Division I men's college lacrosse preview

February 16, 2011|By Edward Lee, The Baltimore Sun

PROJECTED NCAA SEEDS

1. Syracuse

Big East Conference

(13-2, NCAA tournament first round)

Coach: John Desko (13th season, 147-44)

Top returning point-getter

Stephen Keogh, senior A (31 goals, 5 assists)

Other key returnees

Josh Amidon, senior M (14, 13)

Jeremy Thompson, senior M (15, 8, .582 faceoff percentage)

John Lade, senior D (32 ground balls)

John Galloway, senior G (7.16 goals-against average, .595 save percentage)

Key newcomers

Tom Palasek, junior A

Billy Ward, freshman A

Pat Powderly, freshman A

Outlook: The Orange is eager to make amends for last year's surprise double-overtime loss to Army in the first round of the NCAA tournament. The team possesses an abundance of talent throughout the roster, especially in the midfield with the return of all three starters in Amidon, Thompson and senior Jovan Miller. Galloway, Lade and sophomore defenseman Brian Megill anchor a defense that surrendered just 7.4 goals per game in the regular season, ranking first in Division I. Depth could be an issue.

2. Virginia

Atlantic Coast Conference

(16-2, NCAA semifinals)

Coach: Dom Starsia (19th season, 215-67; 29th season overall, 316-113)

Top returning point-getter

Chris Bocklet, junior A (53, 14)

Other key returnees

Steele Stanwick, junior A (29, 32)

Shamel Bratton, senior M (24, 17)

Matt Lovejoy, junior D (32 ground balls, 13 caused turnovers)

Adam Ghitelman, senior G (8.24 GAA, .548 save percentage)

Key newcomers

Scott McWilliams, freshman D

Rob Emery, freshman A

Mark Cockerton, freshman A

Outlook: Scoring shouldn't be a problem for the Cavaliers, who return five of the six starting attackmen and midfielders who paced the offense to 13.4 goals per game in the regular season — the third-best average in Division I last season. McWilliams and redshirt junior Chris Clements are the leading candidates to join Lovejoy on the first defense, which needs a consistent effort from Ghitelman in the postseason. The key could be whether Virginia has become emotionally stronger over the past three years, which have been marred by tragedies.

3. Maryland

ACC

(12-4, NCAA quarterfinals)

Coach: John Tillman (first season; third season overall, 20-19)

Top returning point-getter

Grant Catalino, senior A (34, 20)

Other key returnees

Ryan Young, senior A (18, 30)

Travis Reed, senior A (21, 18)

Brett Schmidt, senior D (36 ground balls, 28 caused turnovers)

Max Schmidt, senior D (39 ground balls, 21 caused turnovers)

Key newcomers

Mike Ehrhardt, freshman D

Emmett Cahill, freshman M

Rustin Bryant, freshman A

Outlook: The Terps continue to flex their muscle on opposite ends of the field. Catalino, Young and Reed have enough scoring punch to carry the offense, but they could use a little help from juniors Joe Cummings and Jake Bernhardt and the rest of the midfield. The Schmidts (no relation) and fellow starter Ryder Bohlander will be asked to play at midseason form in the beginning of the season until the goalie situation between junior Mark White and redshirt freshman Niko Amato is settled.

4. Notre Dame

Big East

(10-7, NCAA final)

Coach: Kevin Corrigan (23nd season, 206-103; 25th season overall, 216-118)

Top returning point-getter

Zach Brenneman, senior M (29, 13)

Other key returnees

David Earl, senior M (22, 6)

Kevin Randall, junior D (22 ground balls, 11 caused turnovers)

Kevin Ridgway, senior D (21 ground balls, 7 caused turnovers)

John Kemp, sophomore G (7.52 GAA, .569 save percentage)

Key newcomers

Edison Parzanese, senior A

Westy Hopkins, freshman A

Liam O'Connor, freshman M

Outlook: Defense propelled the Fighting Irish through the postseason, and that unit figures to be an area of strength again. Randall and Ridgway are back as starters, and the return of senior Sam Barnes and junior Jake Brems from injuries that sidelined them last season should alleviate some of the pressure on Kemp, who has the unenviable task of succeeding Scott Rodgers; the Most Outstanding Player in the NCAA tournament, Rodgers surrendered just 22 goals and made 53 saves in four tournament games. Offense is the biggest question for this team, which ranked 39th in scoring last spring.

OTHER STATE SCHOOLS

Johns Hopkins

Independent

(7-8, NCAA first round)

Coach: Dave Pietramala (11th season, 113-38; 14th season overall, 136-55)

Top returning point-getter

Kyle Wharton, senior A (24 goals, 9 assists)

Other key returnees

Chris Boland, senior A (4, 0)

Tucker Durkin, sophomore D (25 ground balls and 19 caused turnovers)

Chris Lightner, sophomore D (20 ground balls)

Pierce Bassett, sophomore G (9.90 goals-against average, .536 save percentage)

Key newcomers

Jack Reilly, freshman D

Tobias Armour, freshman LSM

Brandon Benn, freshman A

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