Division I women's college lacrosse preview

February 15, 2011|By Katherine Dunn, The Baltimore Sun

Johns Hopkins

American Lacrosse Conference

Last season: 10-7

Coach: Janine Tucker (18th season, 192-96)

Top returning point getter:

Candace Rossi, junior A (35 goals, 17 assists)

Other key returnees

• Colleen McCaffrey, junior A (31, 11)

• Brooke Lipinski, senior D

• Alyssa Kildare, junior D

• Brooke Foussadier, senior M (10, 1)

Cosette Larash, sophomore G

Key newcomers

• Taylor D'Amore, freshman M

• Sarah Taylor, freshman M

• Sammy Cermack, freshman M

Outlook: After struggling in 2009, the Blue Jays bounced back last spring with their best record in three years and a third-place conference finish behind Northwestern and Vanderbilt. They had lost to 20 straight ranked opponents before beating a pair of No. 17s, Penn State and Ohio State, to end the regular season. Postseason, however, came to a sour end with a 14-3 loss in the ALC quarterfinals to Florida, a team the Jays had beaten handily two months earlier. Late in the season, Tucker started six freshmen or sophomores and ended up getting 55 percent of her scoring from the underclassmen. This spring, the Jays have a balanced attack and a veteran defense to bookend a developing midfield and they could gain ground on the national scene although the bigger challenge will be trying to move up in a conference dominated by Northwestern.

Loyola

Big East Conference

Last season: 11-7

Coach: Jen Adams (third season, 22-13)

Top returning point-getter:

Grace Gavin, senior M (64, 23)

Other key returnees

• Cara Filippelli, senior M (23, 5)

• Abby Rehfuss, senior M (23, 7)

Ana Heneberry, junior D

• Kellye Gallagher, senior D

• Kerry Stoothoff, junior G

Key newcomers

• Ali Carpenter, freshman, M

Taryn VanThof, freshman M

• Marlee Paton, freshman M

• Katherine Reinhard, freshman D

Outlook: The Greyhounds lost four games by one goal last spring, including two in double overtime and Adams said they just didn't have the midfield depth to pull those out. Now, she's confident they do. With the personnel to better support their up-tempo pace, the Greyhounds could be moving up quickly in the Big East, where they were fourth a year ago. Their worst loss came by four goals and they return 10 starters including six of their top seven scorers. Most of a defense that allowed just 9.86 goal a game is also back along with veteran goalie Stoothoff. With a good freshman class and the return of midfielder Cass Cursaro from a knee injury, they should only get better as Adams aims for their first NCAA tournament bid since 2004.

Maryland

Atlantic Coast Conference

Last season: 22-1, National champions

Coach: Cathy Reese (fifth season, 77-9; eighth season overall, 108-38)

Top returning point-getter

Karri Ellen Johnson, junior A (69, 19)

Other key returnees

• Sarah Mollison, senior A (45, 30)

Katie Schwarzmann, sophomore M (33, 11)

• Laura Merrifield, senior M (27, 5)

• Katie Gallagher, senior, D

• Brandi Jones, senior M (22, 13)

• Brittany Poist, senior D

• Brittany Dipper, junior G

Key newcomers

Beth Glaros, freshman M

• Jen Mendez, freshman M/D

• Amalie Trentzsch, freshman M

Outlook: The Terrapins dethroned five-time defending champion Northwestern, 13-11, last spring to bring the national title to College Park for the first time since 2001. With plenty of firepower and a stellar defense, the Terps are the preseason favorites to add another big trophy to their case. Although a few key players graduated, including Tewaaraton Trophy winner Caitlyn McFadden, and a couple of starting defenders, the Terps have the talent to fill all the holes. They return three All-Americans in Johnson, Mollison and Schwarzmann while Gallagher is back on defense after illness sidelined her last spring. Six of Maryland's top seven scorers return, bringing back 215 of the 330 goals the Terps scored a year ago -- more than twice as many as the opposition. Maryland fans should book their tickets now to the Memorial Day weekend national finals at Stony Brook.

Mount St. Mary's

Northeast Conference

Last season: 8-9

Coach: B.J. Lucey (first season)

Top returning point-getter

Esther Rufolo, junior M (25, 5)

Other key returnees

• Aly Jost, senior D

• Lucy Pompa, senior M (15, 4)

Brigid McTavish, junior G

• Alexis Salerno, senior, A (12, 3)

Meaghan Conlon, junior M (8, 3)

Kaitlyn Larrimore, sophomore M

Key newcomers

• Gabe Little, freshman D

• Lindsay Diaz, freshman M

• Mary MacAdam, freshman, M

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