Local Lacrosse Roundup: Maryland Hosting Cornell in NCAA First Round For Second Straight Year

In its final season in the Atlantic Coast Conference, the Maryland men’s lacrosse team tied with Duke for the best conference record at 4-1. The Terps went 11-3 overall, and finished the season ranked ninth by Lacrosse Magazine. Maryland lost in the ACC semifinals 6-5 to ninth-ranked Notre Dame in Chester, Pennsylvania on April 25. The Terps received a seventh seed for the NCAA tournament, and will play Cornell in the first round at 5 p.m. on May 10 in College Park.

Maryland was led this season by senior midfielder Mike Chanenchuk, who had 28 goals and 16 assists. Senior goalie Niko Amato had a 7.19 goals against average, which was fourth-best in the country. He was named ACC Defensive Player of the Year. Connor Cannizzaro scored 20 goals and added 6 assists in his rookie season, and was named ACC Freshman of the Year. Head Coach John Tillman was named Coach of the Year. The Terps outscored their opponents 163-97 this season, and went 3-1 against their local opponents: Mount St. Marys (won 16-3 on February 8), Maryland-Baltimore County (won 14-3 on February 15), Johns Hopkins (lost 11-6 on April 12), and Navy (won 12-8 on April 19).

Johns Hopkins went 10-4 on the season, including 4-1 against its in-state opponents (Towson, Maryland, Loyola, UMBC and Navy.) The Blue Jays received an at-large bid to make the NCAA Tournament for a record 42nd time, and will play at eighth-seeded Virginia on May 11. Their first-round matchup will be a rematch of a game they played in Charlottesville on March 22, when the Blue Jays lost to the Cavaliers 11-10 in overtime.

The Loyola Greyhounds lost to Virginia 14-13 in their season opener on February 6. They haven’t lost since, finishing the season at 15-1, including an 8-0 mark in the Patriot League. The Greyhounds beat number 18 and two-time Patriot League champion Lehigh 16-7 in the championship game at the Ridley Athletic Complex on April 27, and finished the season ranked number one in Lacrosse Magazine. Loyola is the third seed in the tournament, and will host the University of Albany (N.Y.) on May 10.

As for the Towson Tigers, they had a mediocre season that ended on a down note. The Tigers went 8-7 (2-3 in the Colonial Athletic Association) during the regular season, and lost to Drexel 11-10 in overtime in the CAA Tournament semifinals on May 1.

The Maryland women had another dominant season. The Lady Terps went 19-1, only losing at North Carolina 17-15 on April 5. Maryland rebounded from that loss by finishing the regular season on a six-game winning streak (including the ACC Tournament at Boston College), beating Virginia and Virginia Tech twice, and then defeating Syracuse 13-7 on April 27 to win its sixth straight conference championship. The Lady Terps are the top overall seed in the Women’s Division I NCAA Tournament, and will have a first-round bye. They’ll play the winner of Canisius and Penn in the second round on May 11 in College Park.

The Johns Hopkins Lady Blue Jays went 15-4 (3-3 in the American Lacrosse Conference) this season. They defeated Penn State 13-10 in the ALC tournament quarterfinals on May 1 before losing to Florida 11-6 the following day. Hopkins will play Georgetown in the first round of the NCAA Women’s Division I Lacrosse Tournament on May 9 at the University of North Carolina. It’s the first time the Lady Blue Jays have made the NCAA tournament in seven years.

Loyola went 14-5 (8-0 in the Patriot League), winning 12 out of their last 13 games. They received an at-large bid, and will play number 14 Massachusetts at Boston College on May 9. Towson went 11-7 (4-1 in the CAA), but ended their season in dramatic fashion. In the CAA championship game on May 4 in Williamsburg, Virginia, redshirt freshman midfielder Michelle Gildea scored with 35 seconds left in overtime to give the Lady Tigers a 12-11 win over James Madison for their third straight CAA lacrosse championship. Towson will play Stony Brook at Syracuse University on May 9 in the first round of the tournament.

The men’s national lacrosse championships will be at M&T Bank Stadium during Memorial Day weekend. The Division I semifinals will be on Saturday, May 24. The Division III national championship game will be on Sunday, May 25, and the Division I national championship game will be on May 26. The women’s national championship will be at Towson University on Friday, May 23.

UPDATED MAY 11

Upsets abounded in the first round of the NCAA Division I Men’s Lacrosse Tournament this weekend. One local did the upsetting, while another got upset.

In a rematch of their season opener in February, Johns Hopkins upset eighth-seeded Virginia 14-8 in Charlottesville. Attacker Wells Stanwick scored five goals, and Brandon Benn added four of his own to give head coach Dave Pietramala his 158th win at Hopkins, tying Bob Scott’s record for most wins by a men’s head lacrosse coach in program history. Hopkins scored four unanswered goals in the fourth quarter to put the game away, and will play top seed and defending national champion Duke in the quarterfinals on May 18 at the University of Delaware.

