Division Iii Outlook

Lacrosse, Ncaa Men's Preview

February 16, 2007|By GARY LAMBRECHT

GOUCHER

Coach -- Kyle Hannan, seventh season (56-41 at Goucher, 109-89 overall)

2006 record -- 7-10

Conference -- Capital Athletic

The Sun's take -- The Gophers suffered with youth on defense and an inability to win on the road last year, when they were 3-7 away from home. Sophomore goalie Austin Main should be a solid anchor. He saved 59 percent of opposing shots and helped Goucher go 6-5 in his 11 starts. The Gophers won't have trouble scoring. Senior attack Dan Flamholz (25 goals, 35 assists) returns from an all-conference year to lead an experienced unit, and senior Brent Shea (27, 6) leads a good first midfield line.

HOOD

Coach -- Eric Shultz, second season (0-7)

2006 record -- 0-7

Conference -- Capital Athletic

The Sun's take -- The Blazers head into their second season as a varsity sport, and all but two of their losses last spring were by double-digit margins. The growing pains probably will persist for a while in the CAC, where junior G Sam Hofmann (16.8 goals-allowed average) needs more help from defenders such as senior Tim Owings and freshman Andrew Fisher. Hood will rely on its midfield, while the freshman-oriented attack finds its way. Junior M Will Oconis (7, 1) is the leading returning scorer.

MCDANIEL

Coach -- Matt Hatton, first season as college coach

2006 record -- 7-7

Conference -- Centennial

The Sun's take -- Hatton takes over after three years as an assistant with the Green Terror, and he should be able to coax consistent offense from this group, although losing sophomore A Kolyn Kirby (22, 34) to Washington College hurts. The team's other top-five offensive players are back after productive seasons in 2006, starting with sophomore Matthew Buschman (team-high 30 goals). The junior-laden starting midfield got at least 23 points from Jared Nutter (28 goals), Steve Hoffman and Brad Baer.

ST. MARY'S

Coach -- Jayme Block, sixth season (46-33 at St. Mary's, 54-38 overall)

2006 record -- 13-4

Conference -- Capital Athletic

The Sun's take -- If not for the presence of Salisbury, the Seahawks would be a solid pick to win the CAC. Block has built the program to the point where the loss of the team's top two scorers - Dave Mueller and Pat Donovan took a combined 84 goals and 72 assists - is not fatal. St. Mary's returns the heart of an outstanding defense that allowed barely six goals per game. The offense will retool behind junior A Pat Oliphant (40, 12) and junior M Cyrus Albertson (25, 13). It should get lots of chances. Faceoff man Marc DiPasquale won 71.2 percent of his draws last year.

SALISBURY

Coach -- Jim Berkman, 19th season (276-30 at Salisbury, 285-35 overall)

2006 record -- 20-1

Conference -- Capital Athletic

The Sun's take -- As if the Sea Gulls need any more motivation to stay atop the Division III world. They have digested their overtime loss to Cortland in the NCAA title game, Salisbury's first defeat since 2003. Now, with an intimidating defense manned by senior LSM Chase Caruso and senior D Chris Heier - two of the elite players in Division-III - the Sea Gulls will go for their fourth national championship in five seasons with no shortage of weapons. Senior A Eric Bishop (33, 27) and senior M Matt Dasinger (34, 7) lead the offense.

VILLA JULIE

Coach -- Paul Cantabene, third season (19-14 at Villa Julie)

2006 record -- 10-8

Conference -- Capital Athletic

The Sun's take -- The Mustangs move into the CAC and a ramped-up schedule that includes Salisbury and Cortland State, last year's Division III tournament finalists. Senior A Matt Miller (28, 8), junior A Dustin Harlowe (25, 5), senior A Andrew White (27, 18) and sophomore M Greg Furshman (24, 13) give the offense experience, while 6-foot-6, 270-pound junior A Kevin Donnelly, a transfer from Greensboro, brings force. Senior G Jason Woodford anchors a stingy defense.

WASH. COLLEGE

Coach -- J.B. Clarke, ninth season (100-36 at Washington College, 109-41 overall)

2006 record -- 14-5

Conference -- Centennial

The Sun's take -- With G Kevin Thibadeau gone, the defense that allowed 5.9 goals per game - second-best in Division III - will look to unproven sophomore keeper Gordon Cohen to stabilize the net. Senior defensemen and co-captains Jon Kenney and Matt Sparks team up with Syracuse transfer Joe Sabasteanski to protect the crease. Junior A Chris Read (41, 14), senior M Andrew Ostrusky (28, 7) and junior A Kolyn Kirby, a talented McDaniel transfer, should help the unit improve its scoring.

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