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Review & preview: Premature 2012 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. Yale (2010 record: 10-4; Tournament finish: no tournament)

Losses: Just two starters in attackman Brian Douglass (28 goals and 15 assists) and goalkeeper Johnathan Falcone (7.30 goals-against average and .559 save percentage) and the starting long-stick midfielder in Patrick Coleman (46 ground balls and 29 caused turnovers).

Returners: Six of the team’s top seven scorers including junior attackman Matt Gibson (20, 16), junior midfielder Greg Mahoney (16, 8) and freshman attackman Brandon Mangan (11, 6).

Reason for pessimism: Although the Bulldogs bring back three starting defensemen in sophomores Michael McCormack (32 GBs, 33 CTs), Peter Johnson (18 GBs, 13 CTs) and Phil Gross (17 GBs, 13 CTs), the onus is on sophomore Peter Spaulding or freshman Jack Meyer to succeed Falcone.

Reason for optimism: The offense should get plenty of opportunities courtesy of a faceoff unit that includes sophomore Cole Yeager (75 GBs, 140-of-216 for .648) and freshman Dylan Levings (33 GBs, 61-of-84 for .726).

14. Penn (8-7; first round)

Losses: Three starters in attackman Corey Winkoff (8, 27), midfielder Al Kohart (26, 3) and defenseman Brett Hughes (21 GBs, 18 CTs) and a key contributor in short-stick defensive midfielder Terry Kennedy (15 GBs, 9 CTs).

Returners: Seven starters including junior attackman John Conneely (13, 7), junior midfielder Dan Savage (16, 3) and sophomore attackman Rob Fitzpatrick (14, 5).

Reason for pessimism: Faceoffs were a liability as the Quakers won just 42.7 percent (129-of-302) of their draws. That contributed to an offense that managed to average just 8.2 goals, which ranked 46th in the country.

Reason for optimism: The defense appears to be in good hands with freshman defenseman Maxx Meyer (43 GBs, 23 CTs), sophomore defenseman Anthony Santomo (32 GBs, 18 CTs), junior long-stick midfielder Will Koshansky (47 GBs, 45 CTs) and freshman goalie Brian Feeney (8.22 GAA, .494 save percentage).

13. Penn State (7-7; no tournament)

Losses: Only one starter in defenseman Matt Bernier (39 GBs, 14 CTs) and a key contributor in first-line midfielder Colton Vosburgh (9, 3).

Returners: Nine starters including the entire starting attack of juniors Matt Mackrides (20, 10) and Jack Forster (14, 1) and freshman Shane Sturgis (18, 16) and two starting midfielders in sophomore Kyle VanThof (8, 7) and freshman Tom LaCrosse (9, 3).

Reason for pessimism: The offense averaged just 8.1 goals per game and converted just 22.6 percent (12-of-53) of its extra-man opportunities.

Reason for optimism: A defense that tied for ninth in country (8.0 goals-per-game average) returns three starting defensemen in juniors Bill Davis (18 GBs, 13 CTs) and Ryan McGarvey (16 GBs, 9CTs) and freshman Steven Bogert (31 GBs, 8 CTs) and freshman goalie Austin Kaut (7.90 GAA, .635 save percentage).

12. Syracuse (15-2; quarterfinals)

Losses: Seven starters in midfielders Jeremy Thompson (18, 12), Josh Amidon (16, 12) and Jovan Miller (14, 11), defensemen John Lade (29 GBs, 22 CTs) and Thomas Guadagnolo (22 GBs, 15 CTs), attackman Stephen Keogh (33, 8) and goalie John Galloway (6.70 GAA, .572 save percentage) and a key contributor in long-stick midfielder Joel White (4, 2; 79 GBs, 30 CTs).

Returners: Three starters in sophomore attackman JoJo Marasco (23, 18) and redshirt junior attackman Tim Desko (16, 3) and sophomore defenseman Brian Megill (34 GBs, 27 CTs) and two key contributors in junior attackman Tom Palasek (17, 18) and junior short-stick defensive midfielder Kevin Drew (6, 1; 33 GBs, 11 CTs).

Reason for pessimism: There are a lot of holes to fill, but none may be more important than replacing Galloway, a four-year starter. Redshirt freshman Matthew Lerman registered an 8.47 goals-against average and a .615 save percentage in seven contests this past spring.

Reason for optimism: Marasco, Palasek and Desko should anchor the attack as four Under Armour All Americans in midfielders Thomas Grimm and Matt Walters, attackman Kevin Rice and goalkeeper Bobby Wardell find their footing in the system.

11. Maryland (13-4; final)

Losses: Five starters in attackmen Grant Catalino (29, 10) and Ryan Young (19, 18) and defensemen Brett Schmidt (50 GBs, 22 CTs), Max Schmidt (31 GBs, 17 CTs) and Ryder Bohlander (21 GBs, 11 CTs) and three key contributors in attackman Travis Reed (10, 10), long-stick midfielder Brian Farrell (7, 6; 35 GBs, 18 CTs) and short-stick defensive midfielder Dan Burns (23 GBs, 6 CTs).

Returners: Five starters including the entire midfield of juniors Drew Snider (17, 3) and Jake Bernhardt (14, 3) and sophomore John Haus (13, 12) and redshirt freshman goalkeeper Niko Amato (6.78 GAA, .583 save percentage).

Reason for pessimism: Despite the return of Amato, sophomore long-stick midfielder Jesse Bernhardt (2, 2; 40 GBs, 16 CTs), sophomore short-stick defensive midfielder Landon Carr (7, 1; 19 GBs, 9 CTs) and junior short-stick defensive midfielder Michael Shakespeare (16 GBs, 6 CTs), no close defenseman outside of the graduated seniors played in more than eight games.

Reason for optimism: The Terps welcome seven Under Armour All Americans in the next recruiting class, and former Princeton freshman midfielder Mike Chanenchuk (28, 8 in 2010) and former Penn State sophomore attackman Billy Gribbin (29, 10 in two seasons) are reportedly intending to transfer to Maryland.

Posted by Edward Lee at 7:00 AM | | Comments (1)
Categories: Maryland


Maryland at #11?
How often has UMd finished outside the top 10?
What about returning 3rd team AA Joe Cummings and top FO man Curtis Holmes?
Last season, I thought about dropping Duke out my top 10, but I realized that Duke had a lot more talent than those teams out around #10 and beyond - and thus kept them in my top 10. The same goes for UMd this year.
How many of those teams out around #10 have 7 UA AAs on their whole roster? Think about it.
Ed: Zack, I have questions about Maryland graduating all three starting defensemen and two-thirds of its starting attack. I'm not questioning the talent of Joe Cummings and Curtis Holmes, but I think filling those holes could be more difficult than initially thought. Then again, I'm just as wrong as the next guy. Perhaps the Terps will be better than I think.

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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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