Lacrosse Preview

February 23, 1996|By Jamison Hensley

Select Division I teams at a glance

Syracuse

1995 record: 13-2 (national champion)

Coach: Roy Simmons Jr. (26th year)

Key losses: Roy Colsey, M; Mark Fietta, M; Paul Sullivan, M; Nick Licamelli, M; Alex Rosier, G; Ric Beardsley, D; Hans Schmid, D; Chad Smith, D.

Top returnees: Casey Powell, Soph., A; Rob Kavovit, Jr., A; Jim Morrissey, Sr., A; Doug Jackson, Jr., A/M; Mike Smiley, Sr., D; Rorke Denver, Sr., D; Kristian Photopoulos, Sr., D; Toby Price, Jr., M; Paul Carcaterra, Jr., M.

Top newcomers: Matt Cutia, Fr., A/M; Andy Rodriguez, Jr., M (transfer from Penn).

Outlook: The Orangemen lost their goalkeeper, all three starting defensemen and the game's top midfielder (Colsey), and still are favored to become the first back-to-back national champions in the 1990s. Only at Syracuse. Only with a quick-striking attack led by Powell and Kavovit. With the loss of quality midfielders, Simmons has experimented with rotating Powell and Jackson at midfield with exciting results. The key is for the offense to carry Syracuse until the defense of Smiley, Denver and Photopoulos mesh as a unit. Sophomores Jason Gebhart and Eric Fleming will battle for the starting goalkeeper's job, with Gebhart holding a slight edge.

Maryland

1995 record: 12-4 (national runner-up)

Coach: Dick Edell (14th)

Key losses: Dan Radebaugh, D; Rob Chomo, A; Kip Fulks, M; Greg Nelin, M; Jon Brothers, M.

Top returnees: Brian Dougherty, Sr., G; Andrew Whipple, Soph., A; Matt Hahn, Soph., A; Paal Elfstrum, Sr., D; Dave LaChapelle, Jr., D; Todd Evans, Jr., A; Pete Hilgartner, Jr., A; Mike Bonanni, Soph., D; Mike Crawford, Sr., A.

Top newcomers: Scott Hochstadt, Fr., A; Brian Zeller, Fr., M; John Hanna, Jr., M (transfer from Navy).

Outlook: The Terrapins look to prove that last year's title run was no fluke with their traditionally strong defense and a young but experienced group of attackmen. Daugherty, who almost single-handedly created the NCAA tournament's highlight film, returns along with close defensemen LaChapelle and Elfstrum. The loss of Radebaugh as a physical intimidator will hurt, but Maryland's defense is known for overachieving and working hard. The attack of sophomores Hahn and Whipple and junior Hilgartner is extremely athletic and has high goal potential. Headed by sharp-shooting Todd Evans, the midfield is young and will rely on newcomers Zeller and Hanna to provide depth.

Virginia

1995 record: 12-3 (NCAA semifinalist)

Coach: Dom Starsia (fourth)

Key losses: Tony Nugent, M; Sean Miller, A; Joe Wilson, D; Greg Traynor, M; David Jones, M; Andrew Dausch, M.

Top returnees: Michael Watson, Jr., A; Doug Knight, Jr., A; Tim Whiteley, Sr., A; Ben Johnson, Jr., M; Brad Hoag, Jr., M; Tommy Smith, Jr., D; Karl Zeller, Soph., D; Court Durling, Sr., G; Chris Sanderson, Soph., G.

Top newcomers: Tucker Radebaugh, Fr., M; Jay Davenport, Fr., D; David Bruce, Fr., A.

Outlook: The Cavaliers are aiming for a third straight Final Four appearance and have the talent to capture their first NCAA title in 24 years. The attack, orchestrated by Whiteley, has set school scoring records the past two seasons. Opponents will attempt to shut off the attackmen and make Virginia's inexperienced midfielders beat them. The only certain aspect of Virginia's close defense is the return of Smith and Zeller. The third defenseman's slot probably will be spread among three players, and the goalkeeper's job still is being contested between Durling and Sanderson.

Johns Hopkins

1995 record: 13-1 (NCAA semifinalist)

Coach: Tony Seaman (sixth)

Key losses: Terry Riordan, A; Brian Piccola, A; Peter Jacobs, M; Casey Gordon, M.

Top returnees: Dave Marr, Sr., A; Milford Marchant, Sr., M; Billy Evans, Jr., M; Andrew Godfrey, Soph., M; Brian Kuczma, Jr., D; Aaron Van Horn, Jr., D; Todd Kearney, Jr., D; Jonathan Marcus, Sr., G.

Top newcomers: Dan Denihan, Fr., A; John Gagliardi, Jr., D (transfer from Virginia); Matt O'Kelley, Fr., M; Rob Doerr, Fr., D.

Outlook: The high-scoring offense has been stalled with the loss of Riordan, Piccola and Jacobs. Also, Marr is recovering from back surgery in November; Marchant, the faceoff specialist and top midfielder, is expected to miss the first three games with a severely sprained ankle; and Werner Krueger, who backs up at faceoff, is out for the opener against Princeton with hamstring and ankle injuries. Seaman said Hopkins will be in excellent shape if it can survive through its March games against Princeton, Syracuse, Virginia and North Carolina. Scoring could be a problem, and will be led by Marr and prize recruit Denihan. The defense is solid and deep with the addition of Gagliardi, who also scored four goals in two February scrimmages.

Princeton

1995 record: 11-4

Coach: Bill Tierney (ninth)

Key losses: Scott Conklin, A; Todd Higgins, D; Josh Miller, D; Nick Lane, D.

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