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Premature men’s lacrosse rankings for 2019, Part 2

Here is the second installment of a very premature attempt to compile preseason rankings for next year.

The top 20 will be broken up into four installments with Wednesday’s post involving teams ranked from Nos. 15 to 11. Tuesday featured teams ranked from Nos. 20 to 16. Thursday will highlight Nos. 10 to 6 and Friday Nos. 5 to 1.

Unless there are confirmed reports about certain players planning to use fifth years of eligibility, this space will assume that seniors in 2018 will not return next season. Unannounced fifth-year seniors and potential transfers will affect the rankings that come out next February, but here’s a spin anyway.

15. Villanova

(2018 record: 10-6; NCAA tournament finish: first round)

Losses: Three starters in attackmen Christian Cuccinello (33 G, 24 A) and Danny Seibel (36 G, 9 A) and midfielder Devin McNamara (16 G, 9 A).

Returns: Seven starters, including the entire close defense of sophomores Matt Webster (25 GB, 13 CT) and Zachary Kryza (26 GB, 8 CT) and freshman Owen Prybylski (23 GB, 11 CT).

Reason for pessimism: Three goalies earned starts this past spring, which raises the question: Which one will solidify his status as the primary goalkeeper?

Reason for optimism: The outlook could be brighter if graduate student goalie Matt Barrett (8.72 GAA, .750 save percentage in one start before suffering a season-ending knee injury) can regain another year of eligibility and junior midfielder Joey Froccaro (26 G, 18 A in 2016 and 2017) can bounce back from an ACL injury suffered last fall.

14. Massachusetts

(12-5; first round)

Losses: Three starters in attackman Buddy Carr (39 goals and 25 assists), midfielder Jake Lisauskas (18 G, 5 A) and defenseman Luc Valenza (24 ground balls and 15 caused turnovers).

Returns: Seven starters, including three 20-point scorers in sophomore midfielder Jeff Trainor (28 G, 22 A), freshman attackman Chris Connolly (25 G, 25 A) and sophomore attackman Devin Spencer (19 G, 4 A).

Reason for pessimism: The team has a hole at faceoff specialist considering that recently graduated Noah Rak (59.3 percent on 208 of 351, 138 ground balls, 5 G, 5 A) took 85.4 percent of the draws.

Reason for optimism: The team does return junior defenseman and the Colonial Athletic Association’s Player of the Year Isaac Paparo (45 GB, 25 CT, 5 G, 8 A) and Connolly, the conference’s Rookie of the Year.

13. Johns Hopkins

(12-5; quarterfinals)

Losses: Four starters, including the team’s top two playmakers in midfielder Joel Tinney (21 G, 32 A) and attackman Shack Stanwick (18 G, 35 A).

Returns: Six starters, including the entire close defense of junior Patrick Foley (30 GB, 14 CT) and sophomores Jack Rapine (31 GB, 10 CT) and Owen Colwell (20 GB, 6 CT).

Reason for pessimism: Strength up the middle is suddenly a significant concern after the departures of goalkeeper Brock Turnbaugh (9.52 goals-against average and .506 save percentage) and faceoff specialist Hunter Moreland (57.0 percent on 200 of 351, 99 GB, 4 G, 2 A).

Reason for optimism: The defense will get additional support from the Rope unit of long-stick midfielders Robert Kuhn (27 GB, 9 CT) and Jared Reinson (18 GB, 2 CT) and short-stick defensive midfielders Daniel Jones (10 GB, 14 CT) and Matt Hubler (12 GB).

12. Loyola Maryland

(13-4; quarterfinals)

Losses: Three starters in midfielder Jay Drapeau (41 G, 9 A) and defensemen Foster Huggins (46 GB, 52 CT) and Ryder Harkins (17 GB, 14 CT).

Returns: Seven starters, including the entire attack of junior and two-time Tewaaraton Award finalist Pat Spencer (35 G, 59 A) and freshmen Kevin Lindley (37 G, 4 A) and Aidan Olmstead (19 G, 21 A).

Reason for pessimism: The losses of Huggins, the Patriot League’s Defensive Player of the Year, and Harkins are exacerbated by the graduation of the starting Rope unit of long-stick midfielder Zac Davliakos (32 GB, 9 CT) and short-stick defensive midfielders Brian Begley (35 GB, 10 CT, 5 G, 3 A) and Jared Mintzlaff (13 GB, 12 CT, 2 G, 1 A).

Reason for optimism: The team is expected to welcome back two backup members of the Rope unit in sophomore long-stick midfielder Ryan McNulty (53 GB, 15 CT, 4 G, 2 A) and sophomore short-stick defensive midfielder Matt Higgins (14 GB, 9 CT).

11. Notre Dame

(9-6; first round)

Losses: Three starters in attackman Mikey Wynne (20 G, 4 A) and midfielders Pierre Byrne (8 G, 8 A) and Brendan Collins (9 G, 3 A).

Returns: Seven starters, including four on defense in freshman defenseman Arden Cohen (39 GB, 10 CT), junior defenseman Hugh Crance (30 GB, 7 CT), sophomore defenseman Jack Kielty (24 GB, 7 CT) and freshman goalie Matt Schmidt (8.35 GAA, .475 save percentage).

Reason for pessimism: A defense that allowed only 8.6 goals per game this past spring will miss two members of the top Rope unit in long-stick midfielder and the Atlantic Coast Conference’s Defensive Player of the Year John Sexton (60 GB, 19 CT, 4 G, 3 A) and short-stick defensive midfielder and All-ACC choice Carlson Milikin (9 GB, 9 CT).

Reason for optimism: The offense could bring back four of its top five scorers in junior attackman Ryder Garnsey (29 G, 14 A), sophomore midfielder Bryan Costabile (30 G, 4 A), junior midfielder Brendan Gleason (19 G, 14 A) and sophomore attackman Brian Willetts (14 G, 3 A).

edward.lee@baltsun.com

twitter.com/EdwardLeeSun

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