Saturday, May 31, 2014

College Baseball: Again! Maryland Knocks off South Carolina, 4-3

Coach Szefc has Maryland at 2-0 in the NCAA tournament (photo / T. Flynn)
by Boxer Journal, May 31, 2014
Baltimore, MD - Maryland baseball put another exclamation mark on its stellar 2014 season when it upset South Carolina in the NCAA tournament tonight, 4-3. Freshman Mike Shawaryn extended his school record for victories in a season to 11, against just three losses.

It was the first loss after 28 straight NCAA tournament victories for the Gamecocks (43-17) in Columbia, SC. Maryland (38-21) can advance out of the bracket with a victory at 7:00 PM on Sunday evening.

College Baseball: Maryland Wins First NCAA Tournament Game in 44 Years, Faces USC Tonight

Charlie White revels in first Terp NCAA tourney win in 44 years (photo / umterps.com)
by Boxer Journal May 31, 2014
Baltimore, MD - Five hundred miles to the south of the city that is watching it most closely, the Maryland Terps' baseball team continues to pull off the unexpected.

At Carolina Stadium, the home field of the South Carolina Gamecocks and the host site of the NCAA Tournament's Columbia Regional, Maryland defeated Old Dominion, 4-3, on Friday.

It had been 43 years since the Terps were last in the NCAA tournament, and 44 since they last earned a victory. Both of those marks have now been officially reset to zero.

Maryland (37-21), who was the home team in the game, trailed 3-0 going into the bottom of the eighth inning before breaking through for a score. Unfortunately for the Terps it came on a bases-loaded double play that scored first baseman LaMonte Wade but effectively snuffed out a rally.

Tayler Stiles, pitching in relief of starter Jake Stinnett, held ODU (36-25) scoreless in the top of the frame, before things got interesting in the bottom half of the ninth.

DH Kyle Convissar, facing an 0-2 count, doubled to the left-center gap to lead off the inning. After an Anthony Papio groundout, catcher Kevin Martir reached on an error by third baseman P.J. Higgins. Convissar moved to third.

Charlie White then singled to center to score Convissar, and Martir moved to second. LaMonte Wade walked to load the bases, with one out and the Terps trailing 3-2. Brandon Lowe was hit by the first pitch to score Martir and knot the game

Jose Cuas was then hit by the next pitch and White walked home to give the Terps a 4-3 victory.

"We had some opportunities that we didn't take advantage of and made it a little harder for us late. At the end of day, when you count up the runs, it's either a win or a loss and our guys did what they had to do late," said second year head coach John Szefc after the game.

Their reward for the win seems an unfair one: the right to face South Carolina on Saturday evening at 7 PM. The Gamecocks (43-16) advanced to the winner's bracket of the regional with a 5-2 win over Campbell (40-20) on Friday. USC has now won 28 straight NCAA tournament home games.

The Terps athletic department confirmed that freshman Mike Shawaryn (10-3) will get the start for the Terrapins. Shawaryn broke the Maryland all-time mark for victories in a season this year, and also leads the ACC in wins.

The game will be streamed live on ESPN3.

Friday, May 30, 2014

College Lacrosse: Duke Repeats & Thompson Brothers Earn Teewaraton

Duke celebrated its second straight title on Memorial Day (photo / T. Flynn)

by Boxer Journal, May 30, 2014
Baltimore, MD - Yesterday in Washington, DC, the Teewaraton was awarded to two worthy recipients in the Thompson brothers, while earlier this week, the NCAA Championship trophy was awarded to an equally deserving recipient.

While Maryland might not be the most inviting place for a Duke team to win, they've certainly shown no aversion to it.

This year the Duke Blue Devils defeated the surprising Notre Dame Fighting Irish (12-6) for the second time in five seasons at M&T Bank Stadium for the NCAA National Championship. The final score was 11-9. In their first national championship match-up, Duke won in a 6-5 OT thriller in 2010, five seconds into the extra session.

