Alyssa Thomas Begins WNBA Career

After a record-setting career at the University of Maryland, the next chapter in the basketball life of former Lady Terrapins star forward Alyssa Thomas has begun.

After setting the all-time scoring mark for both men’s and women’s basketball in College Park, Thomas was selected by the New York Liberty with the fourth overall pick in the WNBA draft on April 14. In a draft night trade, the Liberty sent Thomas to the Connecticut Sun in exchange for Tina Charles, who was named the league’s Most Valuable Player in 2012. The Sun also got center Kelsey Bone and New York’s first-round pick in next year’s draft as part of the trade. As a result, Thomas is teaming up with forward Chiney Ogwumike, who was the number one overall pick from Stanford University.

The Sun’s first game was against the Liberty on May 16. In her WNBA debut, Thomas had seven points, four rebounds and two assists in 24 minutes. So far this season, Thomas has appeared in nine games, and is averaging 8.7 points and 4.1 rebounds in 22.6 minutes per game. She’s shooting just over 44 percent from the floor and 69 percent from the free throw line. Her best performance so far was on May 30, when she scored 13 points and grabbed nine rebounds in a 101-82 loss at the Chicago Sky.

Thomas will be coming back to the Washington, DC, area to play later this season. The Sun will be playing the Washington Mystics at the Verizon Center on June 27, and again in an 11:30 matinee on July 23.

Maryland Selected to Host First Big Ten Men’s Lacrosse Tournament

University of Maryland Athletics will be joining the Big Ten Conference this Fall. However, the Terrapins have already been chosen for a major honor in one of the university’s premier sports.

The Big Ten announced that Maryland will host the conference’s first ever men’s lacrosse tournament next season. The tournament will be held at Byrd Stadium from April 30 to May 2, 2015, and will feature the conference’s top four lacrosse teams. Terrapins head coach John Tillman said that the tournament “will be a tremendous showcase for Big Ten lacrosse.”

The Big Ten added men’s and women’s lacrosse as sports in June 2013. That same month, the conference announced that Johns Hopkins University will be joining as an associate member in men’s lacrosse, starting with the 2014-2015 academic year. Maryland and Rutgers will become the fifth and sixth teams in Big Ten lacrosse. They’ll join Michigan, Penn State and Ohio State in lacrosse. Northwestern University will be an associate conference member in women’s lacrosse.

Rutgers will have the oldest men’s lacrosse program in the Big Ten when next season begins. The Scarlet Knights have been playing lacrosse since 1887. Penn State has been playing lacrosse since 1913, followed by Maryland, starting in 1924. Michigan has the newest men’s lacrosse team, adding the sport in 2012. The six Big Ten men’s lacrosse teams have a combined 56 national championships.

Maryland Falls to Notre Dame in Men’s Lacrosse Final Four

By Andrew R. Koch

The NCAA Division I Men’s Lacrosse National Championship Game will feature two teams from the Atlantic Coast Conference. However, the Maryland Terrapins won’t be one of them.

In their third head-to-head game of the season, sixth-seeded Notre Dame shut down seventh-seeded Maryland 11-6 in front of a heavily pro-Maryland crowd at M&T Bank Stadium. Fighting Irish goalie Connor Kelley made 14 saves, and Matt Cavanaugh led the offense with five goals and two assists. John Sciosia and Nick Ossello each scored two goals for Notre Dame, which took control of the game by outscoring the Terrapins 4-1 in the third quarter. Joe LoCascio scored two goals and Nick Amato made 10 saves for Maryland. However, that wasn’t enough to overcome 19 Terrapin turnovers. It’s the 17th time that Maryland has lost in the Lacrosse Final Four, either in the semifinals or finals since the program’s last national championship in 1975. Heading into championship weekend, Amato was named the winner of the Kelley Award as the most outstanding goalie in Division I men’s lacrosse.

Notre Dame will play Duke in the national championship game at 1 o’clock Monday afternoon. Duke defeated the University of Denver 15-12 in the first semifinal game. Monday’s game will be a rematch of the 2010 national championship game, which Duke won 6-5 in overtime.

In the Division I Women’s Lacrosse Final Four at Towson University, number one Maryland defeated fifth-seeded Northwestern 9-6 in the semifinals on May 23. Kelly McPartland scored a hat trick for the Lady Terrapins, while Brooke Griffin and Zoe Stukenberg each added two goals. Maryland scooped up 14 ground balls to Northwestern’s five. The Lady Terrapins will play number two Syracuse for the national championship at 8:30 Sunday night. The Lady Orange defeated number six Virginia 16-8 in the other semifinal.

Maryland Baseball Reaches ACC Championship Game

Maryland doesn’t have much of a rich tradition in college baseball. The team hasn’t won an ACC championship since 1971, when the conference champion was determined by who had the best record during the conference season. However, this year, Maryland went 33-19 (15-14 ACC), and is in position to win the conference championship in their final season in the ACC.

In the ACC Baseball Tournament in Greensboro, North Carolina, Maryland defeated number three Virginia 7-6 on May 22, and number four Florida State 5-3 on May 23. The Terrapins fell to North Carolina 13-7 on May 24 in their final game in pool play. The Tar Heels scored six runs in the eighth inning to break a 7-7 tie. However, the Terrapins won Pool B with a 2-1 record, and will advance to face Georgia Tech in the tournament championship at 1 o’clock Sunday afternoon. Maryland took two out of three from the Yellow Jackets during an Easter Weekend series in College Park.

UPDATED MAY 25

The ACC era is now officially over in College Park.

The sixth-seeded Terrapins came back from a 2-0 deficit to take a 4-3 lead over ninth-seeded Georgia Tech after six innings in the ACC Baseball Championship Game in Greensboro. However, the Yellow Jackets tied the game with a run in the seventh, and then broke the tie with three runs in the eighth to take a 7-4 lead. Georgia Tech added two more insurance runs in the top of the ninth to win five games in six days on the way to clinching its ninth conference championship in baseball and the ACC’s automatic bid into the NCAA Baseball Tournament. Maryland will likely get an at-large bid.

Ravens Coach Harbaugh Expresses Frustration After Another Player Arrest

By Andrew R. Koch

The Baltimore Ravens’ off-field troubles continue to mount, and head coach John Harbaugh has had enough of it.

The latest Raven to have a run-in with the law was fourth-round draft pick Lorenzo Taliaferro. He was arrested over Memorial Day weekend and charged with destruction of property and being drunk in public in Williamsburg, Virginia. The running back out of Coastal Carolina University is accused of breaking the window in a taxi. According to ESPN.com, a source familiar with the situation says Taliaferro has since reimbursed the cab company for the damage. He’s scheduled to appear in court in Williamsburg on June 26 to answer to the misdemeanor charges. Taliaferro is the fourth Ravens player who’s been arrested in the first five months of this year.

In addition, entertainment website TMZ is reporting that wide receiver Jacoby Jones, cornerback Jimmy Smith and running back Bernard Pierce were all asked to leave a bar over the holiday weekend for being too drunk.

At a press conference following a practice for organized team activities at the Under Armour Performance Center in Owings Mills, Harbaugh expressed his disappointment at what he calls “some of the silliness” that has gotten some of his players into trouble with the law. The message he tried to get across to his players is that their spot on the team is never guaranteed. He added that he’s “very concerned” about all the off-field issues hurting the team’s image, and urged his team to stay disciplined, both on and off the field.

“Discipline is not a light switch,” Harbaugh said, according to ESPN.com. “You can’t walk out of this building, and all of a sudden turn it off and walk back and turn it on.”

He added that discipline is a way of life, and that when a lack of it shows up in one area of a player’s life, it raises a red flag for where he’s going as a football player.

Harbaugh estimated that 90 percent of the off-field problems are related to alcohol, while nearly all the rest are related to marijuana. He feels that the world-class athletes on his team should be pursuing a higher standard instead of being out late at night partying.

“That is not what I would call an effective training method right there to go out and drink too much,” Harbaugh said, adding that the team will do everything it can to hold players who’ve gotten into trouble accountable. He said that if negative issues surrounding a player outweigh that player’s ability to help the team on the field, that player will find himself on the way out with the team.

