State Outlook

Division I

Poll

Women's College Lacrosse Preview

February 25, 2003|By Katherine Dunn

The Intercollegiate Women's Lacrosse Coaches Association Top 20, with last year's record in parentheses.

1. Princeton (19-1)

2002 final ranking: No. 1.

Sun's take: Look for a smooth transition for the defending national champ despite graduating three All-Americans. Few teams have as solid a returning corps that includes a pair of All-Americans, Rachael Becker and Theresa Sherry, and two sophomores fresh off breakout seasons, attack Lindsay Biles and goalie Sarah Kolodner.

2. Duke (10-8)

2002 final ranking: No. 9.

Sun's take: A top-notch recruiting class as well as the return of All-America midfielder Kate Kaiser after a season lost to a torn ACL set the Blue Devils within striking distance of their first national title. Lauren Gallagher and Meg Miller also lend experience.

3. Virginia (15-4)

2002 final ranking: No. 4.

Sun's take: The Cavaliers missed the final four by one overtime goal, and they have a well-rounded veteran squad to lead them back, with one of the best in the nation, All-America midfielder Lauren Aumiller (71 goals, 35 assists).

4. Georgetown (17-2)

2002 final ranking: No. 2.

Sun's take: The two-time NCAA runner-up should again rule the Big East with 18 returning players. All-Americans Wick Stanwick (50, 20) and Gloria Lozano (31, 12) provide the firepower.

5. Loyola (15-4)

2002 final ranking: No. 5.

Sun's take: The Greyhounds return a balanced team that would like to make up for last season's early exit in the NCAA quarterfinals.

6. Maryland (11-10)

2002 final ranking: No. 8.

Sun's take: In an unfamiliar position as underdogs, the pressure should be off the Terps, who want to make that record look like a fluke.

7. Notre Dame (13-5)

2002 final ranking: No. 7.

Sun's take: Good things will not come to an end for the Irish and All-America attacker Danielle Shearer (39, 20), who capped their best season with an appearance in the NCAA quarterfinals.

8. Vanderbilt (10-6)

2002 final ranking: No. 10.

Sun's take: The Commodores filled the three holes created by graduation nicely, with three talented transfers joining an already talented contingent.

9. Cornell (16-2)

2002 final ranking: No. 6.

Sun's take: The Big Red has some regrouping to do after graduating seven starters, including All-American Jaimee Reynolds, the program's all-time leading scorer.

10. N. Carolina (17-3)

2002 final ranking: No. 3.

Sun's take: Five All-Americans led the Tar Heels to their first ACC title and the final four, but they are all gone. Still, four defensive starters return.

11. Ohio State (11-5)

2202 final ranking: No. 12.

Sun's take: After the best season in school history and first NCAA tournament appearance, the Buckeyes retain the talent and depth to keep going.

12. Dartmouth (10-6)

2002 final ranking: No. 17.

Sun's take: In a crowded Ivy League race, the Big Green will throw 11 freshmen into the mix. Top scorer Whitney Jamison (17, 20) returns.

13. Yale (11-5)

2002 final ranking: No. 11.

Sun's take: A team that beat Dartmouth and Duke last season could be poised for a big move in the Ivy League with 10 starters back.

14. Syracuse (10-6)

2002 final ranking: No. 16.

Sun's take: Leigh-Ann Zimmer (40, 16) leads an Orangewomen squad determined to play in its first final four, when it plays host to the NCAA semifinals and finals May 16 and 18.

15. J. Madison (8-10)

2002 final ranking: No. 14.

Sun's take: After a disappointing 2002 season, new coach Kellie Young tries to get the Dukes back on track in the Colonial Athletic Association.

16. Penn State (8-9)

2002 final ranking: No. 15.

Sun's take: One of the most successful programs in history, the Nittany Lions will try to get back on the winning track with 17 underclassmen.

17. Old Dominion (13-5)

2002 final ranking: No. 13.

Sun's take: Five of the top six scorers, including Suzanne Wosczyna (56, 47), return after scoring a school-record 209 goals.

18. Johns Hopkins (10-8)

2002 final ranking: No. 18.

Sun's take: With a roster of true Division I athletes, the Blue Jays look to make a move in their fifth year in the division.

19. Richmond (12-6)

2002 final ranking: Not ranked.

Sun's take: Top scorer Polly Purcell (39, 30) returns to lead a run at the Atlantic 10 title.

20. George Mason (9-9)

2002 final ranking: No. 20.

Sun's take: The Patriots look to move up in the Colonial Athletic Association with eight returning starters.

Others receiving votes: New Hampshire (12-6), William & Mary (6-11).

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