Top Division I teams

February 24, 1991|By Mike Preston

Loyola

Coach: Dave Cottle

1990 record: 11-3

Outlook: This is the season of high expectations for the Greyhounds and they have one of their most balanced teams. The attack is one of the best in the country, with senior Chris Colbeck (40 goals, 12 assists), junior Jim Blanding (32, 28) and sophomore attackman Kevin Beach. The midfield is solid and look for redshirt freshman Gene Ubriaco to emerge as one of the area's best middies. The entire Loyola defense of a year ago -- Scott Oslislo, Tom Johnson and Sean Quinn -- returns, but the goalkeeping is suspect with newcomer Tim Dunnigan.

Syracuse

Coach: Roy Simmons Jr.

1990 record: 13-0

Outlook: Seventy-two precent of Syracuse's offensive firepower is gone, including Attackman of the Year Greg Burns and the Canadian twin midfielders, Paul and Gary Gait, as well as unheralded midfielder Rodney Dumpson. The Orangemen also lost starting goalkeeper Matt Palumb. All of this makes Syracuse seem beatable, but is it? Junior Tom Marechek (36, 26), another Canadian, is back and perhaps the finest attackman in the country. Sophomore Matt Riter will also start at attack, and he scored five goals against Loyola in the 1990 championship game. The Gaits and Dumpson may have been the finest midfield in the sport's history, leaving the Orangemen with third-team holdovers Ricky Cramer and Andy Boland. Syracuse's defense was always overshadowed by its high-scoring offense, but this new group may get top billing. Senior Pat McCabe, the Defenseman of the Year last season, is back, along with Shawn Magowan, an honorable-mention All-American. John Winship and Todd Stratton, who saw plenty of action last season, return, giving Syracuse one of its best defensive groups in years. Lee Hine, Jerry DeLorenzo and Chris Surran will battle for the goalkeeping position, but none possesses an outlet pass like Palumb's, that kicked Syracuse's transition game into gear.

Virginia

Coach: Jim "Ace" Adams

1990 record: 9-5

Outlook: This team probably has the best individual talent in the country, but the Cavaliers always seem to underachieve. They have qualified for the Division I playoffs 11 of the past 13 years, but only two of the past four. Two starters return on attack -- sophomore Kevin Pehlke (34, 22), the ACC Rookie of the Year, and junior Perry Frazer (13, 24). At midfield, graduate student Andy Kraus (51, 21 career) returns from a severe knee injury that caused him to miss the 1990 season. The Cavaliers have an abundance of veteran talent on defense, led by seniors Mike Schattner and Greg Leder. Senior Tom Groeninger (156 saves, 105 goals allowed) is solid in goal.

Johns Hopkins

Coach: Tony Seaman

1990 record: 6-5

Outlook: The Blue Jays, under first-year coach Seaman, return 17 lettermen who received significant playing time last season. On defense, Hopkins must replace four-time All-America goalie Quint Kessenich. Juniors Scott Giardina and Ian Hobbs are expected to contend for the starting job. Seniors Bill Dwan and Brian Voelker return to lead the defense. Leading the way at midfield is senior Seth Tierney (9, 8). The Blue Jays will also look to juniors Adam Wright (19, 1) and Brian Lukacz (11, 2) for offensive strength. The Blue Jays attack returns the leading scorers from a year ago, senior Matt Panetta (20, 16) and junior Jeff Wills (19, 12).

Towson

Coach: Carl Runk

1990 record: 11-2

Outlook: The Tigers were not invited to the Division I playoffs last season, giving them plenty of motivation for this year. This is one of the best Towson teams in recent years, with eight returning starters and the top nine scorers back. Any talk about Towson has to start with its attack. Senior Glenn Smith (31, 12), the Tigers' all-time leading scorer, teams with Michael DeSimone (31, 10). The player that makes the attack go, though, is unheralded junior John Blatchley, the prime feeder with 33 assists and 17 goals. Towson's midfield should be one of its best, with seniors Rob Shek, David Shoul and junior Lindsay Dixon. Shek was a second-team All-American with 30 goals. But the unit that makes Towson a title contender is its defense, with two starters from a year ago, junior Carl Beernink and Rich Regan. Runk also signed defenders Kyle Kernan, from Nassau Community College, and Steve Kisslinger, an honorable mention All-American and transfer from Adelphi.

North Carolina

Coach: Dave Klarman

1990 record: 12-4

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