College Lacrosse Preview
Men's Previews by Mathew Schlissel, Women's Previews by Ashley Campbell
Johns Hopkins Blue Jays
Coach: Dave Pietramala
2007 Record: 13-4 (National Champions)
Can they make it three out of four? Repeat is a legitimate possibility for Dave Pietramala's Blue Jays, who bring back most of their nucleus from last year's national championship squad.
But this year isn’t without question marks, as Hopkins has to replace clutch goaltender Jesse Schwartzman and last year's leading goal scorer, Jake Byrne. This year’s squad will feature senior Kevin Huntley, who had 22 goals last season. Sophomore Steven Boyle was an honorable mention All-American as a freshman after scoring 22 goals and adding 14 assists. Junior Tom Doerr and senior Michael Doneger are the best bets for the third attack spot.
The midfield is loaded, due to the return of the nation’s best. Senior Paul Rabil is a first team All-American, Midfielder of the Year and a leading candidate for national player of the year honors. He scored 27 goals and had 26 assists to lead Hopkins last season. Joining Rabil on the first unit will be senior Stephen Peyser, who scored 16 goals and had 10 assists. The third midfielder is sophomore Mike Kimmel.
The defense brings back every key member except long stick middie Brendan Skakandi. With Skakandi gone, senior Matt Bocklet and junior Matt Drenan will be in the mix. Senior co-captain Eric Zerrlaut, who had 31 ground balls last year, is successful at close defense. It doesn't get much better than junior Michael Evans, Zerrlaut and Booklet on close defense.
In goal, sophomore Michael Gvozden takes Schwartzman's spot. If Gvozden can't get the job done, Hopkins can turn to North Carolina transfer Trey Sheain.
Coach: Janine Tucker
2007 record: 12-8
After a successful 2007 season, Johns Hopkins looks to make another run at the NCAA Tournament. The Blue Jays have big shoes to fill after losing Mary Key, the team’s leading scorer and one of the top scorers in NCAA history. Expect to see a more balanced attack for the Blue Jays, who have 10 out of their 14 top scorers from last season returning. Sophomore Sam Schrum, last season’s ALC Rookie of the Year, will lead the attack for the Blue Jays with the help of senior Lauren Schwarzmann, who finished last season with 30 goals and 10 assists.
Also returning are juniors Jenny Higgins and Gina Maranto, who both saw limited playing time in previous seasons. Sophomore Brett Bathras is also coming off a successful 2007 season in which she scored four goals and had five assists. Senior midfielders Kadie Stamper and Kirby Houck return as experienced scorers, while freshman attacker Brooke Foussadier and midfielder Brianna Cronin add depth to the lineup.
Loyola College Greyhounds
Coach: Charlie Toomey
2007 Record: 7-6
Charlie Toomey has taken Loyola lacrosse back to where it belongs -- the playoffs. Not only did he lead the Greyhounds to their first at-large bid since 2001, Loyola also defeated Duke in the regular season to provide the first win over a No. 1 team since 1993.
Senior Shane Koppens leads the attack and will be the focal point of most defenses. He had a terrific junior campaign, scoring 20 goals and dishing out 26 assists. Duke transfer Collin Finnerty will have to step in right away and become a finisher up front. Sophomore Cooper MacDonnell will be the third attacker.
At midfield, the Greyhounds must replace honorable mention All-American Andy Spack and Greg Leonard. Senior Paul Richards is the most experienced returner with seven goals and six assists. Senior Joe Landry is a lanky lefty who is expected to run with the first unit.
Loyola was fortunate to get senior David Moore back for a fifth year after he got into graduate school. He had 23 ground balls last season. Sophomores Eric Kohl and Steve Layne were reserves last season and are now stepping up on the back line on close defense. At long stick midfield, junior P.T. Ricci returns. In goal, junior Alex Peaty saved 55 percent of his shots last year. He could eventually be pushed by freshman Jake Hagelin, the Most Valuable Player of the Vail Shootouts U-18 division this past summer and former Boys' Latin star.
Coach: Kerri O’Day
2007 record: 2-14
The Greyhounds posted only two wins the entire 2007 season, not one of them in the Big East. This season they will need to put last year behind them and start fresh.
Loyola can look forward to junior captain Colleen O’Keefe putting up big numbers. O’Keefe posted 19 goals and led the team with 12 assists. Unfortunately for the Greyhounds, they lost last year’s leading scorer, Kate McHarg, who tallied 35 goals. Senior captain Kate Filippelli, Maura Kenny and Alicyn Brunnett will be key factors on the attack. New additions to the roster include Cara Filippelli, Kellye Gallagher, Caroline Hager, Abby Rehfuss and Grace Gavin. These freshmen will help fill several holes the Greyhounds had, particularly at midfield.
