THE TEAMS

THE BALTIMORE SUN

DIVISION I

Johns Hopkins

2001 record: 11-6

Coach: Janine Tucker (ninth season, 101-32)

Conference: American Lacrosse Conference

Top returning point-getter: Erin Wellner, senior A (42 goals, 21 assists)

Also back: Jamie Larrimore, senior A; Heidi Pearce, sophomore M; Jen McDonald, junior G; Kate Gilland, sophomore D; Christy Peterson, senior, D; Caroline Miller, senior D.

Key additions: Freshmen Leah Onda (Liberty), A; Lacey Hentz (North Carroll), D; Anne Crisafulli, M.

Sun's take: Despite being laden with freshmen and sophomores, the Blue Jays aim to crack the Top 10 and get to the NCAA Division I tournament for the first time. They have helped to form the new ALC, which includes Penn State, Vanderbilt, Ohio University, Ohio State, Northwestern and Davidson. However, the conference winner will not receive an automatic bid to this season's tournament, so the Blue Jays will have to win an at-large spot in the 16-team field. Wellner, third-team All-American Larrimore (44, 17) and Pearce (41, 5) are proven scorers to go with a veteran defense, including goalie McDonald (9.28 goals-against average, 52.4 save percentage). Faster than ever, the Jays will be looking to boost the tempo with aggressive defense and more quick, transition strikes. "This is our fourth year of recruiting at the Division I level, so every kid on our team is a Division I player," Tucker said. "This is our year to make things happen."

Loyola

2001 record: 15-5 (NCAA semifinalist)

Coach: Diane Geppi-Aikens (14th season, 165-65)

Conference: Colonial Athletic Association

Top returning point-getter: Stacey Morlang, junior A (62, 22)

Also back: Tricia Dabrowski, senior G; Suzanne Eyler, senior M; Marianne Gioffre, senior D; Krissy Warnock, senior A; Christy McNew, junior A; Jen Albright, junior M; Susan Tyrrell, junior M; Marianne Gioffre, junior D; Kate Hardesty, junior D, Sara Shoaf, junior D.

Key additions: Sophomores Rachel Shuck, A; Kourtney Porcella, M; freshmen Talia Schacklock, M; Stephanie Walker, M; Katie Guarino, M.

Sun's take: The Greyhounds have just one thing on their minds after consecutive trips to the Final Four -- winning the national championship. Six times since 1990, the Greyhounds have been to the national semifinals, making one appearance (1997) in the title game. Led by first-team All-American Morlang, the veteran Greyhounds seem capable of winning it all. With their depth last season, those replacing five graduated starters have a good foundation of playing time. The attack returns four players with 37 or more points -- Morlang, Warnock (23, 15) and second-team All-American Eyler (28, 9). The Greyhounds lost two starting defenders but they have an ace in the hole in second-team All-America goalie Dabrowski (6.79 goals-against, 55.7 save percentage). "We're in better shape than it might look on paper, because we've got some middies who can go both attack and defense, and that gives us options," said Geppi-Aikens, who plans to be back on the field soon, after having surgery in January to remove a recurring brain tumor.

Maryland

2001 record: 23-0 (national champion)

Coach: Cindy Timchal (12th season, 192-12)

Conference: Atlantic Coast Conference

Top returning point-getter: Courtney Hobbs, senior A (47, 20)

Also back: Sonia Judd, junior A; Kelly Coppedge, sophomore M; Meredith Egan, senior A; Alexis Venechanos, junior, G; Molly Lambert, sophomore M; Meg Mallon, sophomore D; Megan Kelly, senior D; Katie Robinson, senior A.

Key additions: Freshmen Acacia Walker (Annapolis), M; Kristie Leggio, A; Greta Sommers, D.

Sun's take: Maryland's dynasty just seems to roll on and on, but if the Terrapins are to stay on top for an eighth straight season, new stars have to emerge. Eight of last season's starters graduated, including three-time national Player of the Year Jen Adams (88, 60). In losing Adams, Allison Comito and Quinn Carney, the Terps lost 183 goals -- 54 percent of the team total. The Terps, however, try not to dwell upon the past. "You can't replace the experience and other intangibles that last year's group of seniors brought to the table," said Timchal. "What you can do is go out and create your own team in 2002, become your own group with your own identity." The mostly likely breakout candidate is Hobbs, whose consistent contributions were dwarfed by last season's wave of senior All-Americans. The Terps have the most work to do on defense, where all but one starter graduated; a fairly untested unit will be in front of veteran Venechanos.

