February 9, 2012

Season Preview (MD3): Top 20 Team Outlooks

by Laxmagazine.com Staff

1. Salisbury

2011 Record: 21-1 (7-1 CAC)
Key Player: Sam Bradman (55g, 23a) is the face of the Sea Gulls, but they only clicked when Tony Mendes felt comfortable at attack.
X-Factor: Sophomore Alex Taylor is the heir apparent in goal, but can he replicate the clutch performances of Johnny Rodriguez?

2. Tufts

2011 Record: 18-3 (8-1 NESCAC)
Key Player: With the graduation of D.J. Hessler and Ryan Molloy, it’s up to senior attackman Sean Kirwan (66g) to score.
X-Factor: Defense should be the dominant unit for the Jumbos.

3. Roanoke

2011 Record: 17-4 (7-4 ODAC)
Key Player: Charles Pease (.537 sv pct) emerged as the top goalie.
X-Factor: The run-and-gun Roanoke philosophy depends on a talented faceoff man. Without Justin Tuma, the Maroons need one.

4. Dickinson

2011 Record: 17-2 (8-0 Centennial Conference)
Key Player: Brian Cannon (24g, 28a) made a big splash as a rookie.
X-Factor: Assistant coach Tim Marshall’s return to his alma mater will be a huge lift to a defense that could be the best around.

5. RIT

2011 Record: 19-1 (8-0 Empire 8)
Key Player: Tyler Russell (69g) needs to replicate 2011 numbers.
X-Factor: The Tigers leave the Empire 8, but they could run into a buzz saw by joining the powerful Liberty League.

6. Cortland

2011 Record: 16-3 (6-0 SUNYAC)
Key Player: Greg Wright (19g, 33a) is critical as the set-up man.
X-Factor: Chris DeLuca and Justin Battino were devastating on faceoffs. Can senior Nick Jarvis now carry the load?

7. Stevenson

2011 Record: 18-3 (8-0 CAC)
Key Player: Ian Bolland (6.57 GAA, .590 sv pct) was stellar as the last line of defense. He’ll have to be even better.
X-Factor: Rebuild or reload? Stevenson graduated an epic class.

8. Amherst

2011 Record: 15-3 (8-1 NESCAC)
Key Player: Danny Gold could be the best LSM in the country.
X-Factor: The Lord Jeffs must adjust to the NESCAC’s bull’s-eye.

9. Stevens

2011 Record: 16-3 (7-1 Empire 8)
Key Player: He played in the shadow of Brandon Faubert in 2011, so we’ll see how good junior midfielder Nicolas Philippi (33g) really is in 2012.
X-Factor: After scoring at least 15 goals in 13 games, the Ducks managed just 12 combined in two NCAA contests. What’s the answer?

10. Middlebury

2011 Record: 13-5 (6-3 NESCAC)
Key Player:
Matt Giordano (17g, 34a) anchors retooled attack unit.
Junior defenseman Matt Rayner was injured during football season. His healthy return is imperative for the Panthers.

11. Denison

2011 Record: 11-4 (4-1 NCAC)
Key Player: Nick Farrell gives the Big Red a premium defender.
X-Factor: Mike Caravana enters the fourth year of his second stint at Denison. That’s usually when a program finds its identity.

12. Gettysburg

2011 Record: 12-7 (6-2 Centennial Conference)
Key Player: The Bullets had a midfield-centric offense in 2011, but Pat Sartory (30g, 14a) will swing the power back to the attack unit.
X-Factor: Gettysburg may thrive in its new underdog role.

13. Union

2011 Record: 13-5 (4-2 Liberty League)
Key Player: Sean Aaron’s 19 saves in a 6-5 loss to Tufts in the NCAA tourney give you an indication of the senior goalkeeper’s ability.
X-Factor: Union must improve extra-man offense (18.3 percent).

14. Endicott

2011 Record: 16-5 (9-1 Commonwealth Coast)
Key Player: Goalie Mike Klein (8.16 GAA, .554 sv pct) started for the first time in his life last spring. Now he needs to carry the defense.
X-Factor: The Gulls have a very strong non-conference schedule, but getting past WNEC in the CCC will be just as difficult.

15. Lynchburg

2011 Record: 13-6 (5-2 ODAC)
Key Player: Having a quarterback like senior attackman Dylan Hoff (37g, 20a) will be critical against a difficult schedule.
X-Factor: Hornets must figure out how to solve Roanoke in ODAC.

16. Cabrini

2011 Record: 13-6 (6-0 CSAC)
Key Player: The Cavaliers morphed into a defensive team, and senior long pole John McSorely was the catalyst.
X-Factor: Cabrini hasn’t lost a CSAC game since 2000.

17. Nazareth

2011 Record: 11-7 (6-2 Empire 8)
Key Player: Senior attackman C.J. Estes (23g, 23a) has to ensure offense doesn’t disappear in games as it did at times last year.
X-Factor: Flyers goalies had a save percentage of .480 and still made the NCAA tournament. Clean that up, and Naz will be dangerous.

18. Haverford

2011 Record: 11-4 (6-2 Centennial Conference)
Key Player: Joe Banno (7.24 GAA, .650 sv pct) has been a difference-maker since the day he arrived at Haverford.
X-Factor: At some point the Black Squirrels need to score goals – something they struggled to do last spring.

19. RPI

2011 Record: 11-6 (4-2 Liberty League)
Key Player: Tyler Hutchinson anchors a defense that returns entirely intact.
X-Factor: Defense will dictate success, but the Engineers still need to find some clutch scorers.

20. Trinity

2011 Record: 12-4 (6-3 NESCAC)
Key Player: Nick Shaheen (19g, 18a) dishes from the midfield.
X-Factor: Serious losses on defense end may force Trinity to play with a different tempo than it did in 2011.

This article appears in the February issue of Lacrosse Magazine, the flagship publication of US Lacrosse. Join US Lacrosse and its 400,000-plus members today to start your subscription to LM.

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