The victory was also the Blue Devils' second consecutive national title and solidified Duke, while under John Danowski, as one of the top teams of the decade to date.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

College Baseball: Terps Headed To NCAA Tournament


For Maryland, the wait is over for an NCAA tournament bid (photo / T. Flynn)
by Boxer Journal May 28, 2014
College Park, MD - The disappointment over a 9-4 loss to Georgia Tech in the ACC Championship on Saturday didn't have much time to set in for the Maryland Terrapins baseball team. By Monday night it was announced that the Terps had received an at-large bid to the NCAA Division I Baseball Tournament.

It will be the first appearance by Maryland in the NCAA Baseball Tournament in 43 years.

The Terps (36-21) will begin play in the Columbia, SC regional bracket against ODU (36-24) on Friday. The first-round is a double elimination round-robin and in addition to ODU the Terps have South Carolina (42-16) and Campbell (40-19) in the bracket.

Monday, May 26, 2014

College Lacrosse: Duke v. Notre Dame for the Crown

Duke eliminated Denver on Saturday (Photo / T. Flynn)
by Boxer Journal May 25, 2014
Baltimore, MD - Notre Dame and Duke will face off on Monday in a rematch of the 2010 championships played at M&T Bank Stadium. In that game, Duke won the opening overtime face-off and then the game, 6-5.

The Blue Devils (16-3) earned its spot by defeating Denver (16-3) 15-12 on Saturday. The Pioneers Welsey Berg had his usual productive afternoon, scoring five goals. It wasn't enough, as Duke showed they could keep up with the vaunted Denver offense as junior Kyle Keenan scored a career-high four goals and Jordan Wolf added three for the Blue Devils.

In the second semi-final, Notre Dame went up early and stayed up as they defeated Maryland, 11-6. Attackman Matt Kavanagh led the Irish with five goals and two assists. While at the far end of the field goalie Conor Kelly and the Notre Dame (12-5) defense put the clamps on the Terrapins' (13-4) offense.

Maryland didn't get enough open looks against Notre Dame (Photo / T. Flynn)
Duke has won two national championships and is the defending champion while Notre Dame will vie for its first title. Monday's final is scheduled for a 1 PM face-off.

Friday, May 23, 2014

College Baseball: Maryland in ACC Title Game

Third baseman Jose Cuas led the Terps on Fri (photo / T. Flynn)
by Boxer Journal May 23, 2014
Greensboro, NC - In their last season in the ACC Tournament, the Maryland Terrapins may be in their best position to win it. They are 2-0 in the tournament after defeating Florida State on Friday, 5-3, at NewBridge Bank Park.

Freshman Mike Shawaryn wasn't able to earn his 10th win, but he helped his team to its 36th. The Terps are now 36-19 as Shawaryn pitched seven scoreless innings, striking out six and allowing only two hits.

"That was probably as good of an outing as Mike Shawaryn has had throughout the whole year," said head coach John Szefc after the game. The freshman carried a no-hitter into the fifth and retired the first 14 batters he faced.

Kevin Mooney got the win in relief by throwing two scoreless innings to close out the Seminoles after the Terps yielded three in middle relief.

Offensively, Maryland was led by two hits and three RBIs from third baseman Jose Cuas.

The Terps play UNC Saturday, but regardless of outcome will play for the ACC title at 1 PM on Sunday. Maryland has never won an ACC tournament title, dating back to its inception in 1973.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Varsity Lacrosse: Hereford Bull Run Ends at Six

Kent Island's Patrick Garvey scores the decisive goal against Hereford (Photo / T. Flynn)

Arbutus, MD - The Hereford Bulls boys' varsity lacrosse team, generally considered the best public school team in Maryland, fell on Wednesday night, 8-6, to Kent Island in the 3A/2A title game at the University of Maryland-Baltimore County (UMBC)

Kent Island benefited from exceptional work in goal by junior Dylan Abplanalp and on face-offs from senior Zach Goodrich.

Abplanalp had key back-to-back saves with eight minutes left in the fourth to preserve the Bucs' lead, and ultimately the victory. Later in the quarter as Kent Island (18-1) held fast to a one-goal margin, the junior again had a critical stop that kept the game from being tied, and kept Kent Island focused on running time off the clock.

