Also back: Colleen Curran, junior M/A; Lara Steinbraker, junior M; Gwyneth Fallis, senior M, Lacey Morley, senior M; Kelly Moran, sophomore M/A; Amy Harris, junior M/A; Christine Fee, senior D; Michelle Coates, junior M/D; Kelly Bennett, senior D; Kathryn Harrington, junior G.
Key additions: Erin Gargan, freshman A (Mt. de Sales); Addie Lewis, freshman M/A (St. Mary's); Aileen Xenakis (Notre Dame Prep).
Sun's take: After three straight third-place finishes in the Northeast Conference tournament, the Mountaineers would like to give UMBC a run for the title, especially with an automatic bid to the NCAA tournament on the line. The Mountaineers' defense returns almost intact, anchored by Fee, Coates and Bennett, with Harrington taking over in the goal full time. The Mountaineers, however, must replace their top two scorers, although Rusk, Morley (13, 13), Steinbraker (16, 4) and Moran (12, 7) likely will boost their totals. King, 24, comes to the Mount from her first head coaching job at Woodbridge High in Virginia, where she completed a 10-2 season. A four-year player at Virginia Tech, King is working toward her master's degree in education.
2000 record: 6-9
Coach: Linda Ohrin (third season, 18-30)
Conference: America East
Top returning point-getter: Kat Brady, junior A (26, 12).
Also back: Portia Gotwalt, senior A; Kristyn Krastel, sophomore A; Cheryl Back, junior A; Melissa Garner, sophomore M; Emily Helms, junior M; Jamie Neave, senior D; Merri Adamicki, senior D; Krista Bowerman, junior D.
Key additions: Abby Giancola, freshman A; Caitlin Marshall, freshman M (Centennial); Stephanie Howell, freshman M (Glenelg); Tracey Drown, freshman M; Amy Middleton, freshman M/D.
Sun's take: The young Tigers hope to carry momentum over from a strong finish last season in which they won three of their last four games, including a 9-8 upset of nationally-ranked Johns Hopkins. With five starters lost to graduation and only three seniors on the roster, the Tigers will rely heavily on underclassman. They carry nine freshmen on their 26-player roster. "We have eight freshmen who will contribute on a regular basis," said Ohrin. "This fall, we had three or four freshmen playing at one time. With our youth, along with the experience of our seniors and upperclassmen, I feel this will be a very well-rounded team." The Tigers have several top scorers returning, including Brady, Krastel (19, 9), Gotwalt (16, 9) and Back (10-7) as well as a veteran defense. The key loss is goalie Jacquie Sica, a four-year starter. Three players are vying for her position.
2000 record: 10-7
Coach: Monica Yeakel (fifth season, 36-31)
Top returning point-getters: Jamie Gerhart (33, 13), Ashley Staines (43, 3)
Also back: Julie Dorney, senior M; Renee Tirocchi, senior A; Amanda Eldridge, senior A; Shannon Gallup, senior A; Kim Brown, senior M; Beth Milani, junior M; Amy Jagoda, senior G; Katie Pickett, senior D; Michelle Clancy, senior D; Molly Buzdygon, senior D.
Key additions: Lauren Hess, freshman M (C. Milton Wright); Jen Dragoni, freshman A.
Sun's take: If the Retrievers can win a fourth straight conference crown, the title would lift them into a new stratosphere - the NCAA tournament. The winner of the Northeast Conference tournament receives an automatic bid to the NCAA's for the first time this season. With 11 starters returning, the Retrievers should win the conference, but Yeakel doesn't want them to think too far ahead. "I won't allow the team to talk about the NEC's or the NCAA's until we get there. We need to focus on the present." Although the Retrievers have won 21 straight NEC games, Yeakel is looking for more consistency and better performances against stiffer competition. The Retrievers return most of their scoring in Gerhart, Staines, Dorney (27, 10) and Tirocchi (24, 7). They boast depth across the field and have a veteran keeper in Jagoda, who has started every game over the last three years and had a .503 save percentage last season.