could consider Urso a match for Turnbull he had to prove himself to his 1973
teammates at Maryland. Urso convinced them by leaving trails of tangled, fallen
defenders against such powers as Hopkins, Cornell and Virginia. The Terps now
believe in him when he is passing—"You get open and he'll get the ball to
you," says Tri-captain Gary Niels—and they believe in him even more when he
is shooting because he has the deadliest shot in college lacrosse.
"I guess it
goes more than 100 mph," says Beardmore. "There are probably a lot of
players who can shoot it that hard, but they're all over the place. With Frank
you know that 90% of the time it'll be between the pipes."
shoulders that look as if they could support a bridge, the 5'10", 175-pound
Urso does not appear capable of maiming goalies, but he loves to talk about his
shot the way Sal Maglie loved to talk about his knockdown pitch.
"I always try
to take my first shot at the goalie's head," Urso says. "I don't care
if it goes five feet over the net. I want to get the goalie scared. It's a lot
easier to score if the goalie is ducking."
have ducked or otherwise compromised with Urso's shot that he has scored 93
goals, a Maryland record for a midfielder. Combined with his 56 assists, that
gives Urso 149 career points, also tops on Maryland's alltime list for a
midfielder. But only 39 of his points (25 goals and 14 assists) have come this
season, which would seem to suggest a less than All-America year.
Thiel says that
is an example of how statistics lie. Calling Urso "my first selection for
any All-America team," the Virginia coach points out that one test of
excellence is the ability to endure great difficulty, and until last week great
difficulty summed up 1975 for Urso.
counting on him more heavily than ever because the Terps had lost six of the
players who had led them to last year's NCAA finals. The new bunch was thin on
defense and on the bench. Things became worse when Urso started having trouble
with bodies—his own and other people's.
separated his left shoulder in a preseason scrimmage. Then Attackman Ed Mullen,
the team's best feeder, was lost when he tore up his knee. Beardmore's plan was
to replace Mullen with burly Midfielder Roger Tuck. But Tuck broke a bone in
his foot. The only logical candidate remaining was Urso, as soon as his
shoulder healed sufficiently.
not mean completely, but still Urso played all 60 minutes when the Terps went
to Virginia in the second week of the season to defend their ACC crown. Dashing
between midfield and attack, Urso quickly set up a goal with a snappy pass and
scored two himself, the second on a shot that turned Goalie Rodney Rullman into
a human top.
But just when it
looked as though Urso might run off with the game, the young Terps became
confused by Virginia's persistent rallying and forgot that he was around. While
his teammates went one-on-one, Urso, the only Terp capable of doing that
consistently, went minutes without getting the ball. He did not start getting
it until the Terps had to play catch-up. With Virginia leading 14-13 and six
seconds left, there was no doubt who would take Maryland's last shot. Urso
fired his best bullet. Rullman caught it with surprising ease and ran toward
the sideline shaking his head. "Nobody screened for Frank on that last
shot," he said. "I don't believe it. If they had set some screens for
him, I never would have seen the ball."