Reid to Make Court Appearances in Florida

Ravens offensive lineman Jah Reid will have to make a court appearance to answer to charges stemming from a bar fight.

Reid has been charged with two counts of misdemeanor battery in connection with an argument that escalated into a fight inside a strip club in Key West. He’s accused of head-butting, kicking and punching a man when their argument turned physical. Reid has pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Reid was represented by his lawyer a docket hearing on June 4, and will have to attend a status hearing on June 13. According to ESPN.com, both proceedings are conferences to determine whether or not the case will actually go to trial.

Reid hasn’t been participating in the Ravens’ OTAs because of a strained calf. The injury could cause him to miss the rest of the team’s off-season workouts prior to training camp in late July.

Maryland to Face ACC Rival Virginia in College World Series Super Regionals

By Andrew R. Koch

Maryland’s baseball season won’t be complete without at least two more games against a soon-to-be former ACC rival.

The Terrapins’ magical season continued by completing a three-game sweep of the Columbia Regional at the University of South Carolina. Maryland defeated 12-seed and host South Carolina 10-1 on June 1 to become the regional champions and advance to the Super Regional round for the first time in team history. In addition, it was the first time the Gamecocks had been eliminated from a regional at home since 1976.

Terrapins shortstop Blake Schmit went two for three and drove in three runs, and center fielder and leadoff hitter Charlie White went three for four with an RBI. Schmit hit a two-run single in the fourth inning that Maryland up for good, 2-1. The Terrapins scored two runs in the sixth to take a commanding 5-1 lead, and then put the game out of reach by scoring four runs in the ninth.

In addition to timely hitting, Maryland’s relief pitching was also a major factor. Taylor Stiles came on in relief of starter Jake Drossner with runners on the corners and two outs in the bottom of the fourth. Stiles got Gamecocks shortstop Marcus Mooney to fly out to center to end that rally. In the bottom of the sixth, Bobby Ruse came on with runners on the corners and two outs again, and got Mooney to fly out to right. Ruse pitched the rest of the way, allowing just a hit while striking out three in three and a third innings, including a three-up, three-down bottom of the ninth, to record the save. Stiles got the win with two innings of three-hit shutout relief.

Maryland will be at Virginia for the Charlottesville Super Regional, which will be a best-of-three series at Davenport Stadium from June 7 through June 9. Games one and two will be on June 7 and 8 at noon both days. Game three, if necessary, will be on June 9 at 4 p.m. Every game of the series will be televised on ESPN2. The winner of the series will advance to the College World Series at TD Ameritrade Stadium in Omaha, Nebraska, starting on June 14.

Orioles Make Trade to Add Depth at Catcher

By Andrew R. Koch

The Baltimore Orioles have traded one of their top relief pitchers in a move to add depth at catcher with one of their All Stars on the disabled list for the foreseeable future.

The Orioles traded left-hander Troy Patton to the San Diego Padres for catcher Nick Hundley on May 24. Hundley is expected to be added to the 25-man roster in time for Sunday’s series finale against the Cleveland Indians. Caleb Joseph, who’d been called up from Triple-A Norfolk to serve as the backup catcher, appears likely to be heading back to Norfolk. Prior to trading Patton for Hundley, the Orioles had called up infielder Steve Lombardozzi from Norfolk.

Since coming off the restricted list on May 1 after serving a 25-game suspension for testing positive for performance-enhancing drugs, Patton was 0-1 with an 8.10 earned-run average in nine games. His playing time was limited because the Orioles have three other lefties in their bullpen. In 40 games over the last five seasons with Baltimore, Patton was 5-2 with a 3.26 ERA.

In 33 games with San Diego this season, Hundley has hit .271 with a home run and driven in three runs. Hundley is in the final year of his contract. He’s scheduled to make $4 million this year, and he has a club option for $5 million with no buyout clause for next season.

In another roster move, right-hander Preston Guilmet is expected to be recalled from Norfolk with first baseman Chris Davis going on the paternity list. Davis will be by his wife Jill’s side as they welcome their first child into the world. In addition to the series finale against Cleveland, Davis might also miss the start of the Orioles’ three-game series in Milwaukee, which will begin on Memorial Day.