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.
Tim Knowles, Duke: Solid pressure defender who coasts in the open field.
Jeff Shirk, Maryland: The prototype short-stick defender who thrives on collisions.
Marc Amen, Duke: The best Blue Devil ever at this position.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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