Mount St. Mary's

2001 record: 5-13

Coach: Courtney Martinez-Connor (first season)

Conference: Northeast Conference

Top returning point-getter: Erin Gargan, sophomore M/A (22, 11)

Also back: Colleen Curran, senior M; Lara Steinbraker, senior M; Kelly Moran, junior M/A; Amy Harris, senior M; Michelle Coates, senior M/D; Addie Lewis, sophomore A; Kim Keene, sophomore M/D.

Key additions: Sophomore Naomi Campano, G; freshmen Nicole DiAngelo (St. Mary's), M; Erin LaMotte (North Carroll), M; Kelly Nangle (Glen Burnie), M.

Sun's take: Fresh off her Most Valuable Player performance in last year's Division I tournament, former Maryland All-America defender Martinez-Connor brings the Terrapins' winning philosophy to Emmitsburg. She also hopes to bring some stability, because she is the third Mountaineers coach in three years. Although more than half her players are newcomers or sophomores, Martinez-Connor is shooting for them to finish over .500 and win the conference crown after being knocked out in the semifinals four straight times. "The girls here are excellent athletes. They just need more confidence," said Martinez-Connor. "We're working on that right now. They're very receptive. They're excited, because they say they're better now than they were at the end of last season, but from my standpoint, we still have a long way to go." Again, the Mountaineers must replace their top two scorers, but NEC Rookie of the Year Gargan, Harris (19, 3), Curran (17, 6), Moran (13, 7) and Steinbraker (12, 7) should boost their numbers.

Towson

2001 record: 6-9

Coach: Linda Ohrin (fourth season, 16-30)

Conference: Colonial Athletic Association

Top returning point-getter: Kat Brady, senior A (28, 10)

Also back: Kristyn Krastel, junior A; Cheryl Back, senior M; Melissa Garner, junior M; Emily Helms, senior D; Krista Bowerman, senior D; Amy Middleton, sophomore M; Abigail Giancola, sophomore M; Carol Dudley, junior D.

Key additions: Sophomore Caitlin Marshall, M; freshmen Martha Dwyer, M; Erin Cayea, A.

Sun's take: The Tigers are looking to finally make a move after jumping into the highly competitive Colonial Athletic Association, which includes powerhouses Loyola and James Madison. That's a big jump for a team that disappointed in 2001, finishing fifth in America East. With all but three starters back, however, Ohrin expects a better result even if it doesn't show in wins and losses. "We're really hoping to turn the corner this year," said Ohrin. "Our biggest flaw the last couple of years is that we haven't had a team from end to end, and this year, we do have that." Look for the Tigers to be more offensive-minded, led by Brady (Archbishop Spalding) and Krastel (14, 7). On defense, the Tigers get a boost from a healthy Dudley, who has been hampered by injuries for two seasons. They also return two goalies likely to continue to split time -- junior Autumn Lundgren (11.6 goals-against, 43.3 save percentage) and sophomore Jessica O'Connell (11.8, 52.4).

UMBC

2001 record: 10-7

Coach: Monica Yeakel (sixth season, 46-38)

Conference: Northeast Conference

Top returning point-getter: Jamie Gerhart senior M (25, 14)

Also back: Ashley Staines, senior M; Loree Miller, senior A; Stephanie Allen, junior M; Beth Milani, junior M/D; Lauren Traber, junior M; Jen Dragoni, sophomore A; Shannon Gallup, senior A; Courtney Stringer, junior G.

Key additions: Freshmen Stephanie Crouch (Fallston), D; Anna Jacobs, A.

Sun's take: Injuries continue to hurt the Retrievers, who had to redshirt three of their most promising freshmen. Last season, seven players were sidelined with injuries when the Retrievers fell to Monmouth in the Northeast Conference championship after winning three straight titles. Last year's loss was particularly disappointing, because the winner received an automatic bid to the NCAA tournament. After graduating eight seniors, the young Retrievers have some rebuilding to do, especially on defense, where wing Milani is the only returnee. Gerhart and Staines (26, 8) are proven scorers, and Miller should provide a boost returning from a knee injury. But the Retrievers need more balance on the attack to make up for the loss of Renee Tirocchi's 47 goals. "This is a new mix, but we had a really good fall ball," said Yeakel. "This group, even though they're inexperienced, really gelled, and they're working together. They understand how much they need to rely on each other, especially on defense."

-- Katherine Dunn

Division III

College of Notre Dame

2001 record: 6-9

Coach: Melissa Falen (13th season, 100-99-1)

Conference: Atlantic Women's Colleges Conference

Top returning point-getters: Angela Ruocco, senior A (62, 12); Erin Sturgis, senior, A (43, 24)

Also back: Erin Sturgis, senior, A; Becca Dodson, sophomore, A; Kenya Blake, junior, D; Melissa Rocks, sophomore, D.

