« December 2010 | Main | February 2011 »

January 31, 2011

Can Colgate's Baum avoid sophomore slump?

Colgate was picked by Patriot League coaches to finish fourth despite a 3-10 record last year.

While expectations for the team are lofty, so too are those for Peter Baum, the sophomore midfielder who – with 29 goals last season – smashed the previous school record for goals by a freshman (19 by Brandon Corp in 2006).

Baum, who led the Raiders in goals, will be counted upon to provide offense and leadership.

“Really, we’re just working with – moving forward – developing him as a leader,” coach Jim Nagle said Wednesday during a conference call involving Patriot League coaches. “I think Peter’s always going to have the talent. As you progress in your maturation as a student-athlete, you assume the leadership responsibility, and Pete’s done a nice job with that. We’ve been working with him on that. He’s a real student of the game, and he’s very focused, another kid who does extremely well in the classroom. So as far as motivating him to succeed, that’s really not a concern of mine. He’s going to get better and better just because of his work ethic and commitment. I think his growth will be for him as a leader as he progresses from being a freshman to a more important role.”

Posted by Edward Lee at 11:00 AM | | Comments (0)

UPDATED: South River graduate set to anchor Holy Cross defense

Note: Holy Cross junior defenseman David Henry graduated from Severn, not South River. My apologies to the Henry family and readers.

Graduation sapped Holy Cross of three-fifths of its starting defense, taking defensemen Tim Barrars and John Rapport and goalkeeper Connor Sweeney out of the equation.

The Crusaders will likely rely on junior David Henry to team with senior Douglass Broussard to settle the defense. A Davidsonville native and South River Severn graduate, Henry ranked first on the team in caused turnovers (19) and second in groundballs (38) in 14 starts last year.

Coach Adam Pascal said Henry will move from long-stick midfield to close defense.

“He’s a really, really athletic kid who’s really aggressive,” Pascal said Wednesday during a conference call involving Patriot League coaches. “Early on, we had some issues with some penalties, but he seems to have grown up and matured a little bit. David’s a kid behind Doug Broussard, and he’s going to be covering the best kid, if not the second-best kid, every week. So we’re excited with his development. He’s a great kid who’s been working hard, and we’re excited to get somebody from that area and have him do well.”

Posted by Edward Lee at 9:00 AM | | Comments (0)

Lehigh offense leaning on St. Paul's graduate

Lehigh returns five of its top six scorers from last year’s squad, including junior attackman Adam Johnston.

The Street native and St. Paul’s graduate led the Mountain Hawks in goals (27) and man-up goals (10) in 11 starts last season, and his return coupled with presence of sophomores Dante Fantoni and David DiMaria gives the offense its entire starting attack.

Coach Kevin Cassese said Johnston has found a groove on attack after dabbling in the midfield in previous years.

“He’s worn a variety of hats for us – some in the midfield, some at attack,” Cassese said Wednesday during a conference call involving Patriot League coaches. “He’s developed into a pretty lethal threat on extra man. Last year, he was our leading goal scorer with 27 goals for us. He’s got great chemistry with some of our other attackmen – in particular, David DiMaria. Those two guys work really well together. So he’s kind of the guy on attack that we’re looking to. He’s the elder statesman there, and he’s only a junior. We don’t have a senior attackman on the roster. So he’s done a great job. He’s embraced that role.”

Cassese said the 6-foot-2, 175-pound Johnston is more of a finisher than a feeder.

“I think in general, he’s at his best when he’s on the receiving end,” Cassese said. “He’s a terrific goal scorer. He’s got a nose for the goal. So he’s not going to be the guy that’s going to run around, drive from ‘X’, and throw the ball through the defense. I think he knows that and he embraces that. Just from a sheer communication standpoint, he feels comfortable in that role.”

Posted by Edward Lee at 7:00 AM | | Comments (0)

January 28, 2011

Lafayette's regret

En route to a school-record eight wins and a first-ever appearance in the Patriot League Tournament, Lafayette’s 2010 campaign didn’t end as well as it began.

After opening the season with six consecutive victories, the Leopards dropped six of their last eight contests including their last four to Colgate (14-9), Army (15-14), Lehigh (10-9) and Navy (11-9).

