The Teams

Women's Lacrosse Preview

February 28, 2002

DIVISION I

Johns Hopkins

2001 record: 11-6

Coach: Janine Tucker (ninth season, 101-32)

Conference: American Lacrosse Conference

Top returning point-getter: Erin Wellner, senior A (42 goals, 21 assists)

Also back: Jamie Larrimore, senior A; Heidi Pearce, sophomore M; Jen McDonald, junior G; Kate Gilland, sophomore D; Christy Peterson, senior, D; Caroline Miller, senior D.

Key additions: Freshmen Leah Onda (Liberty), A; Lacey Hentz (North Carroll), D; Anne Crisafulli, M.

Sun's take: Despite being laden with freshmen and sophomores, the Blue Jays aim to crack the Top 10 and get to the NCAA Division I tournament for the first time. They have helped to form the new ALC, which includes Penn State, Vanderbilt, Ohio University, Ohio State, Northwestern and Davidson. However, the conference winner will not receive an automatic bid to this season's tournament, so the Blue Jays will have to win an at-large spot in the 16-team field. Wellner, third-team All-American Larrimore (44, 17) and Pearce (41, 5) are proven scorers to go with a veteran defense, including goalie McDonald (9.28 goals-against average, 52.4 save percentage). Faster than ever, the Jays will be looking to boost the tempo with aggressive defense and more quick, transition strikes. "This is our fourth year of recruiting at the Division I level, so every kid on our team is a Division I player," Tucker said. "This is our year to make things happen."

Loyola

2001 record: 15-5 (NCAA semifinalist)

Coach: Diane Geppi-Aikens (14th season, 165-65)

Conference: Colonial Athletic Association

Top returning point-getter: Stacey Morlang, junior A (62, 22)

Also back: Tricia Dabrowski, senior G; Suzanne Eyler, senior M; Marianne Gioffre, senior D; Krissy Warnock, senior A; Christy McNew, junior A; Jen Albright, junior M; Susan Tyrrell, junior M; Marianne Gioffre, junior D; Kate Hardesty, junior D, Sara Shoaf, junior D.

Key additions: Sophomores Rachel Shuck, A; Kourtney Porcella, M; freshmen Talia Schacklock, M; Stephanie Walker, M; Katie Guarino, M.

Sun's take: The Greyhounds have just one thing on their minds after consecutive trips to the Final Four -- winning the national championship. Six times since 1990, the Greyhounds have been to the national semifinals, making one appearance (1997) in the title game. Led by first-team All-American Morlang, the veteran Greyhounds seem capable of winning it all. With their depth last season, those replacing five graduated starters have a good foundation of playing time. The attack returns four players with 37 or more points -- Morlang, Warnock (23, 15) and second-team All-American Eyler (28, 9). The Greyhounds lost two starting defenders but they have an ace in the hole in second-team All-America goalie Dabrowski (6.79 goals-against, 55.7 save percentage). "We're in better shape than it might look on paper, because we've got some middies who can go both attack and defense, and that gives us options," said Geppi-Aikens, who plans to be back on the field soon, after having surgery in January to remove a recurring brain tumor.

Maryland

2001 record: 23-0 (national champion)

Coach: Cindy Timchal (12th season, 192-12)

Conference: Atlantic Coast Conference

Top returning point-getter: Courtney Hobbs, senior A (47, 20)

Also back: Sonia Judd, junior A; Kelly Coppedge, sophomore M; Meredith Egan, senior A; Alexis Venechanos, junior, G; Molly Lambert, sophomore M; Meg Mallon, sophomore D; Megan Kelly, senior D; Katie Robinson, senior A.

Key additions: Freshmen Acacia Walker (Annapolis), M; Kristie Leggio, A; Greta Sommers, D.

Sun's take: Maryland's dynasty just seems to roll on and on, but if the Terrapins are to stay on top for an eighth straight season, new stars have to emerge. Eight of last season's starters graduated, including three-time national Player of the Year Jen Adams (88, 60). In losing Adams, Allison Comito and Quinn Carney, the Terps lost 183 goals -- 54 percent of the team total. The Terps, however, try not to dwell upon the past. "You can't replace the experience and other intangibles that last year's group of seniors brought to the table," said Timchal. "What you can do is go out and create your own team in 2002, become your own group with your own identity." The mostly likely breakout candidate is Hobbs, whose consistent contributions were dwarfed by last season's wave of senior All-Americans. The Terps have the most work to do on defense, where all but one starter graduated; a fairly untested unit will be in front of veteran Venechanos.

Mount St. Mary's

2001 record: 5-13

Coach: Courtney Martinez-Connor (first season)

Conference: Northeast Conference

Top returning point-getter: Erin Gargan, sophomore M/A (22, 11)

Also back: Colleen Curran, senior M; Lara Steinbraker, senior M; Kelly Moran, junior M/A; Amy Harris, senior M; Michelle Coates, senior M/D; Addie Lewis, sophomore A; Kim Keene, sophomore M/D.

Key additions: Sophomore Naomi Campano, G; freshmen Nicole DiAngelo (St. Mary's), M; Erin LaMotte (North Carroll), M; Kelly Nangle (Glen Burnie), M.

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