Two of college lacrosse's hottest teams will meet today when Maryland and Navy renew their annual rivalry at 2 p.m. in Navy-Marine Corps Stadium.
Navy has won seven straight after an opening season loss while Maryland, NCAA runner-up last year, is still undefeated this year.
This once was one of lacrosse's glamour games but the rivalry has cooled off the last few years since Navy's program began to slump. But the Midshipmen can use this game as a measure of how well their rebuilding program is going.
Maryland is coming off an impressive 22-12 rout of Virginia last week in which the Terrapin midfielders had their best day of the season.
Navy will try to prevent those same midfielders from controlling the game's tempo. The Midshipmen would rather have their potent attack of Jeff Long, Bob Holman, Mike Canders or freshman Brendan Schneck apply constant pressure on Maryland goalie Jake Reed.
Long is the key to Navy's offense. The senior attackman is one of the game's best assistmen, a talent that has enabled him to start for four years at Navy.
If Long and his mates cannot control the Maryland running game, then the pressure will be on the Mids' sophomore goalie, Jeff Johnson. Johnson has allowed only two opponents - Washington and Lee and UMBC - to score 10 goals or more.
Maryland has won seven of the last eight games in the series, including the 1975 national-championship contest. Navy last won in 1975, 10-9, in Annapolis.
In other top games today. Virginia travels to Washington and Lee, which is currently playing outstanding lacrosse, and top-ranked Cornell plays at Yale.