Coach Terry Mangan insisted that the players and coaches are looking to the future, but he did acknowledge that the season turned when Lafayette lost to Drexel, 12-11, at home on March 28.

“When we lost to Drexel up here – they scored the winner with 15 seconds left – it certainly changed our thought pattern a little bit just because we had one in the loss column,” Mangan said Wednesday during a conference call involving Patriot League coaches. “We probably kind of stopped floating on air a little bit and got back to reality. … It wasn’t that we didn’t play well. We got beat by really good teams. We go into the Patriot League Tournament doing a really good job and then gosh, [midfielder] Steve Serling gets hurt right before halftime, and we lose [attackman] Stefan Bauer in the third quarter. We had to change some things. Our depth wasn’t great, and Navy played better than us in the second half. Those things are going to happen. It’s easy to look and say, ‘Well, we were doing everything right in first half and doing everything wrong in the second half.’ But I don’t think it went that way. I think we beat some good teams and we lost to some good teams. Perhaps we were an 8-5 or an 8-6 team. It just broke a little differently than we probably thought it was going to break. For us, I don’t think it was something we spent a lot of time thinking about. That’s just the way sports is, that’s the way lacrosse is, and we’ve got to focus on the next task at hand.”
Posted by Edward Lee at 10:00 AM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Navy

Boys' Latin graduate sparks Bucknell defense

Bucknell returns eight of 10 starters from last year’s squad that lost five of six games by one goal.

An area of strength for the Bison figures to be the defense, which welcomes back all three starters and sophomore goalkeeper Kyle Feeney.

One of those starters is junior Alex Lyons, the Owings Mills native and Boys’ Latin graduate who ranked first on the team in caused turnovers (36) and third in groundballs (40) in 14 starts last season.

Coach Frank Fedorjaka said while Lyons has demonstrated a knack for pressing opposing players into making bad decisions, he’s improving at limiting those same players.

“Alex has always had a knack for getting the ball on the ground – whether it’s a big-league check, a trail check, a check on the crease, on maybe somebody he’s not even covering, getting a stick up in the passing lane,” Fedorjaka said Wednesday during a conference call involving Patriot League coaches. “I guess statistically, he was one of the top guys in the country last year for caused turnovers. He does have a nose for that. He’s gotten much better at covering one-on-one. So we feel comfortable with that even though we do slide quite a bit, even to our poles. I think he’s done a good job of staying in good condition, and he handles the ball real well on clears, and he’s a terrific team leader. He’s very vocal, he’s a very intelligent lacrosse player. And I think our system is perfect for him because we do slide quite a bit, and so there’s a lot going on, and he just thrives in that atmosphere.”

Posted by Edward Lee at 7:00 AM | | Comments (0)

January 27, 2011

2010 fading in Army's rearview mirror

Last season was a banner year for Army, which swept archrival Navy, captured the Patriot League Tournament title, and upset 2008 and 2009 national champion Syracuse in the first round.

Coach Joe Alberici was a guest on ESPN’s “First Take” and a number of radio shows, and the Black Knights’ double overtime victory over the Orange was named by Inside Lacrosse as the Upset of the Year.

But Alberici, speaking on a conference call involving Patriot League coaches Wednesday morning, insisted that the coaches and players aren’t living in the past.

“We know who we are,” he said. “We’re not that team that upset Syracuse there. We’re a team that’s got to kick, scratch, play togther, and fight for everything to win any game on our schedule. That’s where we’re at. I feel like the message is resonating.”

Other notes:

*Senior attackman Jeremy Boltus and senior defenseman Bill Henderson, the Patriot League’s respective preseason Offensive and Defensive Player of the Year, have returned after undergoing procedures in the offseason. Henderson had surgery on his wrist, while shoulder problems forced Boltus under the knife. “Both of those guys are back,” Alberici said. “They each had surgery in the offseason, planned surgeries. We knew Billy’s was going to take a little bit longer to heal, so we got that done in August, and he’s back at 100 percent. I’ve been quite impressed with him with his ability to be playing at the level he’s playing at this quickly after being out all fall. He’s doing a great job. And Jeremy played the whole season last year with some shoulder issues, and we just elected to get some stuff done, to alleviate some pain for him in the offseason. Both of those guys are 100 percent right now.”

