Threes to watch LACROSSE PREVIEW

February 21, 1997|By Jamison Hensley

Top scorers

1. Michael Watson, attackman, Virginia: Once healthy, considered most dangerous player on the field.

2. Casey Powell, midfielder, Syracuse: Unstoppable in the open field.

3. Jesse Hubbard, attackman, Princeton: Headlines efficient Tigers attack.

Top passers

1. Jon Hess, attackman, Princeton: Intelligent quarterback of Tigers junior scoring machine.

2. Casey Powell, midfielder, Syracuse: Unquestionably, most complete player in the game.

3. Chris Turner, attackman, UMBC: Overlooked Retrievers feeder can play with the best.

Top defensemen

1. Brian Kuczma, Johns Hopkins: Best man-to-man defender and stronghold of seasoned Blue Jays defense.

2. Tyler Hardy, Duke: Attempting to repeat as Defenseman of the Year.

3. Becket Wolf, Princeton: This converted attackman is far from a project.

Top goalkeepers

1. Greg Cattrano, Brown: Quick reflexes and daring clears could carry the Bears.

2. Alex Cade, Notre Dame: Best of the Midwest is not a secret anymore.

3. Jason Gebhardt, Syracuse: Allowed an average of nine goals over last 10 games.

Top faceoff specialists

1. Werner Krueger, Johns Hopkins: Gritty, emotional leader who hustles for every loose ball.

2. Jamie Hanford, Loyola: Uses defenseman's stick to attack faceoffs.

3. James Mitchell, Princeton: Statistics fail to show clutch play.

Top freshmen

1. A. J. Haugen, midfielder, Johns Hopkins: Blue Jays grab top recruit in the country for second straight year.

2. Josh Sims, midfielder, Princeton: Top talent out of Maryland will vie for spot in crowded Tigers midfield.

3. Drew McKnight, attackman, Virginia: Not a spectator alongside Watson and Doug Knight.

Most underrated

1. Dave LaChapelle, defenseman, Maryland: Top defender for one of the nation's best defenses, but didn't make first-team all-conference.

2. Matt Clune, attackman, Towson State: Skills and versatility underappreciated nationally.

3. Jason Gebhardt, goalkeeper, Syracuse: Overshadowed by crushing Orange offense.

Best offenses

1. Virginia: Two-thirds of possibly the top attack of the '90s return.

2. Princeton: Junior attackmen Hubbard, Hess and Chris Massey have played like seniors for two years.

3. Syracuse: Name a year the Orangemen haven't had one of the top three offenses.

Best defenses

1. Johns Hopkins: The best close defensemen under Seaman at Homewood.

2. Princeton: Has allowed double figures in only nine games over four seasons (60 games).

3. Maryland: A bullying defense and a new left-handed goalkeeper look to put the Terps back into the Final Four.

Pub Date: 2/21/97

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