Goodrich won approximately 80% of his draws and late in the game, as it remained tight, he didn't falter. With :18 seconds left in the fourth quarter he fought off a triple-team of Bulls (16-4) after winning the face-off, and drew a penalty in the process, effectively sealing Hereford's fate.

The win ended a six-year reign as champions for the Bulls. It was the fourth consecutive year the two teams faced off for the crown, and this year Kent Island finally will travel back east over the Bay Bridge with a trophy in hand. 

Monday, May 19, 2014

Free Boxer Journal Lacrosse Final Four Guide

Denver travels to Baltimore this weekend for the Final Four (Photo / T. Flynn)

by Boxer Journal May 19, 2014
Baltimore, MD - With the upcoming Division I NCAA lacrosse championships this weekend, Boxer Journal is producing a two page, full-color, .pdf guide to the Final Four. The four-team field includes the University of Denver, Notre Dame, Maryland, and Duke.

The guide will include all the information you need including stats, photos, and key players. It's the perfect free companion to print, put in your pocket, head off to the game, and show off your game day savvy. Or have it in hand to help decode Quint Kessenich's exclamations on TV ("Your classic cross-over, stop, top-shelf-missile-rack-ringer from the Chaminade sniper!") while you watch from the couch.

It'll be emailed on Thursday evening. Just email boxerjournal@gmail.com, or subscribe to boxerjournal.com ( "Follow by Email" box in upper right)  for your free copy.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Varsity Lacrosse: Boys' Latin Claims Nation's Top Spot

Boys' Latin players huddle prior to their MIAA-A title game (photo T. Flynn)
Towson, MD - Boys' Latin converted an 8-5 halftime lead into a 17-11 win over St. Paul's to capture the MIAA-A championship on Friday at Johnny Unitas Stadium. With the win also came the unofficial national championship, via a #1 ranking by Under Armour/Inside Lacrosse.

The Lakers finished the season undefeated at 18-0, their first perfect mark since the 2006 team went 21-0.

Senior Shack Stanwick closed out his career as Boys' Latin's all-time leading scorer. He added two goals and two assists during Friday evening's victory. Shack is the youngest of eight Stanwick siblings. The oldest of the boys, Tad, played for Rutgers while brother Steele is currently in the MLL, and Wells is a sophomore at Johns Hopkins University.

The Lakers solved a well-coached St. Paul's unit (Photo / T. Flynn)
The Lakers dominated at the face-off X with Hunter Moreland winning 23/28 draws and earning game MVP honors. He also notched a hat trick, scoring two goals off consecutive face-off wins early in the fourth quarter.

St. Paul's sophomore goalie AJ Barretto played well, making 11 saves. He turned away several critical shots early, including back-to-back attempts that kept the contest close when Boys' Latin led 4-1. It was the Lakers' balanced offense, along with Moreland's face-off efforts, that ultimately proved the difference. A total of nine Boys' Latin players scored. St. Paul's was aided by five goals from senior Mikey Wynne.

For the Lakers, the win diminishes the memory of last year's bitter 10-9 upset loss to Loyola in the league final that cost the team an undefeated season and another #1 national ranking.

"They play with incredible joy, they love the game of lacrosse," Boys' Latin coach Bob Shriver said after the game.

- Jack Flynn contributed to this article.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Olympic Runner Kim Conley in the May 13 Wall Street Journal

by Boxer Journal May 15, 2014
Tuesday's Wall Street Journal included an article by Tom Flynn on Olympic 5,000 meter runner, Kim Conley. Kim continues on her ever-ascending path through the elite national and international ranks as the USATF Outdoor Championships approach next month in Sacramento.


(Note: the above photo is used with permission of Getty Images through their free online photo service)

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Hockey: NY Times Derek Boogaard Documentary


by Boxer Journal May 13, 2014
A three-part documentary of Derek Boogaard that is a must-see for anyone who wants to understand the brutal, short careers of hockey enforcers. Tragic and poignant.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

College Baseball: Navy Baseball Closes Out, Terps Roll On

Navy dropped two to fall out of the Patriot League playoffs (photo / T. Flynn)
by Boxer Journal May 11, 2014
Lewisburg, PA - The Navy Midshipmen's 2014 season saw the curtain fall on Saturday when they dropped a twinbill to Bucknell in the Patriot League playoffs. The Bison (27-17-1) left no doubt in the best-of-three series by winning the first game 15-6 and the nightcap, 8-4, over Navy (23-28).

