Local Men's Teams Battling For Conference Supremacy
By Todd McElwee
Three teams in three different circumstances open their respective postseasons tonight.
Loyola -- the top-seed in the Eastern College Athletic Conference tournament -- will face fourth-seeded Denver in the conference semifinals and receive an NCAA bid regardless of whether they defeat the Pioneers on their home field.
Towson, teetering on the brink of a tournament bid, travels to undefeated UMass for a Colonial Athletic Association semifinal contest, which would help them get off the bubble but still not assure an at-large invitation.
Sitting at 5-7, UMBC needs to defeat Albany at home tonight and then beat either Stony Brook or Hartford to win the America East and gain the league's automatic bid.
No. 1 Loyola (12-1) at No. 4 Denver (8-5)
Three weeks ago, the Greyhounds posted five of the last six goals to take down the Pioneers, 12-9, in Denver. Expect a lot of scoring, because both squads average about 12 goals per game.
Denver needs this one a lot more than Loyola, and with seniors such as attackman Mark Matthews, the school's all-time leading scorer, possibly playing their last collegiate contests, the Pioneers are going to be a tough out. Denver is also coming off a 15-9 throttling of Duke.
No. 4 Towson (7-7) at No. 1 UMass (13-0)
The Tigers' first trip to Amherst didn't turn out well, a 14-3 loss. After a five-game winning streak, Towson has dropped four straight. The Tigers will need to dial up its offense if it hopes to have any chance against the undefeated Minutemen.
Towson hasn't scored more than five goals during the futility streak; UMass has averaged 12.92 per contest this season. Towson will also need to a better job on Minutemen leading scorer Will Manny, who registered four points (two goals and two assists) during their previous meeting.
No. 3 Albany (4-10) at No. 2 UMBC (5-7)
America East Semifinals
The Dog Bowl has been as close as any rivalry in college lacrosse. In April, the Retrievers took down the Great Danes, 17-16, in overtime.
UMBC leads the all-time series, 10-4, but has dropped three of five tournament games against Albany, including both in Catonsville. Albany is built around senior attackman Joe Resetarits, the America East Conference Player of the Year, who has 41 goals and 18 assists in 2012.
Posted May 2, 2012