Meanwhile, third-seeded Loyola was upset at home by the University of Albany, 13-6 on May 10. Great Danes goalie Blaze Riorden made 13 saves, and the Albany defense gave up their lowest goal total of the season. Justin Ward and Pat Laconi each scored twice, and goalie Jack Runkel made 11 saves for the Greyhounds.

Seventh-seeded Maryland needed a goal by senior midfielder Mike Chanenchuk with two seconds left in regulation to give the Terps an 8-7 win, thwarting an upset bid by the Cornell Big Red in College Park. Maryland will play Bryant in a quarterfinal game on May 17 at Hofstra University.

In the women’s tournament, top seed Maryland beat Penn 13-5 in College Park on May 11. Taylor Cummings had a hat trick, and won 10 draws, leading the Lady Terps to a 17-3 advantage on draws. Maryland will host Duke on May 17. Meanwhile, seventh-seeded Boston College defeated Loyola 8-3. Georgetown edged Hopkins 9-8 on an overtime goal by Kelyn Freedman on May 9. It was the Hoyas’ first tournament win since 2006.

Orioles Notebook: O’s Above .500 Despite Struggling Starting Pitching

By Andrew R. Koch

A full month of Major League Baseball is in the books, and the Baltimore Orioles are in the thick of a wide-open American League East race. While the Orioles are one percentage point ahead of the rival Yankees in the division, starting pitching is proving to be an Achilles’ heel, much like it has been for the last couple of seasons.

The Orioles went 12-12 in April, playing without Manny Machado and losing first baseman Chris Davis due to a strained oblique. Heading into the start of their second series with the Tampa Bay Rays, Orioles starting pitchers have gone less than five and a third innings in four of the last five games. The lone exception was Ubaldo Jimenez, who struck out 10 in 7 and a third shutout innings in the May 2 series opener at Minnesota. It was his first win of the season after signing a four-year, $50 million contract. Chris Tillman (3-1) and Wei-Yin Chen (3-2) are the only starters who are above .500. Baltimore has among the fewest starts of at least seven innings of any team in Major League Baseball. Six relievers have already appeared in 12 or more games, and the bullpen has already thrown a total of 93 innings. Following the Orioles’ 5-2 loss on May 4 in the rubber game of the series in Minnesota, in which Miguel Gonzalez fell apart and failed to get out of the fifth inning, manager Buck Showalter said in his post-game press conference of the starting rotation, “We’ve just got to be better.” Showalter went on to say that he’ll do what he can to avoid overusing the relievers, saying he wasn’t “going to put those guys in harm’s way.”

The Orioles’ regular sluggers haven’t been producing the power numbers fans are used to seeing. Davis only had six extra-base hits (four doubles, two home runs) before going on the DL. Center fielder Adam Jones has 10 extra-base hits (six doubles, one triple, three home runs, including two on May 7 at Tampa Bay), and J.J. Hardy–while he’s hitting more line drives and is bringing his batting average up–has just four doubles and is still looking for his first long ball of the season. Meanwhile, Matt Wieters and outfielder Nelson Cruz are picking up the slack in the power department. Wieters is leading the team in batting average, hitting .341 to go with five homers and 18 RBI. He’s hitting .370 left-handed as he looks to bounce back from a poor 2013 season. Cruz is leading the team in slugging with nine homers, six doubles, 29 RBI and a .568 slugging percentage.

Roster Moves

Manny Machado returned to the roster on May 1 for the second game of the Orioles’ doubleheader against the Pittsburgh Pirates. He was scheduled to be activated from the disabled list for the start of the series on April 29, but the games both that day and the following day were rained out. Reliever Troy Patton was also activated from the restricted list after serving a 25-game suspension for testing positive for performance-enhancing drugs. To make room for Machado and Patton, the Orioles sent infielder Steve Lombardozzi to Triple-A Norfolk along with relievers Evan Meek and Josh Stinson, who was outrighted. Baltimore recalled reliever Brad Brach from Norfolk. Another roster move may be necessary when Davis comes off the 15-day DL, which is scheduled to be May 11.

Wieters traveled to Pensacola, Florida on May 7 to meet with renowned orthopedic surgeon Dr. James Andrews (of Tommy John surgery fame.) Wieters has been dealing with soreness in his right elbow since the Orioles’ series in Boston in April. He says he first felt what was initially diagnosed as a sore forearm when he made a throw to second base on a cold night in Boston. He underwent an MRI exam on May 5, and surgery has been ruled out following his visit with Dr. Andrews. Caleb Joseph has been recalled from Norfolk to share the catching duties with Steve Clevenger.