The Bison advance to play Lehigh (25-22) in the PL championships next weekend. The winner of that series will get an automatic bid to the NCAA tournament.
***  
Pittsburgh, PA - The Maryland Terps (32-19) are peaking at just the right time as they took a seven-game winning streak into Sunday's game against the Pittsburgh Panthers (22-26). Mike Shawaryn (9-3) set the all-time record for wins in a season by a Maryland pitcher in earning a 5-1 victory on Saturday in game two of the three-game set. 

Maryland aims for its second straight ACC series sweep this afternoon. They can also notch a winning record in the ACC as they enter the contest with a 14-14 in-conference mark.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

College Lacrosse: #1 Loyola Bows to Record-Breaking Albany Squad

Loyola standout Justin Ward expresses his disappointment (photo / T. Flynn)
by Boxer Journal May 10, 2014
Baltimore, MD - What was an upset by the Albany Great Danes bore little similarity to one as they outgunned Loyola, 13-6, in opening round NCAA tourney play on Saturday.

The top-ranked but third-seeded Greyhounds (15-2) drew an Albany (12-5) team that featured nothing short of history's greatest scoring tandem in brothers Lyle and Miles Thompson of Onondaga Nation, NY. The brothers each broke the NCAA single-season scoring record this year, and it was clearly evident as to how at Loyola's Ridley Athletic Complex.

Attackman Lyle Thompson, who wears #4, now has 122 points on the season. He added eight on Saturday with three goals and five assists. Miles, wearing #2, scored five goals and added two feeds to bring his point total to 115. The third member of what's been dubbed the Thompson Trio, cousin Ty Thompson, had a hat trick to bring the family total on the afternoon to 18. Ty, #91, has 51 points this season.

Lyle often drew Loyola's Joe Fletcher, a fellow Tewaaraton finalist, on defense.

"Fletcher did a great job setting position, and I kept waiting for a mistake, and it did not come, so I had to make my own shot," said Lyle after the game.

Albany's Lyle Thompson operates behind Loyola's goal (photo / T.Flynn)
Lyle frequently backed into a tightly-packed Greyhounds' defense that was understandably reluctant to spread itself too far out on the perimeter. With his head up, he either fed a nearby Great Dane, or dodged his defender en route to the goal.

Loyola was unable to solve Albany goalie Blaze Riorden (photo / T. Flynn)
The Greyhounds' Justin Ward and Pat Laconi each had two goals as Loyola was held to its lowest point total of the season.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

College Baseball: Terps Get Well Against Irish

Maryland's Anthony Papio homered in a 3-2 win on Sunday (photo / T. Flynn)
by Boxer Journal May 6, 2014
College Park, MD - The University of Maryland Terrapins baseball team got what it needed after losing four straight games: a series against a struggling ACC club.

Notre Dame, the newest member of the league, dropped three straight to the Terps (28-19) at College Park's Shipley Field over the weekend.

The Irish (17-30), were held scoreless on Friday in a 2-0 loss as Jake Stinnett (5-6) fanned 13 in a dominating complete game victory.

From there things improved only slightly for Notre Dame as they scored a total of four runs in 6-2 and 3-2 losses on the the weekend. On Saturday, Mike Shawaryn (8-3) solidified his spot as the Terps' rising ace with the victory. The Park School's Ben Brewster was flawless in relief, allowing no hits and striking out two in 2.1 innings of work for his second save of the year.

Notre Dame's offense managed just four runs in three games (photo / T. Flynn)
On Sunday, the Terps' Bobby Ruse (5-2), notched the win in relief for Maryland. Rightfielder Anthony Papio sailed a Notre Dame pitch over the fence he's typically defending to start the scoring for Maryland. It was his second home run of the season.

Maryland's Charlie White strides into a pitch on Sunday (photo / T. Flynn)

Maryland heads into their final ACC weekend on Friday at Pittsburgh (21-24), but not before facing Towson (20-22) and VCU (32-12) during the week. Both games are critical to the Terps' chances of obtaining an at-large invite to the NCAA tournament. In conference, they are presently the #9 seed in the ACC tournament in a 10-team field.