*Army has been picked by the league’s coaches and sports information directors as the favorite to repeat as conference champion, but Alberici is wary about overlooking the team’s rivals. “I don’t know that we’re all that much more talented than those teams in the league,” he said. “I don’t think there’s much difference at all one way or another. So I’m not going to bring that to our team and say, ‘Hey, we’re defending [champs].’ It’s just preseason, and going along with what I said in the beginning, it’s a little matter to my staff and/or our team. It’s about going about your business the right way, working your tail off, playing the game the right way, and if we can do that in each and every game, the score and all that, that will just take care of itself.”

Posted by Edward Lee at 10:00 AM | | Comments (1)
Categories: Navy

Navy working on reducing workload on Wickham

Navy has several holes to fill at various positions, but one worry the team won’t have to deal with is in the net, where junior R.J. Wickham has cemented his status after ranking fifth in Division I in save percentage (.593) and 11th in goals-against average (8.55) last season.

Still, Wickham was one of the more tested goalies in the country, facing 317 shots on net and turning away 188 of those in the regular season. Only eight other goalkeepers saw more shots on cage and only five made more saves.

Richie Meade said Wickham is aware of his responsibility as the final stop in the defensive scheme, but the Midshipmen coach conceded that the defense must do a better job of relieving some of the workload on Wickham.

“We have a good goaltender. There are games where he can be a great goaltender, but what we’ve got to do is not put him in a situation where he’s got to be great,” Meade said during a conference call involving Patriot League coaches Wednesday morning. “I think it’s a slippery slope to rely on your goalie to win games. I think we’ve got to be better on the defensive end of the field, we’ve got to go all the little things better, we’ve got to be better at playing our scheme, I think we’ve got to be smarter at who we have to support in dodging situations. All those types of things are going to go into what kind of shots we give up, how many we give up, and where we give them up from.”

Other notes:

*With nine seniors on the 56-player roster, Meade said the current squad may be the youngest he’s coached in recent memory. While experience may be an issue, Meade said the enthusiasm is a quality last year’s team lacked, especially when it comes to diving into scrums for loose balls. “We’ve got a very interesting dynamic,” Meade said. “We have a great group of seniors, obviously very good leaders. We kind of felt that last year through a lot of different circumstances – some of it was injuries, sometimes the injuries create other situations – we just didn’t have the intangibles last year that we’ve had in past years. As evidenced by the fact that we were out-groundballed in a lot of games. So that’s been a point of emphasis. Our work ethic has been a point of emphasis, focus, attention to detail. … Young guys come into the situation, and they’ve got a lot on their plate, but they also have great enthusiasm and great excitement, and I think if you combine that dynamic with some ability and very good leadership, we feel like we’re pointed in the right direction.”

*Meade said he did not begrudge the league’s voters putting Army at No. 1 in the preseason poll and Navy at No. 2. Meade said the Midshipmen have to earn the right to upend the Black Knights for top billing. “Being in the role where you’ve got to go after somebody, that’s part of athletics,” he said. “You always hope that you’re going to be on top. We’ve been on top, but it’s always been very close. And now without question, West Point – at least over the last year or so – has really gained the momentum, and now we’ve got to go get them. That’s where we are.”

Posted by Edward Lee at 7:00 AM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Navy

January 26, 2011

Patriot League quick hits

Just wrapped up a conference call with coaches from the Patriot League that took about 90 minutes. I’ll have more throughout the week, but here are a few points of interest from Wednesday’s session:

*As expected, Army was named the preseason favorite to capture the league championship, accumulating 12 of 14 first-place votes. The Black Knights won last year’s title and upended 2008 and 2009 national champion Syracuse in the first round of the NCAA Tournament, but coach Joe Alberici said the current squad can’t be concerned with repeating that success. “Really, it’s a new season, a new life,” he said. “… We understand how fragile this is. So I don’t think this team is taking anything for granted. The truth of the matter is, we’re not talking about anybody but ourselves.”

