Men's Lacrosse Preview

February 25, 2000

Division I

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

Virginia

1999 record: 13-3 (national champion)

Coach: Dom Starsia (79-27, eighth season)

Key losses: Tucker Radebaugh, A; Michael Leahy, M; Doug Davies, D.

Attackmen: Conor Gill, So.; Drew McKnight, Sr.; Ian Shure, So.

First midfield: Jay Jalbert, Sr.; Hanley Holcomb, Jr.; Aaron Vercollone, Jr.

Second midfield: Chris Rotelli, Fr.; A.J. Shannon, Fr.; Will Quayle, Jr.

Defensive midfield: x-Peter Rogosa, Sr.; Brenndan Mohler, So.; Nick Russo, So.

Close defense: Ryan Curtis, Sr.; Mark Koontz, So.; Court Weisleder, Sr.

Goalkeeper: Derek Kenney, So.

Faceoff: Jason Hard, Sr.; David Jenkins, Jr.

Outlook: A year after finally winning a national title under Starsia, the Cavaliers return to defend their crown with a wealth of talent and experience. Gill and McKnight should compensate for the loss of Radebaugh on offense, while Jalbert and Curtis give Virginia more All-America talent across the field. Kenney could emerge as one of the premier goalies in the nation. Deep, talented and rich in tradition, this is the team to beat.

X-factor: It took Virginia four straight trips to the final four before the Cavaliers finally finished on top. Now that they are the prohibitive favorites to repeat, they must contend with enormous expectations from Day One. Opponents will constantly gear up for their best efforts against them. They are young at starting midfield, but with so much depth in the middle it will not be a major hindrance.

Syracuse

1999 record: 12-5 (NCAA runner-up).

Coach: John Desko (12-5, second).

Key losses: Matt Cutia, A; Chris Cordisco, M; Jeff Cordisco, M; Josh Ruhle, D.

Attackmen: Ryan Powell, Sr.; Mike Springer, So.; Liam Banks, So.

First midfield: Matt Caione, Sr.; Tim Byrnes, Sr.; Josh Coffman, So.

Second midfield: Stu Smith, Sr.; Jason Januszkiewicz, Jr.; Tom Hardy, So.

Defensive midfield: x-Joe Ceglia, Sr.; Sam Bassett, Sr.; Dan Stessen, Jr.

Close defense: Marshall Abrams, Sr.; Billy St. George, So.; John Glatzel, Jr.

Goalkeeper: Rob Mulligan, Jr.

Faceoff: Chris Cercy, Jr.

Outlook: The Orangemen made a memorable run at Virginia in the second half of last year's 12-10 loss in the championship game, and look poised to make a similar run at the Cavaliers this spring. Eight of Syracuse's top 10 scorers are back, along with a close defense that should be one of the nation's stingier units. If Mulligan can carry them when needed, the Orangemen will be playing in the final round in College Park come Memorial Day.

X-factor: Powell is one of the premier talents in the country, and he will be among the top scorers by season's end. But with Cutia gone, another big-time scoring threat must emerge among a group that includes Caione, Springer, Banks and Byrnes. Syracuse needs that balance to go far in May.

Johns Hopkins

1999 record: 11-3 (NCAA semifinalist).

Coach: John Haus (11-3, second).

Key losses: Dylan Schlott, A; Matt O'Kelly, M; Rob Doerr, D.

Attackmen: Dan Denihan, Sr.; Ryan Quinn, Jr.; Chris Pforr, Jr.

First midfield: A.J. Haugen, Sr., Conor Denihan, Jr.; Justin Shaberly, Sr.

Second midfield: Rob Fratarolla, Jr.; Jamie Hubbard, So.; Dave Rabuano, Sr.

Defensive midfield: x-Shawn Nadelen, Jr.; Donald Scott, Fr.; Rich Schwester, Sr.

Close defense: Brandon Testa, Jr.; Brendon Shook, Jr.; P.J. DiConza, So.

Goalkeeper: Brian Carcaterra, Jr.

Faceoff: Wedin or C. Denihan.

Outlook: Five returning All-Americans, led by Haugen, Dan Denihan and Carcaterra, return and will try to lead Hopkins to the championship game for the first time since 1989. The Jays' outstanding defense took some major graduation hits, although Carcaterra, maybe the nation's best goalie, should hold the unit together just fine in the early going.

X-factor: The Jays have never shied away from competition, and their always-tough schedule includes a brutal first month, including consecutive road dates with Hofstra, Syracuse and Virginia.

Princeton

1999 record: 9-4 (NCAA quarterfinalist).

Coach: Bill Tierney (134-44, 13th).

Key losses: Lorne Smith, A; Kurt Lunkenheimer, D; John Harrington, D.

Attackmen: Matt Striebel, Jr.; B.J. Prager, So.; Sean Hartofilis, Fr. and Josh White, Fr.

First midfield: Josh Sims, Sr.; Rob Torti, Sr.; Owen Daly, Fr.

Second midfield: Ryan O'Shaughnessy, Sr.; Chris Harrington, Jr.; Matt Bailer, Jr.

Defensive midfield: x-Ryan Mollett, Jr.; Chris Berrier, Sr.; Kyle Baugher, So., and Chris Berrier, Sr.

Close defense: Scott Farrell, So.; Damien Davis, Fr.; Brian Lieberman, Fr.

Goalkeeper: Trevor Tierney, Jr.

Faceoff: Bailer.

Outlook: This is one of Tierney's younger squads, which should not be mistaken as a sign of rebuilding. No coach recruits better or gets more results out of "untested talent." The Tigers could have the nation's deepest midfield, with Sims leading the way as one of the game's top performers. Striebel and Prager should replace the 41 points lost when Smith graduated.

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