Saturday, May 3, 2014

College Lacrosse: Loyola Proves its Mettle

Loyola wore down the Hopkins defense on Saturday (photo / T. Flynn)
by Boxer Journal May 3, 2014
Baltimore, MD - As the Johns Hopkins Blue Jays gathered before the game in the concourse beneath a sold-out Ridley Athletic Complex on Saturday, they began to loudly exchange pleasantries with the Loyola players gathered at the far end. If familiarity breeds contempt they sounded very familiar with the Greyhounds.

They are. Just over a mile apart on the city's Charles Street, the two schools were meeting for the 52nd time. But what was once a strictly Hopkins-dominated affair (JHU won 47 of the first 51 games) is now anything but as the Greyhounds (15-1) knocked off Hopkins (10-4) for the second straight year, 13-10.

The Blue Jays charged out from the concourse angry and turned it into an early advantage, as senior midfielder Rob Guida had a hat-trick by the end of the first quarter. After one, the Blue Jays led 4-2.

Johns Hopkins senior Rob Guida (photo / T. Flynn)
By half-time Loyola overcame some early game offensive miscues to move to an 8-6 advantage. Boys' Latin product Jeff Chase had two goals in the second quarter for the Greyhounds.

From there the game took on the familiar look of Loyola victories this season. A two-goal burst put them up by four and in the driver's seat of a contest that they eventually won by three. Senior Jack Runkel was solid in goal for Loyola with nine saves including some critical stops in the third quarter.

Although the Blue Jays will be moving to a newly-formed Big-10 men's lacrosse conference next year, the two teams have at least tentative plans to continue to play, although not on the first weekend in May.

"I wouldn't say this game [on this weekend] is in jeopardy. It's dead on this weekend. But we're going to play this game," Loyola head coach CharleyToomey told Inside Lacrosse after the game.

Friday, May 2, 2014

College Lacrosse: Maryland Rivalries Highlight Weekend

Loyola's senior attackman Justin Ward has 65 points this season (photo / Getty Images)
by Boxer Journal May 1, 2014
Baltimore, MD - With "2014 Patriot League 2014 Champs" now on their resumé, the Loyola Greyhounds (14-1) will turn to matters nearer at hand when they face down fellow Charles Street residents, Johns Hopkins (10-3).

Loyola has an NCAA tournament bid secured as a result of their Patriot League title, but would like to whittle down a woeful 4-47 overall mark against the Blue Jays. Last year they snapped a 13-game losing streak to JHU by earning an 8-4 victory at Homewood Field.

In 2012, Hopkins had the edge in an overtime win that proved Loyola's only loss of their championship season.

A win Saturday would begin their own modest rivalry winning streak. It would also continue their longest winning streak in history, which presently stands at 14. The only blemish on Loyola's record this year is a week one loss to UVA (10-5) in overtime.   

Until 2012 the Greyhounds labored in the shadow of their better-known counterparts roughly a mile south on the city's best-known thoroughfare. With a national title that year, along with a better record and a conference championship this year, the Greyhounds are gradually establishing themselves as the best lacrosse program on Charles Street.

Game time is noon at Loyola's Ridley Athletic Complex.
 ***
College Park, MD - Navy and Maryland (10-3) will play on Saturday in what should prove a surprisingly unpredictable game given their respective records. The Mids (4-9) have shown they can stay with any team DI when they narrowly lost one-goal contests to both Loyola and Hopkins.

After bowing out in the ACC tourney, the Terps are in a good position for an at-large bid to the tourney, but a loss to Navy would certainly damage that likelihood.

On Navy's side they are increasingly being labeled as a team that does not play well on the road. A victory at College Park would be a huge step for the program, and easily their best win since upsetting Hopkins in 2012 in Annapolis. 

photo: Loyola's leading point scorer and assist man, senior Justin Ward. Image is used w/permission of Getty Images. 

Another Western State Adds Varsity Lacrosse

For several years I've contributed lacrosse articles to the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA).  This week I w...