- The Washington Times - Saturday, April 22, 2006

Maryland’s second midfield line seemingly begins to produce more scoring at about this time every season. Travis Holmes is helping to ensure it happens again this year.

The junior was a mainstay in the Terrapins’ defensive midfield a year ago but has gradually earned more time on offense this season. Holmes this spring has three goals. He put the No. 4 Terps (8-3) ahead last week against Johns Hopkins and scored again in Tuesday’s rout of Sacred Heart.

“He plays the game the way it should be played and he respects the game,” Maryland coach Dave Cottle said. “He’s tough and he’s dependable. You can count on Travis Holmes every game. Whether it be defense or effort or whatever, those kind of kids are hard to come by. When you get a few of them, you are really appreciative.”

If Holmes’ emergence continues, it could take pressure off Maryland’s senior standouts — attackman Joe Walters and midfielders Brendan Healy, Bill McGlone and Xander Ritz. Those veterans have combined for 74 of the Terps’ 105 goals.

It also might help freshman Dan Groot, who has four goals and also runs on the second midfield. That, in turn, would bolster the second line’s effectiveness as Maryland tries to make a deep run in next month’s NCAA tournament.

“I’m definitely excited to be playing more offense this year,” said Holmes, whose team does not play again until Friday’s ACC semifinal against North Carolina. “It’s been one of my goals since I’ve been here. Our line is starting to produce a lot more and bring more to the table.”

UMass’ Morris adjusts

Massachusetts’ Sean Morris was a Tewaaraton Trophy finalist after scoring 44 goals and 25 assists as part of a balanced attack with Gene Tundo and Jeff Zywicki. Even after adjusting to the departure of those two, Morris remains one of the nation’s best players.

Despite constant slides and plenty of attention, Morris still leads the country in points a game (4.5) and assists (29), and he has also scored 16 goals for the No. 8 Minutemen (8-2, 3-1 ECAC), who visit No. 5 Georgetown (7-2, 3-1) today.

“It’s a lot different for him, but again he realized he needed to make the guys around him better,” Massachusetts coach Greg Cannella said. “I think when you have a guy who is unselfish and realizes what the team is all about and puts aside accolades and numbers, you’re lucky to have something.”

Morris’ savvy play has been critical for Massachusetts, and the Minutemen also have received a boost from freshman goalie Doc Schneider (7.75 goals against), who ranks second in the country with a .645 save percentage.

Hoyas’ D’Andrea to start

Goalie Rich D’Andrea is expected to start today when Georgetown meets Massachusetts.

D’Andrea started in victories over Navy and Fairfield earlier this month for the Hoyas as sophomore Miles Kass nursed a sprained knee. Kass, who returned in last week’s 14-10 loss at Loyola and played nearly three quarters before yielding to D’Andrea, worked only sparingly in practice this week.

“I think Rich will be the guy,” Georgetown coach Dave Urick said. “We’ll try and get Miles ready for the last couple weekends. He’s been raring to go. It’s been more [a matter of] trying to get this thing behind him.”

Bison in the mix

Bucknell (6-7) has inched back into the NCAA tournament discussion after winning at No. 13 Penn State on Wednesday. The Bison can get back to .500 with a victory over Colgate (10-2) tomorrow in their regular-season finale, although that won’t even guarantee them a spot in next weekend’s Patriot League tournament.

Still, that might not be prohibitive for a team that stunned then-No. 1 Maryland last month in College Park. Plus, there is precedent. Army was an at-large NCAA tournament pick two years ago after missing the Patriot tournament.

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