Review & preview: Premature 2010 poll Part I
Here is one observer’s attempt to take a crack at a preseason and premature poll for the 2010 season. I will break up the top 20 into four installments with today’s entry looking at teams ranked from Nos. 20 to 16. Tuesday will feature Nos. 15 to 11, Wednesday Nos. 10 to 6 and Thursday Nos. 5 to 1.
Unless there are confirmed reports about certain players planning to use fifth years of eligibility, this space will assume that seniors in 2009 will not be back next season. Unannounced fifth-year seniors and potential transfers will affect the rankings that come out next February, but let’s take a spin.
20. Albany (2009 record: 7-7; Tournament finish: no tournament)
Losses: Three starters in attackman Corey Small (31 goals and five assists) and defensemen Chris Schongar (2, 0 and 49 groundballs) and Garrett Pedley (29 gb’s) and one key backup in midfielder John Alpizar (4, 8 and 30 gb’s).
Returners: Four of the team’s top five scorers in sophomore attackman Brian Caufield (24, 27), freshman attackman Joe Resetarits (34, 9), sophomore attackman Joe Pompo (13, 6) and junior attackman Dave Brock (11, 8).
Reason for pessimism: Losing Schongar and Pedley further depletes a defense that surrendered 11.6 goals per game this past season.
Reason for optimism: Another year of experience should do wonders for Caufield and Resetarits, both of whom will be asked to shoulder much of the offensive load.
19. Penn State (9-5; no tournament)
Losses: Four starters in attackman Rob Forster (26, 9), goalkeeper Drew Adams (7.96 goals-against average and .652 save percentage), defenseman John Stuckey and midfielder Matt Warner.
Returners: Six starters including freshman attackmen Jack Forster (22, 12) and Matthew Mackrides (15, 13) and defensemen Matt Bernier (34 gb’s) and Earl Ross (33 gb’s).
Reason for pessimism: Can Jack Forster recover from another season-ending knee injury? Who replaces Adams, an honorable mention All American this past season?
Reason for optimism: The Nittany Lions should get the ball often as face-off specialists Joe Britt and Charley Henneghan combined to win 53.7 percent of face-offs.
18. Bucknell (9-7; no tournament)
Losses: Four starters in defensemen Billy Haire (52 gb’s and 18 caused turnovers) and Tom Izard (22 gb’s), attackman Joe Mele (28, 5) and goalie Nick Sciubba (8.61 gaa and .557 save).
Returners: Five of the top six scorers – all of whom are starters – in junior attackman Austin Winter (17, 32), freshman midfielder Charlie Streep (25, 7), junior attackman Tim Brandau (20, 6), junior midfielder Perry Menzies (22, 3) and sophomore midfielder Mike Danylyshyn (16, 9).
Reason for pessimism: The Bison have a huge hole to fill in the cage as Sciubba and Matt Antonelli graduate.
Reason for optimism: The midfield of Streep, Menzies and Danylyshyn could be one of the country's more prolific.
17. Brown (12-4; first round)
Losses: Five starters including midfielders Brady Williams (18, 14) and Jack Walsh (11, 4), attackman Kyle Hollingsworth (22, 27), defenseman Ryan Cassil (29 gb’s) and goalkeeper Jordan Burke (8.01 gaa and .606 save).
Returners: Three of the team’s top four scorers in sophomore attackman Andrew Feinberg (42, 16), junior attackman Thomas Muldoon (36, 11) and junior midfielder Reade Seligmann (12, 21).
Reason for pessimism: Can either sophomore Matt Chriss or freshman Noah Beatty succeed Burke, a first-team All American?
Reason for optimism: Under Armour All-American Roger Ferguson could join a close defense that boasts two starters in sophomore Peter Fallon (59 gb’s) and junior Jake Westermann.
16. UMBC (12-4; first round)
Losses: Six starters in midfielders Peet Poillon (26, 21) and Alex Hopmann (36, 8), defensemen Kevin Goedeke and Steve Settembrino, attackman Ryan Smith (22, 10) and goalie Jeremy Blevins (8.00 gaa and .545 save).
Returners: Four of the top seven scorers in junior midfielder Kyle Wimer (24, 18), junior attackmen Matt Latham (27, 5) and Chris Jones (21, 10) and freshman attackman Rob Grimm (10, 17).
Reason for pessimism: Junior Kevin Kohri, who is the leading candidate to succeed Blevins, has played just 23 minutes, 57 seconds in his career.
Reason for optimism: Kohri should be encouraged by the return of senior defenseman Bobby Atwell, who sat out this past season with a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his knee.