OTHER STATE SCHOOLS
Coach -- Tony Seaman (eighth season, 60-43; 25th season overall, 224-116)
2005 record -- 11-5, NCAA tournament first round
Conference -- Colonial Athletic Association
Top returning scorer -- Bobby Griebe, junior A (25 goals, nine assists)
Also back -- Steve Mull, senior A (6, 22); Kyle Fiat, senior A (14, 2); Nick Williams, junior M (11, 7); Oliver Bacon, junior M (11, 12); Brian Vetter, sophomore M (11, 3); Keith Obloj, junior M (9, 9); Todd MacMullan, senior M (15, 1); Casey Cittadino, senior M; Ted Turnblacer, senior D; Matt Mehrer, junior D; Matt Antol, sophomore G; Matt Eckerl, junior M
Key additions -- Charlie Paar, freshman G; Randall Cooper, freshman M; Matt Sullivan, freshman A
The Sun's take -- Towson must deal with two significant losses. Goalie Reed Sothoron, an honorable mention All-American and all-CAA performer is gone, and junior attackman Jonathan Engelke, the Tigers' second-highest scorer last year, is academically ineligible. While Antol and Paar battle for the starting job in the cage, Towson should adjust with a roster that features 10 of its top 11 scorers from 2005. Mull is a superb passer and the key to an offense that could use a breakout season from someone such as Fiat, Williams or Vetter.
Coach -- Charley Toomey (first season)
2005 record -- 5-8
Conference -- ECAC
Top returning scorer -- Greg Leonard, junior M (15, 2)
Also back -- Dan Bauers, junior A (9, 4); Andrew Spack, junior M (10, 6); Jordan Rabidou, junior M (7, 3); Paul Richards, sophomore M (2, 3); Steve Hess, junior LSM; Michael Graham, junior D; Eddie Graham, sophomore D; Michael Fretwell, senior G (.591 save percentage)
Key additions -- Michael Crimmins, freshman A; Jake Wilcox, freshman A; P.T. Ricci, freshman D; Ryan Cunningham, freshman D
The Sun's take -- All eyes are on Toomey, who inherited his first head coaching job under trying circumstances. Two months ago, he replaced four-year coach Bill Dirrigl after Dirrigl had taken a leave of absence for personal reasons. A nine-year assistant at Loyola, where he was a two-time All-America goalie before graduating in 1990, Toomey is trying to get Loyola back to the NCAA tournament for the first time in five seasons. The Greyhounds have a deep midfield, a solid defense, an occasionally spectacular goalie in Fretwell. But Loyola has been slowed by scoring problems in recent years, and sophomore attackman Shane Koppens, last year's leading scorer, is out for the year with a hand injury. Loyola needs to discover an offensive star or two, and it will be interesting to see how the Greyhounds respond to Toomey.
Coach -- Don Zimmerman (13th season, 80-79; 20th season overall, 153-82)
2005 record -- 7-8
Conference -- America East
Top returning scorer -- Brendan Mundorf, senior A (29, 28)
Also back -- Drew Westervelt, junior A (27, 23); Andy Gallagher, junior A/M (24, 11); James Hyland, senior M (14, 9); Terry Kimener, sophomore M (3, 4); Luke Powell, senior D; Justin Berdeguez, senior D; Mitch Rodems, sophomore D; David Coker, sophomore G
Key additions -- Josh Porcell, junior M (Essex CC); Bobby Atwell, freshman M; Alex Hopmann, freshman M; Travis Begay, junior D (Essex CC); Jeremy Blevins, freshman G; Billy Sadtler, junior G (Essex CC)
The Sun's take -- The Retrievers could be good enough to win the America East and return to the NCAA tournament for the first time since 1999. Scoring won't be a problem with such a fine, experienced attack. Mundorf, the reigning conference Player of the Year, will represent Australia at this summer's World Games in London, Ontario. Westervelt and Gallagher are outstanding, complementary scorers. But UMBC needs more help from its midfield, which let the Retrievers down at times a year ago. Powell and Berdeguez lead a strong, close defense that must be steady while the goalie situation sorts itself out.
