June 2, 2014

Early MD3 Top 10 for 2015: Tufts Returning Loaded

by Jac Coyne | LaxMagazine.com | Coyne Archive | Twitter

RIT had its unbeaten season ended by Tufts in the semifinals. Will they be back in the North top spot by the end of 2015? (Greg Wall)

1. Tufts

With a staggering array of weapons, the Jumbos rolled the championship. Frighteningly, most of them return next spring, including the nation's leading scorer, John Uppgren (124 points).

2. RIT

The Tigers got rolled by Tufts in the semis, but just six seniors graduate off this year's version. The top goal-scorers – Casey Jackson, Ryan Lee and Kyle Aquin – all return.

3. Stevenson

Fourteen of the Top 16 scorers return for the Mustangs. All that's in question is finding a faceoff man to replace Brent Hiken, but Paul Cantebene knows a thing or two about that.

4. Salisbury

The graduation of a huge senior class takes a toll on many of the experienced players, but Jim Berkman proved this year he doesn't need superstars to keeping the machine running.

5. Cortland

With goalie Scott Tota, midfielder Matt Rakoczy and attackman Zach Hopps, the Red Dragons have the experience to give the top dogs in the North a run for their money.

6. Denison

Four of the top five point producers return along with a strong backline that helped the Big Red roll to a 19-0 start to the season. Attackman Luke Walsh is a rising star in the division.

7. Washington College

The Shoremen confirmed that they were back on the national scene with their semifinal run and guys like middies Sid Looney and attackman Stephen Luck will help them keep pace.

8. Cabrini

The departure of Corey Elmer is a blow, but the quiet reality of the Cavaliers is they weren't a one-trick pony. They have a stacked junior class, paced by attackmen Mike Leyden.

9. Lynchburg

The underclasses took over the scoring duties this spring, and the top four, highlighted by attackman Aaron Murphy, return for an encore.

10. Union

The Dutchmen got caught up in the RIT wash, losing to the Tigers three times, but this is a strong program. Goalie Stefan Basile is the best in the business right now.

Odds and Ends

The contenders to crack the Top 10 in 2015 are numerous in both the North and South.

Starting with the top end, Endicott's one-goal loss to Tufts in the quarterfinals speaks to the talent that Sean Quirk has amassed, and Springfield, Amherst, and Western New England are other Massachusetts teams that will be in the hunt. Ithaca, Wesleyan and Montclair State are other programs that are edging ever closer to the Top 10.

In the South, York made a big leap this spring with fellow CAC rival Mary Washington right on their tail. There are plenty of high profile squads – Dickinson, Roanoke and Washington & Lee, to name three – that are eyeing a return to the big show.

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