Coach: Dave Cottle
2007 Record: 10-6
Maryland brings back six of 10 starters, including All-American midfielder Dan Groot, and welcomes back red-shirt junior midfielder Jeff Reynolds, who suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament in the Terrapins' second game last year.
The defense will be young, so the offense will need to pick the Terps up. Senior Max Ritz returns and will take on a bigger role with the loss of Max Phipps, who led the team with 50 points last season. Ritz scored 24 goals with 25 assists. Freshman Travis Reed, from Boys' Latin, is a highly regarded player who could fit into the rotation with two other freshmen, Grant Catalino and Ryan Young.
At midfield, the Terps have much more experience. Groot, a second team preseason All-American, scored 21 goals with 11 assists last season. Last year, after the Butler program folded, Maryland was able to pick up Jeremy Sieverts, who quickly established himself as one of the top dodging threats with 15 goals. The other midfield spot is up for grabs. Maryland could move Ritz to midfield and go with an all-freshman attack. Another freshman, Tony Mendes adds outstanding quickness and athletic ability.
On defense, sophomore long stick midfielder Brian Farrell could be an All-American and is certainly an imposing figure. He scooped up 31 ground balls last season and caused 13 turnovers. Senior Joe Cinosky returns on close defense after notching 26 ground balls and 19 caused turnovers.
In goal, sophomore Brian Phipps had an excellent freshman season, allowing just 7.95 goals per game with a 59 percent save percentage. He could be pushed by Jason Carter, a junior who missed last season with a broken collarbone.
Coach: Cathy Reese
2007 record: 14-2
For Maryland women’s lacrosse, last season ended in heartbreak. The Terrapins sailed through the season with a 14-2 record, but came up short in the ACC tournament, losing to Princeton in overtime, and then losing to Penn in the NCAA quarterfinals.
Despite losing six starters from last year’s team, the squad still retained most of its scorers. With last season's leading scorer Krista Pellizzi graduated, the team will look for help from returning co-captains Dana Dobbie and Kelly Kasper. Other returning players on attack include Katie Princiotto, Lauren Cohen and Casey Magor.
Star defender Katie Pumphrey also returns this season, after a breakout 2007 season. Pumphrey was fourth on the team with 34 ground balls and 21 forced turnovers. Sophomores Karissa Taylor and Katie Gallagher will step up and fill some holes in the defense, as well as freshmen Sara Cooper and Alexcia Niumatalolo.
Coach: Richie Meade
2007 Record: 11-4
With five starters returning from an 11-4 playoff team, the Navy Midshipmen have some holes to fill, but also have a strong nucleus. Navy lost two stars in attackman Ian Dingman and middie Billy Looney to graduation. Richie Meade's squad will have to rely on a talented defense and its usual hard-hitting, blue collar style.
The Mids bring back the overall leading scorer, senior Nick Mirabito, who scored 23 goals and dished out 21 assists last year. Sophomore Tim Paul, who scored 13 goals and tallied seven assists, is another quick attacker with experience.
At midfield, the Midshipmen lost first team All-American Looney and two good midfielders, William Wallace and Tommy Wallin. The top returner is sophomore Basil Daratsos, who scored 17 goals. Senior Terence Higgins scored four goals and had 13 points last year.
The strength of the Mids should be on the defensive end. Senior Jordan DiNola and senior Brendan Teague are both three-year starters. Junior Andy Tormey and sophomore long stick midfielder Jaren Woeppel, who had 35 ground balls as a junior, round out the top four long stick defenders. In goal, junior Matt Coughlin had some experience last year, backing up Collin Finnegan. Finnegan was an excellent stopper, but had trouble clearing the ball. That's one of Coughlin's strengths.
Coach: Cindy Timchal
2007 record: 18-5
The Mids have several key players returning, including senior Kaylene Klingenstein and sophomore Mary Ruttum. Before tearing her anterior cruciate ligament, Klingenstein scored 34 goals for the Mids last season, and now that she is fully healed, her play will give the Mids an extra boost at the front line. Ruttum ranked third in scoring on the team last year with 65 goals and 30 assists.
Senior Amanda Towey, sophomore Erin Rawlick and freshmen Meg Decker, Caitlin Mandrin Hill and Katrina Nietsch help round out the midfield. Last season, Rawlick led the team with 91 goals and had 36 assists, while Towey added 71 goals.
Coach: Tony Seaman
2007 Record: 9-7
Every year, there is one team that begins the season under the radar before having a breakthrough season. This year that team could be Towson. The Tigers have to replace leading scorer Bobby Griebe but return four of their five top point men. They also lost a potential star in midfielder Cryder DiPietro, who transferred to North Carolina.