Key additions: Freshmen Kate Drandauer, G; Gina Ruocco, M; Caryn Swiezbin, D.

Sun's take: After struggling for several seasons with low roster numbers the Gators will nearly double the size of their squad this spring. Ruocco and Sturgis, both two-time regional All-Americans, return on offense and are each within striking distance of the program's total point record. Dandauer will provide a much-needed boost in goal as the Gators will look to capture their seventh consecutive AWCC conference crown.

Goucher

2001 record: 14-4

Coach: Kara Carlin (third season, 21-12)

Conference: Capital Athletic Conference

Top returning point-getter: Lauren Manekin, senior, A (84, 25)

Also back: Kate Jarvis, senior, A; Alison Healy, senior, D; Muffie Bliss, senior, M; Dean Ulman, sophomore, D; Kate Howell, sophomore, A; Rebekah Oates, sophomore, G.

Key additions: Freshmen Ashley Sudbrook, D; Ashley Snyder, M.

Sun's take: First-team All-American Manekin leads an offense that ranked No. 1 in goals per game in 2001. Jarvis and Howell round out the attack and will be called on to take pressure off Manekin, who will face double and triple teams. Goucher's schedule is among the nation's toughest, having added ranked non-conference opponents Gettysburg, Bowdoin and the College of New Jersey to an-already grueling conference slate. With a strong class of seniors and a battle-tested sophomore group, Goucher, which opens the season ranked 16th nationally, will hope to challenge Salisbury for the conference crown. "Our depth will be the key to our game," Carlin said. "We have more talent on the bench than we've ever had."

Hood

2001 record: 1-14

Coach: Michelle Weber (third season, record unavailable)

Conference: Atlantic Women's Colleges Conference

Top returning point-getter: Monica Ford, junior, A

Also back: Rachel Biser, junior, D; Anna Sanchez, senior, M; Christina Ecke, junior, D; Mary Kate Frank, sophomore, G.

Key additions: Freshmen Jody Foss, A; Leslie Beck, A; Sara Robinson, A.

Sun's take: The biggest challenge will be numbers, and after an injury-dotted 2001 campaign, there is nowhere to go but up. But the entire attack returns, including Sanchez, who was sidelined last year with a knee injury. For Frank, a converted midfielder, it will be a baptism by fire as she will anchor Hood's defense in her first season as goalie at any level.

Frostburg State

2001 record: 8-6

Coach: Eric Day (fourth season, 26-19)

Conference: Independent

Top returning point-getter: Melissa Lennon, senior, A (26, 5)

Also back: Andrea Duffy, junior, M; Adeline Ntam, senior, D; Danielle Foote, senior, D/M; Katie Binder, junior, D; Sara Shockley (Fallston), sophomore, G.

Key additions: Freshmen Kathy Moffet, M; Caitlin Howley, M; Paige Macey, A.

Sun's take: What a difference a year makes. The Bobcats have undergone a makeover. Lost to graduation was an attack that accounted for nearly 200 points. Although the midfield unit returns intact and will need to provide scoring punch, the Bobcats, with just 16 players, will need freshmen to make an immediate impact. After bowing out in the first round of the ECAC tournament the previous two seasons, Frostburg is hungry to return to the postseason but because of inexperience and numbers will face an uphill battle. "If we can stay healthy and mature relatively quickly, we'll be good," said Day.

Salisbury

2001 record: 14-4

Coach: Jim Nestor (first year)

Conference: Capital Athletic Conference

Top returning point-getter: Christine Sliger (50, 81)

Also back: Amanda Almon, senior, M; Theresa Driscoll, junior, M; Dawn Joyce, senior, D; Kristen Maisel, junior, D; Dena Glisan, junior, G; Abby Cooper, senior, A.

Key additions: Alicia Groveston, junior, D; Gina Glorioso, sophomore, A, Lindsay Blount, sophomore, A.

Sun's take: After a 2001 campaign in which she set a single-season NCAA record for assists, Sliger has carved out a niche for herself as one of the most prolific scorers in the program's history. Gone, however, is Jen Mezzadra, who scored 84 goals in 2001 and accounted for 117 points on an offense that averaged 16.5 goals a game, second in the nation. Nestor will rely on a trio on attack -- Cooper, Glorioso and Blount -- to pick up where Mezzadra left off. If the Sea Gulls, the 2000 and 2001 Capital champions, can get past the College of New Jersey and a tough conference schedule, turning a No. 5 preseason rank into a national title run could be a reality.