*Navy was second, but the Midshipmen are trying to bounce back from a 2010 campaign that included getting swept by Army and failing to reach the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2003. “We’re in a situation now where we have to be humble,” said coach Richie Meade, who has guided the program to five of the last seven league tournament crowns. “We got humbled last year. … We’ve embraced reality. We know the mission.”

*Five of Bucknell’s six losses last season were by one goal, and the Bison’s season ended with a 9-7 setback to Army in a league tournament semifinal. Coach Frank Fedorjaka, whose team was picked third in the preseason poll, said he wants his players to remember how close they were to changing their outcomes and perhaps their future. “We’re actually looking back at last year quite a bit,” he said. “We kind of either won big or lost some close ones. So our focus after we lost in the Patriot League semifinals to Army at Army, we started our efforts towards the following season in the locker room that afternoon and basically we talked about being mentally and physically tough and what kind of steps we were going to take to do that. So that’s been our only focus since that afternoon.”

*Colgate and Lehigh were picked to finish fourth and fifth, but Lafayette, which accrued a school-record eight wins and appeared in its first league tournament, was dropped to sixth. To be fair, the Leopards absorbed some losses on the defensive end, which could account for the lowered expectations. Coach Terry Mangan, however, said he didn’t anticipate using the slight as a motivational tool for his players. “Anybody’s expectations can’t really affect what we’re doing,” he said. “… I think our motivation has to come from within. … We want to be motivated for the right reasons. Trying to prove somebody wrong is hollow.”

*Holy Cross was selected seventh. Army swept the individual honors, too. Senior attackman Jeremy Boltus and senior defenseman Bill Henderson was named the preseason offensive and defensive players of the year, respectively.

Posted by Edward Lee at 11:45 AM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Navy

An unofficial stab at 2011's preseason poll (Part 4)

Here is the fourth installment of the 2011 poll compiled after last year's national championship. These rankings could – and probably will – change based on transfers and seniors granted fifth years of eligibility, so please take this with a grain of salt.


5. Maryland (2010 record: 12-4; Tournament finish: quarterfinals)
Two starters in attackman Will Yeatman (15, 7) and goalkeeper Brian Phipps (8.20 GAA and .556 save percentage) and three key contributors in face-off specialist Bryn Holmes (63 GBs, 149-of-275 for .542), midfielder Adam Sear (11, 1) and short-stick defensive midfielder Dean Hart (15 GBs).
Returners: Eight starters including the entire starting attack of juniors Grant Catalino (34, 20), Ryan Young (18, 30) and Travis Reed (21, 18) and the entire starting close defense of juniors Brett Schmidt (36 GBs, 28 CTs), Max Schmidt (39 GBs, 21 CTs) and Ryder Bohlander (30 GBs, 19 CTs).
Reason for pessimism: It’s up to redshirt sophomore Mark White, redshirt freshman M.J. Leonard or freshman Niko Amato to succeed Phipps as the starter in the net.
Reason for optimism: An already tough defense also returns a pair of long-stick midfielders in junior Brian Farrell (6, 6; 53 GBs, 26 CTs) and freshman Jesse Bernhardt (2, 2; 34 GBs, 15 CTs) and junior short-stick midfielder Dan Burns (2, 5; 28 GBs).

4. Princeton (11-5; first round)
Three starters in attackman Rob Engelke (17, 21), midfielder Scott Mackenzie (10, 11) and defenseman Jeremy Hirsch (15 GBs).
Returners: Seven starters including junior attackman Jack McBride (35, 16), freshman midfielders Mike Chanenchuk (28, 8) and Jeff Froccaro (15, 7), junior defenseman Long Ellis (26 GBs, 22 CTs), sophomore defenseman Chad Wiedmaier (12 GBs, 12 CTs) and sophomore goalie Tyler Fiorito (8.58 GAA, .569 save percentage).
Reason for pessimism: Froccaro (44 GBs, 90-of-177 for .508) and sophomore Peter Smyth (25 GBs, 57-of-114 for .500) lead a face-off unit that won just 50.6 percent this past season.
Reason for optimism: With sophomore long-stick midfielder John Cunningham (54 GBs, 13 CTs), sophomore defenseman Jonathan Myers (25 GBs, 11 CTs) and Under Armour All American Robert Posniewski in the fold, the defense should continue to be a strength for the Tigers.

