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Review & preview: Premature 2011 poll part 1

By now, you’ve probably already scoured through several polls for 2011. So what’s another one, right? Here is another attempt at a preseason and premature poll for next season.

The top 20 will be broken up into four installments with Monday’s post involving 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. Friday will include three schools not mentioned in the poll that could make some waves.

Unless there are confirmed reports about certain players planning to use fifth years of eligibility, this space will assume that seniors in 2010 will not return next year. Unannounced fifth-year seniors and potential transfers will affect the rankings that come out next February, but here’s a spin anyway.

20. Towson (2010 record: 7-8; Tournament finish: no tournament)

Losses: The entire starting midfield of Christian Pastirik (28 goals and 19 assists), Will Harrington (28, 6) and Pat Britton (7, 6) and defensemen Joe Wascavage (14 groundballs and nine caused turnovers) and Cameron Zook (23 GBs) and one key contributor in midfielder Brock Armour (4, 10).

Returners: The entire starting attack of junior Tim Stratton (15, 18), freshman Matt Hughes (13, 4) and sophomore Matt Lamon (10, 4), sophomore defenseman Marc Ingerman (13 GBs) and junior goalkeeper Travis Love (9.24 goals-against average and .556 save percentage).

Reason for pessimism: Can sophomores Carl Iacona (11, 2) and sophomore Michael Brashears (4, 1) and junior Scott Ruhl (2, 0) make the leap to the first midfield?

Reason for optimism: The return of Love, Ingerman, freshman defenseman Ben Strauss (bone bruise in knee) and short-stick defensive midfielders Peter Mezzanotte (47 GBs, 30 CTs) and Kevin Lalley (10 CTs) should anchor the defensive end of the field.

19. Brown (8-6; no tournament)

Losses: Four starters including attackman Thomas Muldoon (27, 10), midfielder Reade Seligmann (13, 22) and defenseman Jake Westermann (9 GBs).

Returners: Six starters including a pair of attackmen in junior Andrew Feinberg (36, 7) and sophomore Parker Brown (19, 12), a pair of defensemen in junior Peter Fallon (37 GBs, 12 CTs) and sophomore Brennan Bailey (12 GBs, 10 CTs) and junior goalie Matt Chriss (10.46 GAA, .519 save percentage).

Reason for pessimism: Junior Seth Ratner (93-of-209 for .445) leads a face-off unit that won just 43.2 percent of its re-starts last season.

Reason for optimism: The defense could be much improved with the return of freshmen Roger Ferguson (1, 7 and 39 GBs) and Sam Ford (17 GBs) and junior Matt Greenberg (20 GBs, 10 CTs).

18. Massachusetts (8-6; no tournament)

Losses: Three starters including midfielder Bobby Hayes (20, 14) and defenseman Diogo Godoi (24 GBs, 22 CTs).

Returners: Four of the top five scorers – all of whom are starters – in freshman attackman Will Manny (27, 18), sophomore midfielder Anthony Biscardi (21, 14), junior midfielder Ryan Hantverk (15, 12), and junior attackman Ryan Liebel (14, 5).

Reason for pessimism: Despite the return of defensemen Tom Celentani (31 GBs, 25 CTs) and Travis Tripucka (17 GBs) and sophomore goalkeeper Tim McCormack (10.13 GAA, .523 save percentage), the graduation of Godoi saps the team of significant leadership and skill.

Reason for optimism: Sophomore attackman Art Kell registered 21 goals and 12 assists in eight starts before suffering a broken foot and missing the remainder of the season.

17. Loyola (9-5; first round)

Losses: Four starters in attackmen Collin Finnerty (24, 12) and Cooper MacDonnell (22, 6) and defensemen Steve Layne (32 GBs, 14 CTs) and Kyle Cottrell (23 GBs, 12 CTs) and two key contributors in midfielder Taylor Ebsary (8, 12, 36 GBs, 12 CTs) and short-stick defensive midfielder Michael Crimmins (19 GBs, 10 CTs).

Returners: The entire starting midfield of juniors Eric Lusby (20, 5), Stephen Murray (9, 5) and Chris Basler (2, 8) and junior attackman Matt Langan (16, 18), junior defenseman Steve Dircks (34 GBs, 11 CTs) and junior face-off specialist John Schiavone (90 GBs, 166-of-277 for .599).

Reason for pessimism: It remains to be seen whether junior goalie Jake Hagelin (8.24 GAA, .544 save percentage) can rebound from his late-season collapse that partially contributed to the team dropping its last three contests.

Reason for optimism: Sophomore Michael Sawyer, the Eastern College Athletic Conference Rookie of the Year in 2009, is slated to return and make the transition from midfield to attack.

16. Denver (12-5; first round)

Losses: Five starters including the entire defense of goalkeeper Peter Lowell (9.32 GAA, .541 save percentage) and defensemen Dillon Roy (82 GBs, 31 CTs), Nick Gradinger (20 GBs, 14 CTs) and Payton Sanders (15 GBs, 12 CTs).

Returners: The top five scorers in sophomore attackman Alex Demopoulos (36, 24), sophomore attackman Mark Matthews (38, 11), sophomore midfielder Patrick Rogers (20, 5), junior attackman Todd Baxter (13, 9) and junior midfielder Andrew Lay (12, 5).

Reason for pessimism: Roy, the ECAC Defensive Player of the Year, also was the team’s best face-off specialist, winning 63-of-116 for a .543 percentage.

Reason for optimism: Sophomore goalie Zander Buteux, who could succeed Lowell in the cage, registered a 9.66 GAA and a .538 save percentage in six starts.

Posted by Edward Lee at 7:00 AM | | Comments (1)
Categories: Loyola, Review & preview, Towson
        

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The season's right around the corner, I can't wait.

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Faceoff is The Baltimore Sun's blog devoted to college and high school lacrosse. Faceoff contributors include Sun reporters Edward Lee, Mike Preston and Katherine Dunn.
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