The strong only get stronger


For Maryland and Johns Hopkins, the state's lone teams in this year's NCAA final four, the lacrosse recruiting season appears to be a matter of the strong getting stronger.

"This is as strong a class as we've had," said Tony Seaman, Hopkins' coach of five years.

Maryland's Dick Edell said, "On paper, this group appears to be equal to last year's, and I was thrilled with that one. It's impossible to evaluate a class at this point -- it's just potential. But I hope I'm saying the same thing next year about this group as I am now about last year's."

Edell is bringing in 15 recruits, including nine midfielders, two defensemen, three attackmen and a goalie. Last year's recruiting class helped lead Maryland to the championship game. The Terps lost to Syracuse after upsetting Hopkins in the semifinals.

Because Hopkins lost Terry Riordan and Brian Piccola, 1-2 on the school career goals list with 184 and 154, respectively, Seaman sought offensive players, and has three attackmen and five midfielders in his class of 11. He said he is particularly pleased with Dan Denihan of Manhasset (N.Y.) High, which won the state championship.

"Denihan was the MVP in the championship game and MVP, with six goals, in New York's high school seniors all-star game," Seaman said. "He's trying out now for the U.S. under-19 world team."

Two other New Yorkers, Matt O'Kelly and Paul LeSueur, are among the top midfielders, and Robert Doerr of Yorktown Heights, N.Y., and John Paleologos (6 feet 7, 225 pounds), from Potomac, figure to strengthen the defense.

Loyola coach Dave Cottle said he has his second straight strong class, replete with midfielders, including Severna Park's Mark Frye, who runs the 40 in 4.4 seconds. Myles Conway of St. Mary's is also quick, and David Mahowsky is a junior college All-American from Herkimer County (N.Y.) Community College.

"We went for speed, especially on the midfield," Cottle said.

Said Carl Runk of his Towson State class: "This is one of our better classes in a while. We got support at certain positions -- energetic kids on defense and some midfielders. We accomplished our needs."

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