3. North Carolina (13-3; quarterfinals)
Four starters in midfielders Sean DeLaney (25, 9) and Cryder DiPietro (10, 10), attackman Gavin Petracca (25, 23) and defenseman Michael Jarvis (16 GBs, 21 CTs).
Returners: Six starters in junior attackman Billy Bitter (22, 22), sophomore attackman Thomas Wood (30, 13), sophomore midfielder Jimmy Dunster (17, 13), junior defenseman Ryan Flanagan (51 GBs, 36 CTs), sophomore defenseman Charlie McComas (40 GBs, 14 CTs) and junior goalkeeper Chris Madalon (8.86 GAA, .522 save percentage).
Reason for pessimism: The Tar Heels’ inability to find depth at midfield figures to be an even tougher task with the graduation of DeLaney and DiPietro.
Reason for optimism: Eight Under Armour All Americans – the most of any school – will join the team, including attackman Nick Galasso, the top senior according to Inside Lacrosse.

2. Virginia (16-2; semifinals)
Three starters in a pair of defensemen in Ken Clausen (56 GBs, 37 CTs) and Ryan Nizolek (31 GBs) and midfielder Brian Carroll (26, 14) and two key contributors in face-off specialist Brian McDermott (43 GBs, 105-of-180 for .583) and short-stick defensive midfielder Mikey Thompson (3, 3; 31 GBs).
Returners: The entire starting attack of sophomores Chris Bocklet (53,14) and Steele Stanwick (29, 32) and freshman Matt White (19, 14), junior midfielders Shamel Bratton (24, 17) and Rhamel Bratton (23, 8), sophomore defenseman Matt Lovejoy (32 GBs, 12 CTs) and junior goalie Adam Ghitelman (8.24 GAA, .548 save percentage) and a key contributor in junior long-stick midfielder Bray Malphrus (50 GBs, 24 CTs).
Reason for pessimism: Is freshman Chris LaPierre (10, 9; 51 GBs), junior John Haldy (11, 5) or sophomore Colin Briggs (10, 2) poised to join the Brattons on the first midfield line?
Reason for optimism: Finding a defensive leader to replace Clausen will be a challenge, but offense should not be an issue with Bocklet and Stanwick leading the charge.

1. Syracuse (13-2; first round)
Three starters in attackmen Chris Daniello (28, 25) and Cody Jamieson (28, 13) and defenseman Matt Tierney (31 GBs) and two key contributors in attackman Max Bartig (13, 3) and face-off specialist Gavin Jenkinson (99-of-173 for .572).
Returners: Seven starters including the entire starting midfield of juniors Josh Amidon (14, 13), Jeremy Thompson (15, 8) and Jovan Miller (15, 6), junior defenseman John Lade (32 GBs), freshman defenseman Brian Megill (39 GBs) and junior goalkeeper John Galloway (7.16 GAA, .595 save percentage).
Reason for pessimism: The Orange must find a playmaker to replace Daniello and feed junior attackman Stephen Keogh (31, 5). Could freshman JoJo Marasco (9, 8) fill that void?
Reason for optimism: Scoring goals against a defense that includes junior long-stick midfielder and Tewaaraton Award finalist Joel White (6, 4: 78 GBs) could be an unenviable task for Syracuse’s opponents.

Previous polls: Nos. 20-16Nos. 15-11, Nos. 10-6.

Posted by Edward Lee at 9:00 AM | | Comments (6)
Categories: Maryland

An unofficial stab at 2011's preseason poll (Part 3)

Here is the third installment of the 2011 poll compiled after last year's national championship. These rankings could – and probably will – change based on transfers and seniors granted fifth years of eligibility, so please take this with a grain of salt.


