Division I

Women's Lacrosse Preview

March 01, 2001|By Katherine Dunn

Division I

Johns Hopkins

2000 record: 12-6

Coach: Janine Tucker (eighth season, 90-26)

Conference: Independent

Top returning point-getter: Jamie Larrimore (59 goals, 10 assists).

Also back: Erin Wellner, junior A; Meghan Burnett, sophomore A; Erinn Dennis, junior M; Christy Peterson, sophomore M; Shanu Kohli, junior D; Candice Smith, senior D; Caroline Miller, junior D; Jen McDonald, sophomore G.

Key additions: Marlena Wittelsberger, freshman A (Dulaney); Heidi Pearce, freshman M.

Sun's take: The Blue Jays have been slowly but steadily climbing in Division I since they moved up in 1999. Last year, they finished the season ranked No. 16 and, with eight returning starters, are looking to build on that despite a tougher schedule. "Having some of the top teams in the country on your schedule on a consistent basis only helps you as a developing Division I team," said Tucker. "This is the type of schedule that can get us into the tournament if we perform well." The Blue Jays have a big hole to fill on attack after graduating third-team All-American Danielle Maschuci (59, 13). However, three of the top five scorers return in Larrimore (59, 10), Wellner (36, 29) and Dennis (25, 5). Kohli, Smith and Miller anchor a veteran defense, with McDonald taking over in the goal after the graduation of Sara Love.

Loyola

2000 record: 16-5 (NCAA semifinalist)

Coach: Diane Geppi-Aikens (13th season, 150-60)

Conference: Colonial Athletic

Top returning point-getter: Stacy Morlang, junior A (65, 17).

Also back: Tricia Dabrowski, junior G; Jen Testrake, senior A; Megan Santacroce, senior A; Lauren Peck, sophomore A; Krissy Warnock, junior A; Danielle Battersby, senior A; Christy McNew, sophomore A; Suzanne Eyler, junior M; Jen Albright, sophomore M; Susan Tyrrell, sophomore M; Kristin Hagert, senior D; Dana Cappello, senior D; Marianne Gioffre, junior D; Kate Hardesty, sophomore D.

Key additions: Jen Schuerholz, freshman, A (Fallston); Jackie Barrone, freshman M; Kristi Korrow, freshman M (Mercy).

Sun's take: Coming off a season in which they reached the Final Four and tied a school record for wins in a season, the Greyhounds have the talent base and the experience to pick up right where they left off. Five of their top seven scorers return - second-team All-American Morlang, Warnock (36, 14), Testrake (30, 7), Peck (23, 8) and Battersby (12, 11) - while Santacroce and Eyler return from knee injuries. At the other end of the field, the Greyhounds graduated just one player and return a unit that allowed just 7.1 goals per game a year ago. First-team All-American Dabrowski allowed just 6.97 goals per game and had a .621 save percentage. "We showed a lot of courage last season," said Geppi-Aikens, "and that allowed us to win some close ball games that made our season. We can't expect to be as successful if we don't do that again this year."

Maryland

2000 record: 21-1 (national champion)

Coach: Cindy Timchal (11th season, 169-12)

Conference: Atlantic Coast

Top returning point-getter: Jen Adams, senior M (81, 55).

Also back: Allison Comito, senior A; Quinn Carney, senior M; Courtney Hobbs, junior A; Tori Wellington, senior D; Meg Carrington, senior D; Meredith Egan, junior A; Tara Foran, senior D; Sonia Judd, sophomore A; Megan Kelly, sophomore D; Courtney Martinez, senior M/D; Meg McNamara, senior A; Kerri Mulligan, senior D; Virginia Solomon, sophomore G; Alexis Venechanos, sophomore, G.

Key additions: Molly Lambert, freshman M; Kelly Coppedge, freshman M (St. Mary's); Cara Gorman, freshman G. Sun's take: The Terrapins have won six straight national collegiate titles and they know how to reload, so this season should be business as usual. There are holes to fill, including a gaping one in the goal, where four-year stalwart Alex Kahoe earned All-America honors three times. The graduation of All-America defender Tonia Porras and All-America midfielders Christie Jenkins and Kristin Sommar also leave gaps, but the Terps have players to step in. They also return the heart of an unparalleled attack that scored a school-record 351 goals. In addition to Adams, the two-time national Player of the Year, the Terps return impressive numbers in Comito (65, 27), Carney (38, 43) and Hobbs (32, 6). As usual, Maryland will be tested early. Two ACC foes come to Ludwig Field this weekend - Duke tomorrow night and North Carolina Sunday afternoon. "Our goals never change," said Timchal, who has guided the Terps to seven national titles and nine title-game appearances. "We don't necessarily aim to be undefeated every year, but we do want to get better with every game. I think if we do that with the talent we have, we can challenge for the national title every year."

Mount St. Mary's

2000 record: 8-8

Coach: Kendra King (first season)

Conference: Northeast

Top returning point-getter: Ashley Rusk, senior A (25, 12).

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