State Outlook

Women's College Lacrosse Preview

February 20, 2004

Division I

Johns Hopkins

Coach: Janine Tucker (122-45, 11th season)

2003 record: 11-5

Conference: American Lacrosse

Top returning point-getter: Heidi Pearce, senior M (24 goals, 16 assists)

Also back: Erin Riordan, junior A; Lacey-Leigh Hentz, junior D; Kate Gilland, senior D; Rachel Krom, senior D; Kate Barcomb, senior M; Meagan Voight, sophomore A; Sarah Walsh, sophomore A; Marlena Wittelsberger, senior A; Lauren Riddick, senior G

Key additions: Mary Key (St. Mary's), freshman A; Cherie Michaud (Maryvale), freshman D; Steph Janice, freshman M

Sun's take: The Blue Jays have been bidding to become an elite team for the past couple of years, and Tucker has confidence this could finally be the time. She looks to a huge, 12-2 victory over then-No. 14 North Carolina late last season and to an emerging chemistry within this year's team that includes a healthy mix of veterans and enthusiastic young talent. "We want to springboard off beating North Carolina in terms of knowing we can beat a tough team," Tucker said. "I'm excited about the chemistry, the level of intensity. The appetite has been whet for taking that next step. We have a little more self confidence across the board." The Blue Jays can earn a trip to the NCAA tournament if they can win their conference, which gets its first automatic bid this season. Still fairly young with 16 underclassmen, they boast a balanced attack, speed on defense and a veteran goalie. All of that should help them overcome the inconsistency that may have cost them an at-large bid to the tournament last season.

Loyola

Coach: Kerri Johnson (first season)

2003 record: 17-2

Conference: Independent

Top returning point-getter: Rachel Shuck, senior A (24, 38)

Also back: Cindy Nicolaus, sophomore G; Kim Lawton, senior G; Tara Singleton, senior D; Kristi Korrow, senior D; Talia Shacklock, junior M; Kourtney Porcella, senior M; Stephanie Walker, junior M; Jen Schuerholz, senior M; Jaclyn Borrone, senior M

Key additions: Kate McHarg, freshman M; Cari West (Severna Park), freshman M; Meghan MacIntire (Severna Park), freshman M

Sun's take: The Greyhounds enjoyed a banner season a year ago, setting a school record for wins in a season and holding the No. 1 ranking for eight of 10 weeks before falling to eventual national champion Princeton in the NCAA semifinals. Matching that emotional run, with coach Diane Geppi-Aikens battling brain cancer, would be a tall order, but there is plenty of experience left to take another stab at a national title. With 22 returning players, the Greyhounds have perhaps the nation's best feeder in Shuck, as well as perhaps the nation's top two goalies in Nicolaus and Lawton, who split time. Also, they return 140 goals, boast speed and have a wealth of experience on defense. With their goalies and top defenders Singleton, Korrow and Porcella back, they should remain one of the toughest teams to score against in the country. "We have a good balance," Johnson said. "Overall, I don't feel we lost a lot in any particular area. We lost eight seniors, but we've always recruited so we would have that balance and not lose everyone in one particular area."

Maryland

Coach: Cindy Timchal (221-26, 14th season)

2003 record: 18-4

Conference: Atlantic Coast

Top returning point-getter: Kelly Coppedge (73, 22), senior M

Also back: Acacia Walker, junior M; Greta Sommers, junior D; Delia Cox, sophomore M/A; Laura Warren, senior M/A Annie Collins, junior M; Molly Lambert, senior M/D; Meg Mallon, senior D; Jessica Dorney, junior A; Kirah Miles, junior G

Key additions: Krista Pellizzi, freshman A; Mollie Reese (Hereford), freshman M/A; Katie Doolittle, freshman M/A

Sun's take: After a disappointing 2002 campaign, the Terrapins looked more like their old selves last season, claiming the ACC title and coming within a goal of the NCAA final. Only a 9-8 semifinal loss to Virginia kept the Terps from playing for a 10th national championship. Eight players return and the only question mark appears to be in goal, where Miles takes over despite never having started a college game. Timchal has faith in Miles. "She has confidence and she's been directing the defense. She knows this is her season and it's really typical of Maryland players that when they know they're the ones who have to step up, they do. She's right on track." Elsewhere, the Terps lost key contributors on the attack and defense. Several players who stepped up last season, including Cox and Collins, should fill the gaps on attack. The defense boast five players with a combined 180 games of experience. The Terps have no worries in the midfield, where Coppedge, the ACC Player of the Year, and Walker lead a strong contingent of two-way players.

UMBC

Coach: Monica Yeakel (68-52, eighth season)

2003 record: 10-9

Conference: America East

Top returning point-getter: Jen Dragoni (37, 24)

Baltimore Sun Articles
|
|
|
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.