter from the playbook of Brian Billick, the former coach of the Ravens.

Before breaking a five-game losing streak last week against Maryland, Pietramala seemed to rally the Blue Jays with the "Us Against The World" theme.