MOUNT ST. MARY'S
Coach -- Tom Gravante (11th season, 77-84)
2005 record -- 8-9
Conference -- Metro Atlantic Athletic
Top returning scorer -- Matt Warner, senior A (52, 12)
Also back -- Jason Werner, senior A (20, 29); Eric Seifert, junior M (26, 7); Tilghman Herring, senior M (16, 10); Benjamin Mundorf, junior A (five goals); Sean O'Beirne, senior D; Pat Farrell, senior D; Kyle Daddio, senior M; Chris Channing, junior G; Joe Zolezzi, junior G.
Key additions -- Charlie White, freshman M; Thomas Whiting, freshman M
The Sun's take -- After stepping aside for a season to address health concerns, Gravante returns to a team that just missed the NCAA tournament after falling to Marist in the MAAC tournament championship game. Led by a talented group of nine seniors, the Mountaineers (6-2 in league play in 2005) should contend again. Warner and Werner combined for 72 goals and 41 assists last spring, and Warner could be headed for back-to-back MAAC Player of the Year honors. Channing and Zolezzi are each unproven goalies, which puts more pressure on Farrell to anchor a defense that gave up double-digit goals in its last six games against league opponents.
BEST OF THE OUTSIDERS
Coach -- Dom Starsia (14th season, 141-54; 24th season overall, 242-100)
2005 record -- 11-4, NCAA tournament semifinals
Conference -- Atlantic Coast
Top returning scorer -- Matt Ward, senior A (38, 11)
Also back -- Ben Rubeor, sophomore A (18, 16); Kyle Dixon, senior M (16, 17), Matt Poskay, senior M (29 goals); J.J. Morrissey, senior M; Ricky Smith, junior D; Mike Culver, senior D; Kip Turner, junior G (7.15 goals allowed)
Key additions -- Danny Glading, freshman A/M; Garrett Billings, freshman A
The Sun's take -- The Cavaliers bounced back from a 5-8 season a year ago and were 1.6 seconds away from knocking off Johns Hopkins in the national semifinals. There will be no such slippage again this year, even with star defenseman Steve Holmes having lost his eligibility. Ward, a four-year starter, leads a deep, versatile offense bolstered by two outstanding recruits in Glading and Billings.
Coach -- John Desko (eighth season, 87-25)
2005 record -- 7-6, NCAA tournament first round
Conference -- Independent
Top returning scorer -- Brian Crockett, senior A/M (35, 7)
Also back -- Mike Leveille, sophomore A (30, 11); Brett Bucktooth, senior A (21, 20); Greg Rommel, senior M (25, 3); Steve Brooks, junior M (17, 12); John Wright, senior D; Steve Panarelli, junior D; John Gallagher, senior D
Key additions -- Kenny Nims, freshman A; Dan Hardy, freshman M
The Sun's take -- Lousy defense last year doomed the Orange, which limped into the playoffs, got bounced in the first round and missed the final four for the first time since 1982. Nims and Hardy lead an incoming class and will add more firepower to an already potent offense.
Coach -- Bill Tierney (19th season, 197-68; 22nd season overall, 231-75)
2005 record -- 5-7
Conference -- Ivy League
Top returning scorers -- Peter Trombino, junior A (22, 12); Scott Sowanick, junior M (15, 19)
Also back -- Mike Gaudio, junior M (16, 3); Whitney Hayes, junior M (9, 12); Alex Haynie, sophomore A (4, 2); John Bennett, junior LSM; Ryan Schoenig, senior M/D; Dan Cocoziello, sophomore D; Dave Law, senior G (8.77 goals allowed)
Key additions -- Tom Davis, freshman A/M; Josh Lesko, freshman M
The Sun's take -- Eleven of the Tigers' top 12 scorers return, albeit from a team that struggled mightily to score until the season's last month. Davis and Lesko lead a recruiting class that should fix that problem, but Princeton, which suffered its first losing season since Tierney's first season and missed the NCAAs for the first time since 1989, still has major questions in the goalkeeping and faceoff areas.