10. Georgetown (2010 record: 9-5; Tournament finish: no tournament)
Five starters in attackman Craig Dowd (13 goals and 31 assists), midfielders Scott Kocis (16, 13) and Andrew Brancaccio (25, 1) and defensemen Chris Nixon (43 groundballs and 30 caused turnovers) and Eric Bicknese (19 GBs).
Returners: Five starters including freshman attackman Travis Comeau (25, 5) and junior attackman Rickey Mirabito (24, 5), junior midfielder Max Seligmann (14, 1), junior defenseman Dan Hostetler (40 GBs, 13 CTs) and senior goalkeeper Jack Davis (11.14 goals-against average, .481 save percentage) and a two key contributors in junior attackman Ryan Shuler (9, 6) and freshman midfielder Zac Guy (3, 11).
Reason for pessimism: Neither Davis nor sophomore goalie C.T. Fisher (9.66 GAA, .492 save percentage) strike fear in the hearts of opposing shooters.
Reason for optimism: The defense should get a boost from the return of senior defenseman Barney Ehrmann who sat out this past season because of an injured ankle and freshman defenseman Brennan Bicknese (16 GBs, 18 CTs).

9. Duke (16-4; NCAA champion)
Five of the top seven scorers in a trio of starters in attackmen Ned Crotty (23, 63) and Max Quinzani (68, 14) and midfielder Steve Schoeffel (19, 6) and two key contributors in midfielder Jonathan Livadas (9, 13) and attackman Will McKee (12, 9).
Returners: Five starters in junior attackman Zach Howell (51, 19), sophomore midfielders Justin Turri (20, 17) and Robert Rotanz (9, 4), junior defenseman Michael Manley (44 GBs, 17 CTs) and freshman goalkeeper Dan Wigrizer (9.41 GAA, .508 save percentage).
Reason for pessimism: The Blue Devils bid farewell to a pair of face-off specialists in Sam Payton (80 GBs, 133-of-234 for .568) and Terrence Molinari (34 GBs, 50-of-101 for .495), which could put more of a burden on sophomore long-stick midfielder C.J. Costabile (65 GBs, 75-of-138 for .543).
Reason for optimism: Even with the graduation of Parker McKee (105 GBs, 32 CTs) and Dan Theodoridis (25 GBs), the defense could re-load with junior Tom Montelli (35 GBs, 22 CTs) and incoming Under Armour All-American Luke Duprey.

8. Notre Dame (10-7; finals)
Four starters in attackman Neal Hicks (23, 14), midfielder Grant Krebs (24, 4), defenseman Mike Creighton (30 GBs, 18 CTs) and goalie Scott Rodgers (7.56 GAA, .605 save percentage) and a key contributor in face-off specialist Trever Sipperly (67 GBs, 181-of-325 for .557).
Returners: Six starters including junior midfielder Zach Brenneman (29, 13) and a trio of sophomores in attackmen Sean Rogers (14, 5) and Nicholas Beattie (11, 8) and midfielder Max Pfeifer (10, 8) and two key contributors in junior midfielder David Earl (22, 6) and freshman midfielder Steven Murphy (9, 1).
Reason for pessimism: Can freshman John Kemp (7.52 GAA, .569 save percentage in two starts) rise to the challenge of stepping in and succeeding Rodgers, who powered the Fighting Irish’s run to the NCAA finals?
Reason for optimism: Kemp should get plenty of help from junior defenseman Kevin Ridgway (21 GBs, 7 CTs), sophomore defenseman Kevin Randall (22 GBs, 11 CTs), junior long-stick midfielder Andrew Irving (76 GBs, 27 CTs) and senior defenseman Sam Barnes, who sat out this past season due to a hamstring injury.

7. Stony Brook (13-4; quarterfinals)
Four starters in a pair of defensemen in Chris Gignilliat (31 GBs) and Michael Sopko (24 GBs), long-stick midfielder Steven Waldeck (112 GBs, 32 CTs) and goalkeeper Charlie Paar (9.55 GAA, .562 save percentage).
Returners: The entire starting attack of senior Tom Compitello (37, 35), junior Jordan McBride (48, 8) and sophomore Kyle Belton (23, 5) and the starting midfield of Kevin Crowley (51, 26), Robbie Campbell (20 ,17) and Timmy Trenkle (10, 10).
Reason for pessimism: The holes on defense are immense, but none are as daunting as the graduation of Waldeck, who took out opponents’ top midfielders, battled on face-offs, and powered the transition game with 10 goals and four assists.
Reason for optimism: An intimidating offense should get plenty of opportunities courtesy of the return of junior face-off specialist Adam Rand (81 GBs, 266-of-432 for .616).

