Lacrosse Preview

February 25, 1999|By Jamison Hensley

Division I

The Sun's Jamison Hensley analyzes his picks for the 12-team NCAA tournament field as well as other state and national contenders (x-long-stick midfielder):

Johns Hopkins

1998 record: 10-4 (NCAA quarterfinalist).

Coach: John Haus (first season).

Key losses: Dudley Dixon, A; Andrew Godfrey, M.

Attackmen: Dan Denihan, Jr.; Dylan Schlott, Sr.; Ryan Quinn, So.

First midfield: A. J. Haugen, Jr.; Matt O'Kelly, Sr.; Rob Frattarola, So.

Second midfield: Conor Denihan, So.; Eric Wedin, So.; Dave Rabuano, Jr.

Defensive midfield: x-Brendan Shook, So; Paul LeSueur, Sr.; Shawn Nadelen, So.

Close defense: Rob Doerr, Sr.; John Paleologos, Sr.; Brandon Testa, So.

Goalkeeper: Brian Carcaterra, Jr.

Faceoff: Wedin or Denihan.

Outlook: The Jays, who haven't been to an NCAA tournament final in 10 years, have the most all-around talent in the nation but will lean on its top-flight defense. Haus, who won the Division III national title last year at Washington College, begins his first Division I head coaching job with the only school that returns three first-team All-Americans this season. Haugen is a dazzling playmaker, while Carcaterra and Doerr are the best at their positions.

X-factor: Dan Denihan. The attackman who withdrew from school last spring returns when Hopkins needs him the most. With only one starting attackman back and Haus' half-field strategies being installed, Denihan must glue the offense together with his world-class skills.

Duke

1998 record: 11-4 (NCAA quarterfinalist).

Coach: Mike Pressler (74-41, ninth).

Key losses: John Fay, A; Craig Seyffer, G.

Attackmen: Greg Patchak, So.; Jared Frood, Jr.; T.J. Durnan, Jr.; Chris Kakel, Jr.

First midfield: Scott Diggs, Sr.; Adam Dretler, Sr.; John O'Donnell, Sr.

Second midfield: Nick Hartofolis, Jr.; Brandon Keaney, Sr.; Craig Schubert, Jr. or Hunter Henry, So.

Defensive midfield: x-Tim Knowles, Sr.; Marc Amen, Jr.; Keat Crown, Jr.

Close defense: Steve Card, Jr.; Dan Umbel, Sr.; Palin Archer, Sr.

Goalkeeper: Matt Breslin, So.

Faceoff: Scott Bross, So.; or Diggs.

Outlook: Although the Blue Devils have only been to one Final Four, they already have the country quaking with their size and athleticism. Duke replaces its top-scoring attackman and starting goalkeeper with sophomores who may be more talented than their predecessors. The attack can finish, the midfielders can shoot and the defense can flatten opponents. Experience and balance can go a long way in the tournament.

X-factor: Patchak. The Boys' Latin grad assumes Fay's role in the offensive scheme. He won't have to match the numbers, but the Devils will need his production in clutch situations.

Syracuse

1998 record: 11-3 (NCAA semifinalist).

Coach: John Desko (first).

Key losses: Casey Powell, A; Ira Vanterpool, M; Jason Gebhardt, G.

Attackmen: Ryan Powell, Jr.; Matt Cutia, Sr.; Devin Darcangelo, Jr.

First midfield: Josh Coffman, Fr.; Brian Solliday, So.; Matt Caione, Jr.

Second midfield: Tim Byrnes, Jr.; Chris Cordisco, Sr.; Jeff Cordisco, Sr.

Defensive midfield: x-Joe Ceglia, Jr.; Matt Alexander, Sr.; Jeff Lowe, Jr. or Matt Sofarelli, Jr.

Close defense: Marshall Abrams, Jr.; Josh Ruhle, Sr.; Devin Ockerman, Sr.

Goalkeeper: Rob Mulligan, So.

Faceoff: Jason Deniker, Sr.; Chris Cercy, So.

Outlook: Desko, a Syracuse assistant for the past 19 years, will carry on the tradition of shoot now and ask questions later. After losing one of their all-time greats in Casey Powell, the Orangemen will spread out the scoring among several proven scorers as well as the nation's most talented recruiting class. The defense took a hit when starter John Glatzel left school.

X-factor: The No. 22 legacy. From Gary Gait to Charlie Lockwood to Casey Powell, the player who wore No. 22 symbolized the premier showstopper. Ryan Powell now dons this jersey and must act accordingly if the 'Cuse wants the gold.

Loyola

1998 record: 13-2 (NCAA semifinalist).

Coach: Dave Cottle (148-62, 17th).

Key losses: Jamie Hanford, D; Mike Day, D; Jourdan Kurtz, LSM; Chris Georgalas, A.

Attackmen: Tim O'Shea, Sr.; Gewas Schindler, Sr.; Tim Goettelman, Jr.; Kyle Campbell, Fr. and Gunnar Goettelman, Fr.

First midfield: Mark Frye, Sr.; Todd Vizcarrondo, Sr.; Mike Battista, Jr.

Second midfield: Bobby Horsey, So.; Peter Haas, Jr.; David Mascarella, So.; or Campbell.

Defensive midfield: x-Mike Stromberg, Fr.; Kevin Quinn, Sr.; D.J. Knott, Jr.

Close defense: Tim O'Hara, Sr.; David Metz, So.; Joe Rodrigues, Jr. or Billy Armstrong, So.

Goalkeeper: Jim Brown, Sr.

Faceoff: Joe Maier, Jr.

Outlook: Loyola has never had such a combination of depth, veteran leadership and complementary play on offense. In any given game, more than a handful of 'Hounds can burn you. Loyola will score in bunches, and its defense and faceoff situation might not be in such dire straits as once thought.

X-factor: Brown. A four-year starter in goal has the power to eradicate the mistakes of an unproven defense. Displaying flashes of brilliance last season, Brown could be the deciding factor for a championship season.

Princeton

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