- The Washington Times - Saturday, March 9, 2002

Danny McCormick had barely settled into his College Park dormitory before he heard the first call.
"Nooooooooooooonaaaaaaaaaaan," fellow Maryland goalie Kevin Healy hollered, likening freshman McCormick to Danny Noonan of "Caddyshack" heroics.
Since that day in 1999, the "Noonan" screams have been heard frequently. Limited to practice the past three years, the yells have progressed to game day this season. They will be heard at Byrd Stadium today, when the No.7 Terrapins (2-1) play host to No.5 Towson (2-0) in a rematch of last year's NCAA quarterfinal won by Towson 12-11 in the final minute.
"A lot of guys didn't know [my real name]," said McCormick, a redshirt junior and Maryland's first-year starting goalie. "The first week of school, an upperclassman labeled me 'Noonan' and it stuck. [Healy] and our fellow goaltenders just started calling it out."
McCormick also might hear "miss it, miss it," shouted out by Tigers fans, who could get frustrated with his skills. After waiting three years behind All-Americans Healy and Pat McGinnis, the Terps' goalie the past two years, McCormick has not missed a beat in the cage.
"When I got the job, I asked the kids about our goalie," first-year coach Dave Cottle said. "I asked, 'Do we know how Danny's going to be.' Every player, from the first guy to the last guy on the team, felt that we had a good goalie.That's the way it's been from the moment he's stepped in."
Today will be McCormick's hardest test of the season. Towson put up staggering offensive numbers last year and returns all its firepower. Players who scored 233 of last season's 238 goals are back.
Coach Tony Seaman has one of the most complete players in the nation in Brad Reppert, and the best finisher in Kyle Campbell, who can shoot from any angle and led the nation in goals (53) last year. Towson also has its top two midfield lines from its Final Four team.
"They are a team you can't sleep on, because they have so many dangerous shooters, and finish so well and create transition so well," McCormick said. "I wasn't playing in last year's game, but I'm still very affected by that loss. I like the position we're in, probably underdogs."
Most observers do not believe the Terps can run with the Tigers, just as many thought McCormick could not seize the goalie position. But McCormick has handled the job as well as his predecessors, and his game was much farther along than those of sophomore Matt Rzepkowski and freshman T.C. Behm in the fall season.
McCormick played well in two scrimmages in February, including an exceptional effort against Syracuse, which rivals Towson's offensive prowess. Maryland coasted through its first two victories before McCormick was tested at Duke last week in a heavy rainstorm. He responded with 12 saves, but the Terps fell in double overtime.
The scoreboard clock blew out in the waning minutes of regulation, and Duke scored with eight seconds left to force overtime and with two seconds remaining in the second overtime to win. The Terps had 12 shots in overtime but could not find the back of the net.
"It isn't an excuse, but the clock mysteriously shut down," McCormick said. "That threw our defense off; we probably would have been covering the guys a little tighter."
Today will be McCormick's first outing at Byrd Stadium before a substantial crowd. Nevertheless, teammate and captain Andy Burman, who has known McCormick since fourth grade and has been a teammate since seventh, including four years at Landon School, has not seen a change in McCormick's approach.
"He plays goal the same way he has since seventh grade," Burman said. "He's a little crazy in there, a little freaky … he does some weird dances in there, but he gets the job done."

Sign up for Daily Newsletters

Copyright © 2019 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

The Washington Times Comment Policy

The Washington Times welcomes your comments on Spot.im, our third-party provider. Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.


Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide