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Scott Hochstadt, Maryland: Only his tenacious attitude is scarier than ability.

Ryan Powell, Syracuse: With brother Casey's shadow gone, the spotlight now shines on him.

Lorne Smith, Princeton: Back on attack and ready to make an impact.


Josh Sims, Princeton: Midfielder of the Year raises his game a notch when it counts.

A. J. Haugen, Hopkins: His change of direction can make defenders look foolish.

Mark Frye, Loyola: Scoring and clearing machine will run through you as easily as by you.

Long-stick midfielder

Tim Knowles, Duke: Solid pressure defender who coasts in the open field.

Short-stick defenders

Jeff Shirk, Maryland: The prototype short-stick defender who thrives on collisions.

Marc Amen, Duke: The best Blue Devil ever at this position.

Close defense

Rob Doerr, Hopkins: Eliminates opposition's top scorer from the game.

Steve Card, Duke: Got the ball? Not if this premier take-away defender is around.

Ryan Curtis, Virginia: Raw athlete developing more consistency.


Brian Carcaterra, Hopkins: The game's ultimate brick wall.


Brian Haggerty, Maryland: The Terrapins' equalizer.

3's to watch

Top dodgers

1. Josh Sims, Princeton midfielder: No single defender can handle the game's fastest player.

2. A. J. Haugen, Hopkins midfielder: Uses shake-and-bake moves to turn and burn defenders.

3. Jay Jalbert, Virginia midfielder: Will explode to goal any way possible.

Top shooters

1. Matt Cutia, Syracuse attackman: Cranks up Orangemen's attack with crisp cannon.

2. Tim O'Shea, Loyola attackman: This sniper's sidearm shot singes the corners.

3. Scott Hochstadt, Maryland attackman: Hard-nosed attackman packs powerful perimeter shot.

Top goalkeepers

1. Brian Carcaterra, Hopkins: Stopper has no peers from superior reflexes to clearing ability.

2. Kevin Healy, Maryland: No longer an unheralded surprise.

3. Strider Dickson, Brown: Seems to have regained form after disastrous season.

Top faceoff specialists

1. Brian Haggerty, Maryland: This Terrapin can single-handedly steal games.

2. Chris Nohe, Maryland: Could be starting draw man for anybody outside of College Park.

3. Jason Deniker, Syracuse: Dominating play could translate into long days for defenses.

Breakout performers

1. Nick Hartofolis, Duke midfielder: Scholarship football player becoming more disciplined.

2. John Grant, Delaware attackman: Wouldn't be the first Canadian import to carry his team.

3. Mickey Jarboe, Navy: Defensive anchor who sends amazing clearing passes.

Nastiest hitters

1. Jeff Shirk, Maryland defensive midfielder: er: At Byrd Stadium, you don't get hit; you get "Shirkerized."

2. John Paleologos, Hopkins close defenseman: man: Massive enforcer on the crease.

3. Adam Dretler, Duke offensive midfielder: er: Last year's winner of the Blue Devils' Nutcracker Award.

Impact freshmen

1. Conor Gill, Virginia attackman: St. Paul's grad displays high-level gift of vision and stickwork.

2. Josh Coffman, Syracuse midfielder: All-around threat from Powell brothers' town of Carthage, N.Y.

3. Steve Dusseau, Georgetown midfielder: Not your average Midwest prospect.

Best offensive units

1. Loyola: Nobody can match the depth and variety of the Greyhounds' weapons.

2. Syracuse: No bona fide superstar could mean unpredictability.

3. Virginia: What the Cavs lack in grit, they gain in athleticism.

Best defensive units

1. Hopkins: Two first-team All-Americans in Carcaterra and Rob Doerr headline the nation's most experienced and talented unit.

2. Maryland: Once again, the backbone of the Terrapins.

3. Princeton: The Tigers graduated last season's Defender of the Year, but still have The System.

Top questions

1.With five preseason Top 10 teams, will the state of Maryland end its 12-year NCAA championship drought?

2.How will the coaching change affect top-ranked Johns Hopkins?

3.Can three-time defending champion Princeton rebound from losing one of the greatest attack units of all-time?

Pub Date: 2/25/99

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