Women's Division I teams at a glance

March 08, 1996

Loyola

1995 record: 9-6

Coach: Diane Aikens (eighth season, 80-41)

Top returnees: Michelle Meyer, Sr., M; Erica Attonito, Jr., A; Robyn Disney, Jr., D; Kerri Johnson, Jr., M; Stephanie Roberts, Jr., M; Allison Valentino, Jr., A. Top newcomers: Maria DiTommaso, Fr., A; Kathleen O'Shea, Fr., M; Ashley Shubic, Fr., M.

Outlook: Loyola missed the NCAA tournament last season, losing six of its final nine games. However, the Greyhounds return eight starters and look primed to make their second Final Four appearance in the past three seasons. Valentino and Johnson combined for 42 goals. DiTommaso, the top recruit, has the speed and quickness to crack the starting lineup. The defense is led by returning starters Disney and Waire. Goalkeeping is suspect, as Erika Schaub and Kourtney Heavey battle for the job.

Maryland

1995 record: on)

Coach: Cindy Timchal (fifth, 69-7)

Top returnees: Kelly Amonte, Jr., A; Elizabeth Downing, Sr., M; Karen MacCrate, Sr., A; Cathy Nelson, Soph., A; Sascha Newmarch, Soph., M; Randall Goldsborough, Sr., M; Tami Riley, Sr., D; Jamie Brodsky, Sr., G.

Outlook: Expectations have never been higher at Maryland, which is attempting to become the first repeat champion in Division I women's lacrosse. Five All-Americans are back, including first-team selections Amonte and MacCrate. Everyone else returns as well except for Laura Harmon, the Terps' third-leading scorer. Maryland is nearly unstoppable on offense, which is supercharged by Amonte. MacCrate's scoring and passing ability is often overshadowed by Amonte. Nelson and Newmarch are pure shooters, combining for 43 goals. The defense is solid with Brodsky in goal, and the defenders play for the take-away to showcase their superior speed. Goldsborough is one of the fastest players in the nation. Amonte is last season's national Defensive Player of the Year.

Mount St. Mary's

1995 record: None

Coach: Jenny Held Miller (first)

Top newcomers: Randi Paige, Soph., G; Cathie Aucock, Jr., D; Chrissy Gaul, Sr., D; Jennifer Rommel, Sr., A; Molly McGrath, Fr., A; Jen Stocker, Soph., A.

Outlook: Mount St. Mary's prepares for its inaugural season in Division I after 15 years as a club program. Miller was hired too late to recruit for this season and will shuffle a makeshift lineup of good athletes and just a few experienced lacrosse players. Defense should be strong, headed by Aucock and Gaul. The key is to protect Paige, who played lacrosse for the first time last season on the club team. The attack will need to develop quickly, as Rommel will take on most of the offensive burden early.

Towson State

1995 record: 5-8

Coach: Ashley Duncan (second, 5-8)

Top returnees: Megan Drake, Jr., A; Liz Wilson, Jr., A; Gretchen Schemberg, Sr., A; Jen Smarrelli, Jr., D; Gwen Hicks, Sr., G; Sara Pokrywks, Jr., M.

Top newcomers: Amy Buck, Fr., A; Robin Quinton, Jr., A (transfer from Anne Arundel CC); Robyn Harry, Fr., M; Erin Schulze, Soph., M (transfer from Essex CC); Kathy McCafferty, Soph., D (transfer from UMBC).

Outlook: Three of the double-figure goal scorers return for Towson State, which is entering its first season in the six-team North Atlantic Conference. The Tigers are shooting to be among the league's top four teams, which will compete in the NAC tournament. Drake is a proven scorer, with 22 goals and six assists last season. She will be backed by a deep attack, and the plan is to rotate 10 players into six spots. The defense is bolstered by McCafferty and Smarrelli, whom Duncan considers one of the most improved players on the team.

UMBC

1995 record: 6-7

Coach: Kathy Zerrlaut (24th)

Top returnees: Gina Tirocchi, Jr., M; Chrissy Tirocchi, Jr., M; Jennifer Phelps, Jr., M; Kelly Anderson, Jr., M; Demi Stakias, Jr., M; Dani Fostik, Jr., G.

Top newcomers: Kris Einerson, Jr., M; Denise Schilte, Sr., M.

Outlook: This will be an emotional year for UMBC, as Zerrlaut coaches her final season. If this year is to be successful, Petrlik and Gina Tirocchi, both hampered by injuries last season, need to produce. UMBC will have to adjust without Allison Zaetz, who graduated as the school's runner-up in career points. Nearly the entire midfield has been lost and will be reworked around Chrissy Tirocchi and Phelps. Fostik returns in goal and should not be hampered by off-season leg surgery.

Pub Date: 3/08/96

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