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Review & preview: Premature 2011 poll part 2

Here is the second installment of an attempt at a preseason and premature poll for next season.

The top 20 will be broken up into four installments with Tuesday’s post involving teams ranked from Nos. 15 to 11. Monday featured Nos. 20 to 16. Wednesday will highlight teams ranked 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.

15. Drexel (2010 record: 10-5; Tournament finish: no tournament)

Losses: Three starters including attackman Colin Ambler (22 goals and 16 assists) and defenseman Matt McCormick (27 groundballs and 12 caused turnovers) and a key contributor in midfielder Adam Dennis (16, 8).

Returners: Three of the team's top four scorers in freshman attackman Robert Church (32, 9), junior attackman Scott Perri (22, 9) and junior midfielder Kevin Stockel (20, 10).

Reason for pessimism: The Dragons must fill the void created by the departure of a pair of face-off specialists in Zak Fisher (42 GBs, 85-of-148 for .574) and Ryan West (9, 7, 43 GBs, 62-of-131 for .473).

Reason for optimism: McCormick is gone, but the defense does welcome back sophomores Dana Wilber (49 GBs, 15 CTs), Frank Tufano (20 GBs, 15 CTs) and Brian Teuber (25 GBs, 11 CTs) and sophomore goalkeeper Mark Manos (8.30 goals-against average and .585 save percentage).

14. Villanova (10-5; no tournament)

Losses: Two starters in midfielder Paul Webber (31, 6) and defenseman Brian McCartney (39 GBs and 22 CTs) and a key contributor in midfielder Mark Scioscia (21, 8).

Returners: Five of the team’s top six scorers in sophomore midfielder Kevin Cunningham (15, 30), freshman attackman Jack Rice (26, 0), freshman attackman Will Casertano (13, 11), junior midfielder Michael Brennan (10, 12) and sophomore attackman Matt Bell (9, 12) and a starting defense that includes freshman goalie Billy Hurley (9.29 GAA, .514 save percentage) and junior defensemen Chris Ficke (27 GBs, 11 CTs) and Troy Higgins (18 GBs).

Reason for pessimism: As talented as the Wildcats appear, they may reside in one of the toughest conferences in the country with Big East rivals Syracuse, Georgetown and Notre Dame.

Reason for optimism: The defense welcomes back junior long-stick midfielder Brian Karalunas (55 GBs, 55 CTs), who was named the Big East Defensive Player of the Year over the likes of Syracuse junior long-stick midfielder Joel White and Notre Dame junior defenseman Kevin Ridgway.

13. Johns Hopkins (7-8; first round)

Losses: Four starters including three of the team's top four scorers in attackman Steven Boyle (32, 23), midfielder Michael Kimmel (23, 16) and attackman Tom Palasek (13, 7 and who is transferring) and defensemen Sam DeVore (33 GBs, 21 CTs) and Matt Drenan (21 GBs).

Returners: Six starters including junior attackman Kyle Wharton (24, 9), freshman defenseman Tucker Durkin (25 GBs, 19 CTs) and freshman goalkeeper Pierce Bassett (9.90 GAA, .536 save percentage).

Reason for pessimism: Can freshmen midfielders John Ranagan (9, 5) and John Greeley (6, 2) make the developmental leap to fortify what could be a struggling offense next season?

Reason for optimism: Attackman Chris Boland, who led the team in scoring in 2009, will be back for a fifth year after tearing the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee last season.

12. Army (11-6; quarterfinals)

Losses: Three starters in attackman Tyler Seymour (23, 9), midfielder Andrew Maisano (3, 5) and defenseman Sam Harrison (24 GBs, 18 CTs) and a key contributor in attackman Tyler Oates (10, 5).

Returners: Five of the team’s top six scorers in junior attackman Jeremy Boltus (29, 38), freshman attackman Garrett Thul (41, 9), junior midfielder Rob McCallion (9, 17), sophomore midfielder Sean O’Sullivan (16, 6) and sophomore midfielder Devin Lynch (14, 7).

Reason for pessimism: The pressure is on the Black Knights to repeat last year’s run to the Patriot League reguIar-season and tournament championships and NCAA Tournament quarterfinals, which included an opening-round victory over Syracuse.

Reason for optimism: Scoring on Army could be a challenge with a defense that includes junior defenseman Bill Henderson (44 GBs, 19 CTs), sophomore defenseman Larry LoRusso (24 GBs, 12 CTs), sophomore long-stick midfielder Tim Henderson (56 GBs, 32 CTs) and junior goalie Tom Palesky (9.32 GAA, .556 save percentage).

11. Hofstra (9-5; first round)

Losses: Two starters in midfielder Dan Stein (8, 6) and defenseman Christian Scuderi (38 GBs, 15 CTs) and a key contributor in defenseman Adam Swarsen (24 GBs).

Returners: Eight starters including the entire junior attack of Jamie Lincoln (33, 20), Jay Card (31, 22) and Stephen Bentz (29, 12) and sophomore midfielders Brad Loizeaux (19, 11) and Mike DeNapoli (9, 3).

Reason for pessimism: The Pride gave seven starts each to sophomore Andrew Gvozden (9.30 GAA, .522 save percentage) and freshman Rob Bellairs (8.81 GAA, .398 save percentage) in the cage, and one of them must step forward as the undisputed starter.

Reason for optimism: The loss of Scuderi, the team’s best defender, hurts, but the unit does return a pair of starters in junior Mike Skudin (29 GBs, 13 CTs) and freshman Cody Solaja (11 GBs), junior long-stick midfielder Adam Mojica (32 GBs, 11 CTs) and the short-stick defensive duo of juniors Steve DeNapoli (49 GBs, 13 CTs) and Tim Holman (32 GBs, 12 CTs).

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


HU - great basics and a rich tradition - a quality side Army - obviously discipline and toughness are hallmarks of the Cadets. Drexel - long overdue for some end of May playing time. Is Hop re-loading again or ready to pounch. Seniors usually drive a team and JHU may come up short. Villanova - needs consistency and a little co-operation from the other teams in conference.

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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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