Coach Tony Seaman had expected Blake Best, a transfer from Lehigh, to not only replace Griebe, but take Towson to another level. Best, who scored 22 goals and had 11 assists in 2006 for Lehigh, injured his knee in 2007 and then had a recurrence of those problems in preseason and may not play this season. If Best does not play, junior Billy McCutcheon, who played sparingly last year as a midfielder after transferring from Johns Hopkins, will take over as quarterback of the offense. Also returning is senior Jonathan Engelke, the leading goal scorer from last season.
Graduation and the transfer of DiPietro shook up the midfield. Seaman moved junior Randall Cooper, who scored 19 goals and had 12 assists, from attack to midfield this season. He also moved sophomore Eric Boyle to the first midfield unit. Senior Adam Hagelin adds great speed and quickness, while senior Brian Vetter is the key. Vetter scored 15 goals and had 10 assists last year and has All-American potential if he can stay healthy.
The defense loses Matthew Mehrer, but returns senior long stick middie Ryan O'Donnell, who had 25 ground balls and can play the pole at midfield or on close defense. Senior Fred Lee is the anchor on the back line.
In goal, senior Matt Antol saved 55 percent of shots faced last season, but will be pushed by senior Billy Sadtler, who is outstanding in the clearing game and has more size.
Coach: Missy Doherty
2007 Record: 6-9
The Tigers finished last season at fifth place in their conference, getting shut out of the CAA Tournament for the first time in four years. The Tigers are returning all but three players, and that experience and team chemistry is a main reason why the Tigers were chosen to finish fourth in the CAA preseason coaches’ poll.
Junior midfielder Hillary Fratzke returns after leading Towson last season with 48 goals and 12 assists. Fratzke is one of 10 starters returning. Senior goalkeeper Mandy Corry, who recorded 173 saves last season, returns for her final season. Junior attacker Meggie McNamara and junior midfielder Britt Woodfield fill out the rest of the lineup.
The Tigers will gain valuable playing time from sophomores Nikki Marcinik and Lauren McAfee, who showed significant potential last season. The team also adds freshmen Megan Fitzgerald and Jess Dunn, who add depth at the scoring positions.
Coach: Don Zimmerman
2007 Record: 11-6
The UMBC Retrievers shocked the lacrosse world last season by defeating Maryland, 13-9, in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. For those who knew the team, the victory wasn't quite as shocking because of the experience and talent UMBC possessed on attack. That attack accounted for 112 goals and was one of the nation's most talented and productive units.
Unfortunately, two of the attackmen, Drew Westervelt and Andy Gallagher, both graduated. The leading candidate to start in the crease is sophomore Matt Latham. Freshman Christian Daly and junior transfer Ryan Smith should make up the rest of the attack. The Retrievers’ strength is at midfield, led by senior two-time All-American Terry Kimener, who scored 18 goals last year and posted a career-high 20 assists.
With Kimener are junior Alex Hopmann, sophomore Kyle Wimer and freshman Jamie Kimbles. Hopmann is the leading returning goal scorer on the Retrievers with 20. Wimer had a solid freshman campaign, scoring 10 goals and adding 10 assists.
The defense does not return a senior starter, but does feature a healthy dose of experience. Junior Bobby Atwell was named one of the team's captains this year. Sophomore Matt Kresse adds some size in the back line. A long stick midfielder, sophomore Mike Camardo, earned a place on the America East all-rookie team last season after scooping up 34 ground balls. Sophomores Mike Bryan and J.D. Harkey return as short stick defensive middies.
In goal, junior Jeremy Blevins returns after saving 55 percent of the shots he faced last year.
Coach: Courtney Connor
2007 Record: 7-10
Last season was filled with disappointment for the Retrievers, who posted a losing record and missed the league tournament for the first time since joining the America East Conference.
A positive note for the Retrievers is the return of eight starters and 19 players overall. Senior defender Maggie Chizmar, who earned first team all-conference honors last season, and senior attack Ali Levendusky add experience and leadership to the Retrievers’ lineup. Sophomore and all-rookie midfielder Kelly Burgoyne scored eight goals last season and forced 17 turnovers. Junior midfielder Kara Dorr, who led the Retrievers in scoring with 29 goals, and junior attack Abbey Swift, who finished with 26 goals, round out the team’s offense.
Some new additions to the starters include senior team captain Meghan Keelan and sophomore Sara Marshall. Several newcomers will also see time at the attack position. Freshman Erika Braerman has a strong shot and Ashley Stodter, 2007 All-American and conference Player of the Year, is one of UMBC’s up and coming star athletes.
Issue 3.9: February 28, 2008