St. Mary's

2001 record: 11-4

Coach: Rob Bray Jr. (third season, 18-13)

Conference: Capital Athletic Conference

Top returning point-getter: Meg McFall, sophomore, A (42, 5)

Also back: Kathy Holmes, senior, M; Jane Romano, senior, D; Carol Schmoeller, D; Mia Oliver, sophomore, D; Jen Chumley, sophomore, G; Courtney Young, senior, M.

Key additions: Freshmen Allison Cannavino, M; Erin McGeeney, M; Rita McDermott, M; Jenn Nordling, D.

Sun's take: Though the Seahawks' roster consists mainly of underclassmen, inexperience will not be a factor with eight starters, including six sophomores, returning from last year's squad that qualified for an NCAA at-large tournament bid. St. Mary's backbone will be a defense that allowed only 7.93 goals per game in 2001. Schmoeller and Oliver return down low and will match up with the opposing team's top attackers. Chumley (Bel Air) also returns and will direct the defense from the goal, where she earned regional All-America honors as a freshman. The Seahawks' work will be cut out in the conference with stiff competition from powers Salisbury, Mary Washington and Goucher.

Villa Julie

2001 record: 4-10

Coach: Mary Clare McFadden (sixth season, 38-31)

Conference: Independent

Top returning point-getter: Laura Higgs, senior A (24, 15)

Also back: Heather Valunas, junior M; Lynn Mann, senior A; Elena Novaco, senior D; Cyntia Chase, junior G.

Key additions: Freshmen Molly McCaffery, A; Rachel Jones, M, Jessica Thanner, M.

Sun's take: With last season's two top scorers returning, the Mustangs will have no problem finding the net. Valunas and Higgs are proven finishers. Mann is the unit's playmaker, as well as a scoring threat. Freshman McCaffery will be relied on to produce immediately and rounds out the attack. Ultimately, success hinges on the performance of a defense that is rebuilding. Veterans Novaco and returning netminder Chase will anchor a unit lacking in experience. "If the defense comes around, the goal of a winning season is attainable," said McFadden.

Washington College

2001 record: (7-8, 6-3)

Coach: Eleanor Shriver Magee (fifth season, 37-19)

Conference: Centennial Conference

Top returning point-getter: Janet Studdiford, sophomore, A (37, 4)

Also back: Betty Weller, junior, M; Robin Necker, senior, D; Casey Sawma, sophomore, A; Kristen Bozzella, junior, M.

Key additions: Sophomores Mandy Higdon, G; Ashlee Reed, A; freshman Lindsay Stockfisch, M.

Sun's take: After several solid seasons in the region, Magee believes this squad can elevate the program to the national stage. The Shorewomen return 20 sophomores and juniors and are deep at every position, including goalie, where newcomer Higdon will battle McCormick for the starting job. With the Centennial Conference winner earning an automatic NCAA bid, Washington should be in the hunt for the tournament with Franklin & Marshall, Gettysburg and Ursinus.

Western Maryland

2001 record: 5-10

Coach: Mindy Manolovich (third season, 16-31)

Conference: Centennial Conference

Top returning point-getter: Erin Mulhern, senior, A (29, 22)

Also back: Senior Kim Adams, M; juniors Tracy Kessler, M; Erin Dolan, D; Ali Kiniry, D; Amy Price, A.

Key additions: Freshmen Lindsay O'Steen, G; Liz Sexton, D; Kristin Ramey, M.

Sun's take: After tying for sixth in the Centennial with a 3-6 conference record in 2001, the Green Terror aims to break into the top echelon of conference competition. With the attack and defense intact, the question mark will be the play between the lines. With chronic injuries hampering a midfield unit already lacking in depth, the third week of April could make or break this team, with conference opponents Haverford, Gettysburg and Swarthmore to be faced within five days.

-- Nick Brownlee

Division III poll

(Last year's record in parentheses)

1. Middlebury (17-0)

2. Amherst ( 17-3)

3. College of New Jersey (12-2)

4. Williams (13-3)

5. Salisbury (14-4)

6. Mary Washington (15-5)

7. Cortland (16-3)

8. William Smith (15-2)

9. Ursinus (13-3)

10. Hamilton (12-3)

11. Gettysburg (14-6)

12. Washington & Lee (15-3)

13. St. Mary's (11-4)

14. Ithaca (15-4)

15. Goucher (14-4)

16. Drew (14-5)

17. Franklin & Marshall (11-5)

18. Rowan (9-6)

19. Bowdoin (5-6)

20. Colby (10-6)

Also receiving votes: Randolph-Macon, Trinity.

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