6. Cornell (12-6; semifinals)
Two starters in attackman Ryan Hurley (47, 13) and midfielder Chris Ritchie (17, 8) and three key contributors in long-stick midfielder Pierce Derkac (75 GBs), face-off specialist Austin Boykin (63 GBs, 166-of-296 for .561) and defenseman Andrew MacDonald (34 GBs).
Returners: Eight starters including the entire starting defense of junior Max Feely (30 GBs), freshman Jason Noble (56 GBs) and freshman Mike Bronzino and freshman goalie A.J. Fiore (8.69 GAA, .545 save percentage).
Reason for pessimism: There is a modicum of continuity with the promotion of Ben DeLuca from associate head coach to head coach, but how much will the Big Red miss Jeff Tambroni, who departed for Penn State on June 17.
Reason for optimism: The offense should be just fine with the presence of sophomore attackman Rob Pannell (29, 51), freshman attackman Steve Mock (21, 2), sophomore midfielder Roy Lang (16, 6), junior midfielder David Lau (12, 9), sophomore attackman Scott Austin (13, 3) and sophomore midfielder Chris Langton (12, 3).

Posted by Edward Lee at 8:00 AM | | Comments (1)

An unofficial stab at 2011's preseason poll (Part 2)

Here is the second installment of the 2011 poll compiled after last year's national championship. These rankings could – and probably will – change based on transfers and seniors granted fifth years of eligibility, so please take this with a grain of salt.


15. Drexel (2010 record: 10-5; Tournament finish: no tournament)
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)
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)
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)
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)
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 (0)
Categories: Johns Hopkins

An unofficial stab at 2011's preseason poll (Part 1)

Welcome to 2011.
The college lacrosse season is once again nearly upon us, and I hope to blog a few nuggets from Wednesday’s conference call with Patriot League coaches.
But for now, here is a top-20 poll compiled after Duke edged Notre Dame in overtime for the national title on Memorial Day. These rankings could – and probably will – change based on transfers and seniors granted fifth years of eligibility, so please take this with a grain of salt.
Because of the unseemly length of the poll, there will be four installments released every hour.



20. Towson (2010 record: 7-8; Tournament finish: no tournament)
The entire starting midfield in 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 backup 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)
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 is even stronger 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)
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)
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 reserves 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).
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 resulted in 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)
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 registered a 9.66 GAA and a .538 save percentage in six starts and will likely succeed Lowell in the cage.

Posted by Edward Lee at 6:00 AM | | Comments (0)
Categories: Loyola, Towson

January 18, 2011

Lacrosse Fan Fest back in town

Lacrosse fans will converge on the Baltimore Convention Center Saturday for the annual Fan Fest, the nation's largest indoor lacrosse exhibition.

Fan Fest, part of US Lacrosse's annual national convention, features the latest in lacrosse gear as well as clinics and demonstrations, including a contest in which players can try to make a watermelon explode with their shot.

More than 140 vendors will be on hand with clothing, equipment and other lacrosse-specific items in the EXPO Hall. Among the demonstrations will be one by the Chesapeake Bayhawks, the 2010 MLL champions and by the U19 women's national team as it prepares for the Federation of International Lacrosse U10 World Championships in Germany this summer.

Rashad Devoe, Lacrosse Magazine's strength and conditioning coach, and Hall of Famer Tom Marechek, the Glenelg Country boys coach, will also have demonstrations.

The US Lacrosse convention brings in more than 5,000 people from all parts of lacrosse culture. Cost for Fan Fest is $10 -- $5 for youngsters 12 and under, wearing their lacrosse jerseys. Under six are free.

Posted by Katherine Dunn at 2:30 PM | | Comments (1)
Keep reading
Recent entries
About Faceoff
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.

Sign up for FREE local sports alerts
Get free Sun alerts sent to your mobile phone.*
Get free Baltimore Sun mobile alerts
Sign up for local sports text alerts

Returning user? Update preferences.
Sign up for more Sun text alerts
*Standard message and data rates apply. Click here for Frequently Asked Questions.
Photo galleries
Blog updates
Recent updates to sports blogs  Subscribe to this feed