Disclaimers aside, the Cardinals' roster is loaded.

The attack boasts seniors Carter Brown (Ohio State), Patrick Kelly (North Carolina), Ryan Brown (Johns Hopkins), Pat Carotenuto (Rutgers) and Brett Pearce (Bucknell) and junior varsity call-up Jordan Germershausen, who totaled three goals and two assists in a 12-6 triumph over Canadian power Hill Academy.

Seniors Kelton Black (Hopkins), Brian Bolewicki (Towson) and Reece Bartell (Towson) join juniors John Belz (Maryland), Stephen Kelly (North Carolina) and his cousin, Johnny Kelly (Ohio State), on the midfield.

Senior Evan Connell (North Carolina) and junior Garrett Epple (Notre Dame) anchor the defense with sophomore Erik Evans (Ohio State) in front of senior goalie Jack Brust (Quinnipiac).

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Last year, the Cardinals breezed into the conference final with just one loss before being beaten handily by Gilman.

This May, they'll be looking for a more satisfying finish.


2011 record: 13-7

Coach Kyle Fiat's quote: "They are definitely not going to be the most skilled team or even close to the most skilled team I have seen here, but we have group of seniors who are incredibly hard workers."

Breakdown: The Lions improved from 7-9 to 13-6 in Fiat's rookie season. They also reached a state semifinal for the first time since 2008.

"The kids have the mentality that (at least a state semifinal) is the ultimate goal, but we have a long, long way to go," said Fiat, who served as a varsity assistant for four years before taking over head coaching duties from Jake Reed. "We are going to be a pretty thin team and the kids are going to have to be flexible."

Fiat raves about senior goalie Alex Stansbury. The Lions need Stansbury to play at even higher level than he did in 2011 with an inexperienced defense.

And it appears he's up to the challenge.

"There's no question our strength will be our goalie," Fiat said. "He had a great junior year and had a great offseason to prepare for his senior year."

Fiat also marvels at his midfield, which is spearheaded by two Randolph-Macon recruits, seniors Nick Benhoff and Louie Bafford. They're joined by juniors Tilghman Sanders, a transfer from Calvert Hall, and Jake Calder, a varsity returnee.

But Dulaney's defense will be likely scrutinized more than any other area by Fiat and his coaching staff.

Senior Andy Huber and Andy Gillen are the leaders of the defense that will be under the microscope.

"Last year, our strength in numbers was definitely our defense," Fiat said. "This year, that's probably our thinnest position. As the season goes along, we will have to have a couple of guys step up."

The attack features varsity veterans, sophomore Keegan Colegrove and junior Tate Berman, and newcomer Robbie Mathey.