Maryland's lacrosse team sought and claimed revenge today, defeating the University of Baltimore, 19-5, at Speer Field in the final regular season game for both teams.
Last year, the Super Bees defeated the Terrapins on the last day of the regular season to knock Maryland out of an apparently secure NCAA playoff berth. Maryland, now 9-4, played today not only with that in mind, but knowing it needed an impressive victory to solidify a playoff postion.
"This was a good payback. Last year, it was embarrassing," said Peter Worstell, whose seven goals today brought his season total to 40 and placed him four behind Frank Urso's Maryland career record of 127.
Baltimore (4-9) stayed close, trailing, 8-4, after Mike Sicinski's goal at 2:51 of the third quarter. Maryland then scored 10 straight goals, including the fourth of the day by Ron Martinello.
The NCAA tournament selection committee is scheduled to hold a conference call Sunday at 10 a.m. to determine which eight teams will play quarterfinal games Wednesday. The only clear seeds are No. 1 Johns Hopkins (11-0), seeking its fourth straight title, and No. 2 North Carolina (8-0).
The next four seeds will probably include Army (10-3), Virginia (8-3), Massachusetts (13-1) and Navy (6-4), ranked third through sixth, respectively, in the most recent coaches' poll. The top four seeds host opening-round games.
The final two teams will probably be chosen among Maryland, Cornell (8-4) and Syracuse (7-3). Maryland-Baltimore County (8-3), North Carolina State (7-4) and Air Force (13-1 against as weak western schedule) are remote possibilities.
After Hopkins and North Carolina, each of the next four positions are arguable because three of the teams have lost at least once to lower-ranked teams. Massachusetts' loss was to Army, but its New England-based schedule does not compare with any of the other top six, or Maryland's.
The coaches are leery of the selection committee, and Army Coach Dick Edell has reason to be. In each of the past two years, Army was ranked fifth in the poll but was not chosen for the tournament.
Virginia may gain the third seeding more on the basis of its 15-13 loss to Hopkins than because of any of its victories. The Cavaliers have also lost to North Carolina and Navy.
Although Navy has played well since early losses to Rutgers and Syracuse, it only shows a split of its final four games. The losses were to Army, 9-8, and to Hopkins, 9-6.
"I keep thinking we should be ranked ahead of Virginia," said Navy Coach Dick Szlasa, whose Mids are the only team to make the NCAA tournament every since its inception of 1971. "I don't know how they will count playing well (against Hopkins)."
Maryland may muscle its way in on reputation as much as anything else. The Terps have defeated no major opponent, but their losses were to North Carolina in overtime, Virginia, Navy and Hopkins.