UPDATED MAY 12: Davis was activated from the 15-day DL after appearing in a game with the Double-A Bowie Baysox on a rehab assignment. He played for the Orioles in the series finale at home against Houston. Wieters was placed on the DL to rest his sore elbow. The Orioles also optioned T.J. McFarland to Norfolk following the game. McFarland struck out four and allowed two runs on seven hits in three innings, including a two-run home run to the Astros’ Marc Krauss that gave Houston some insurance to salvage the series finale.

Education Professor Bill Durden Discusses Challenges, Opportunities for 21st-Century Universities

By Andrew R. Koch

Virtually every college and university in the U.S. hosts some type of orientation for first-year students. However, one local education professor says those orientations at the start of a college student’s freshman year simply aren’t enough to ensure they succeed in getting a higher education.

Bill Durden, the president emeritus and a professor of liberal arts at Dickinson College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania—and a professor in the School of Education at Johns Hopkins University—was the keynote speaker in a presentation called “Strategies for Student Success” on April 16, in the Learning Commons Town Hall. He spoke about the opportunities and challenges that are presenting themselves to universities in the 21st century. As part of his speech, he focused on those challenges and opportunities that are results of the University of Baltimore’s diverse population. Durden says while there are challenges for UB, there are also “huge opportunities”—if they’re crafted in the right way. He explained how the university is taking steps to ensure its new students can fully succeed in getting their college education

“It’s informing students more from the beginning how to move through the system, where is information, how to get it, removing obstacles to getting all of that,” Durden said. “It is about crafting an environment that’s committed to a larger purpose. It just can’t be the one-off. It has to be ‘what’s the bigger story?’ And I think once you get a variety of students behind a larger story, things become clearer than they are.”

Durden explained how statistics show that 60 percent of first-year college students find that they’re not ready for a post-secondary education, despite being declared ready by their high schools. He says this is because educators have shifted away from teaching skills to encouraging students to “express themselves,” and are lowering their standards to “achieve the appearance of achievement,” and have surrendered to the “self-esteem movement” and its rhetoric, which promotes a sense of accomplishments among students without really accomplishing anything. As a result, college and university remedial programs aren’t yielding the retention results that the institutions expect.

Durden described the evolution of American education from colonial times all the way up through the modern era. He explained that the first colleges and universities in the colonies were strictly vocational because they trained ministers. In the modern era, Durden described how he was the first person in his family to go to college, and how a substantive liberal arts education was viable to changing one’s social status in life (he described how Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates based many of his accomplishments on a solid liberal arts education). Durden said his family wanted what the elite of that time took for granted. He studied abroad as a junior in high school because his parents believed that, in time, the world would become more globally connected.

However, Durden says now, with a high number of first-year students coming from such diverse backgrounds, the elites who encouraged a liberal arts education in previous generations are now discouraging students from getting it. He says that there’s an “either/or” attitude that emphasizes either getting a liberal arts or a vocational education, but not both, and this attitude is plaguing education just like it is in politics. Durden praised UB for being the first university in Maryland to adopt a cooperative educational and liberal arts program, much like Northeastern University in Boston. With the diversity of the student population, Durden says colleges and universities need to make sure that their students have the basic skills to succeed both in the classroom and then in the real world.

“Verbal and mathematical abilities are critical. It has to be a certain level. It has to be filled in. If you don’t have those, you’re going to be always at a deficit. It’s just gonna be a real struggle,” Durden said.

A new way to view cancelled soap opera series, All My Children, One Life to Live

There has been an explosion of excitement when it comes to programming on the internet. I remember one of the first times I heard about original content being produced on the internet, I thought the idea was absurd! I didn’t want to have to strain to watch a cheaply made show on the internet. A music video, yes; a clip of an old show on YouTube? Sure; but my initial opinion was that original programming was best kept on television. That was my crazy little brain not paying attention to not just where the internet was headed, but also the television itself. Now, there are smart TV’s that can be connected with internet, or the internet is pretty much built in. My love and respect for original internet programming was being reevaluated right around this time last year.

When ABC cancelled All My Children and One Life to Live on the same day in 2011, I was heartbroken. I was an odd little boy who would rather spend time with his grandmother watching the stories than playing outside. It may sound weird, but when my grandmother died, I quit the stories for a few years. She kept the dial to ABC all day long when she was alive. I couldn’t hear the theme music from General Hospital; every time I came across Erica Kane or Victoria Lord, I felt a heaviness in my heart. They reminded me of Momma. Eventually I started to watch again, but I noticed that the shows had lost something; the heart, the soul. Something was different. But I still watched much for the same way I stopped, Momma. When the shows were cancelled I felt like I lost her all over again. So many people who grew up like me felt the same way about their parents or grandparents who watched soaps.

I thought that there’s no chance that these shows will be saved. A few years before the cancellations of AMC and OLTL, the soap opera Passions had been cancelled by NBC. DirecTV picked up the show, airing it for thirty minutes for four days a week, with a recap day on Friday. It didn’t last long, so I figured once those shows went off the air that that’d be the end, no Passions treatment for these two old shows.

On April 29, 2013, All My Children and One Life to Live came back to life again on Hulu, Hulu Plus and iTunes. It felt like the shows were a hit on their new platform. They were high up on ITunes’ and Hulu’s top shows. The story gets a little involved here, and while the details are quite dramatic and soapy, they are also a little boring to people who don’t give a crap about the soap genre. (For those who want a little more detail on all the craziness and Soap Opera Network would be good places to start. Just type in either show, and then have fun reading!) Long story short, the shows went on hiatus in September and haven’t been on the air since. For all the fans, the back and forth has become tiring, and, at this point, I think it’ll be best to keep both shows in the past. At some point, with soaps—and life—we have to know when to move on and create new memories, new friends, and new television (or internet) shows.

One of the shows that had a little more success being re-packaged on the internet aired on primetime. Arrested Development was a critical darling on the FOX network for three seasons. It racked up all kinds of awards and accolades. But, after three seasons of ratings that didn’t match the critical success, AD was cancelled in 2006. After almost ten years off the air, it returned in a new body, and a new format; it premiered on Netflix in May 2013. In the spirit of binge watching, all fifteen episodes of the fourth season were released at once. The show did not suffer the fate of its daytime counterparts; the chances are good that the show will have a fifth season.

The internet is shaping the way viewers get their entertainment. Dead television shows have been revived. Even if they don’t have a long shelf life (All My Children, One Life to Live), the internet is proving that it is trying to go where television used to go. I never thought I’d say this, but there is a heartbeat there. These shows don’t have the budgets of networks, but somehow, audiences are catching on to the provocative, cutting edge shows that are finding their way onto the internet. I think it’s here to stay!

Season recap for the ‘Devious Maids’ fans who missed it

“Devious Maids” is back! The season two premiere picked up right where season one left off; and if your jaw dropped during the first season, it will be dismantled this season.

What I love about the series so far is the insane blend of melodrama, comedy, and satire. Sometimes, I want to watch a show that isn’t about saving the world from climate change or giving me tips on how to stay fit and active so I can live to be 130 years old. Sometimes, I want fantasy and laughter with a shot of sarcasm. I get that with this show. I think others want that, too.

One thing I that I find odd are the comments from some that the show is racist, or is only focused on stereotypes of Latina women. Executive producer Marc Cherry has a way of taking negative stereotypes and turning them into positives. Remember “Desperate Housewives?” Eva Longoria as Gabrielle Solis? She was wealthy and successful with a maid of her own. Longoria is now co-executive producer of “Devious Maids.” Also, I’m sure that Carmen and Marisol are college educated. Marisol was the one who figured out that it was Philippe (Stephen Collins) who killed Flora (Paula Garces) in the first season. I don’t believe Longoria would get behind a show that would mock her heritage; not even for a sizable paycheck.

This season, a few of the maids are moving into Beverly Hills mansions of their own. Ana Ortiz’s character, Marisol, is living in a classic Beverly Hills mansion with a devious maid of her own! Roselyn Sanchez’s character, Carmen, has also hit the Beverly Hills jackpot. She may become the next famous singer with her own mansion. For now, though, she’s playing the beard to Latin pop star Alejandro. I think that will change soon. I won’t give away spoilers, but let’s just say it looks like Alejandro’s (and quite possibly, Carmen’s) time in the limelight is fading…fast! If you thought Brenda, Dylan, and the rest of the gang from 90210 had issues, then the characters on this show belong in an insane asylum!

There’s no good or bad on “Devious Maids”—only vindictive and more vindictive! While not all of the maids get down and dirty, there are others who can be just as vindictive and cunning as their bosses. Those are the ones who are qualified to move up the ladder (Carmen and Marisol). Is that not at least partially true in our society? Many (not all) of the people who are in a position of power didn’t get there because they were painfully nice. They got there because they weren’t afraid to ruffle a few feathers and shatter some glass. So, if you want to make it in Beverly Hills as a maid or a mogul, remember this: if you’re rich, someone will want to kill you; if you’re a maid, someone will want to kill you. In the meantime, have great sex, throw back a few drinks, and enjoy the view!

“Devious Maids” airs on Sundays at 10 p.m. on Lifetime.