Coach -- Jeff Tambroni (sixth season, 47-22)
2005 record -- 11-3, NCAA tournament quarterfinals
Conference -- Ivy League
Top returning scorers -- Joe Boulukos, senior M (29, 14)
Also back -- Derek Haswell, junior A (19, 7); Brian Clayton, junior M (9, 7); David Mitchell, junior A (3, 1); Casey Lewis, junior M (2, 1); Mitch Belisle, junior D; Mike Pisco, senior D; Matt McMonagle, junior G (8.07 goals allowed)
Key additions -- Max Seibald, freshman M; Todd Olson, junior D (transfer from Herkimer)
The Sun's take -- The Big Red has not reached the NCAA tournament's final four since 1988, and Cornell lost three of its top four scorers to graduation. But Tambroni's teams play consistently good defense and are experienced at that end. McMonagle vastly improved in the cage last year.
Coach -- Dave Urick (17th season, 149-60; 27th season overall, 286-94)
2005 record -- 10-5, NCAA tournament quarterfinals
Conference -- ECAC
Top returning scorer -- Pete Cannon, senior M (22, 9)
Also back -- Trevor Casey, junior A (21, 9); Brendan Cannon, sophomore A (15, 8); Sean Denihan, senior A (14, 15); Scott Kahoe, sophomore M (6, 1); Reyn Garnett, senior D; Rich D'Andrea, senior DM/G
Key additions -- Jake Samperton, freshman A; Jordan Loftus, freshman A
The Sun's take -- The starting attack is back, but the Hoyas, who have made a habit of stumbling in the postseason quarterfinals, have some holes to fill. Gone are the game's premier long-stick midfielder in Brodie Merrill and one of its top faceoff men in Andy Corno, and D'Andrea has moved to defensive midfield, turning over goalie duties to sophomore Miles Kass.
Coach -- Greg Cannella (12th season, 99-57)
2005 record -- 13-3, NCAA tournament quarterfinals
Conference -- ECAC
Top returning scorer -- Sean Morris, senior A (44, 25)
Also back -- Brian Jacovina, junior M (13, 13); Brett Garber, junior M (17, 7); Pat Larmon, junior M (12 goals); Bret Caretsky, senior A (1, 2); Jack Reid, senior D; Dan Whipple, junior LSM; Efosa Guobadia, junior G (.455 save percentage)
The Sun's take -- The Minutemen lost two of their top three scorers, but they still have Morris, whose 69 points were the highest at UMass since Mark Millon produced 81 points 15 years ago. The Minutemen also took two graduation hits from their starting defense, and lost goalie Bill Schell. Without a dominant faceoff man, they need Reid, already a star, to play his best on defense.
Coach -- Joe Alberici (first season)
2005 record -- 11-6, NCAA tournament first round
Conference -- Patriot League
Top returning scorer -- John Walker, senior A (38, 31)
Also back -- Matt Scheel, sophomore A (17, 23); Mike Obringer, senior M (9, 7); Justin Bokmeyer, junior M (14 goals); Matt Luyster, senior D; John Burton, senior M (three goals); Andrew Yakulis, senior D; Adam Fullerton, sophomore G (.576 save percentage)
Key additions -- Brooks Korvin, freshman M; Alex Rhoads, freshman M
The Sun's take -- Alberici, a nine-year assistant at Duke, heads back to West Point, where he coached for two years under longtime retired head coach Jack Emmer. The first-time head coach inherits a big-time athlete and scorer in Walker, the son of former NFL wide receiver Wesley Walker. Scheel shares Walker's excellent field vision, which means the Cadets will get their share of goals. Luyster is one of the game's best defenders. Army probably won't get past Navy in the Patriot League, but should make its fourth consecutive NCAA tournament.
Coach -- Kevin Corrigan (18th season, 146-83; 20th season overall, 156-98)
2005 record -- 7-4
Conference -- Great Western
Top returning scorer -- Pat Walsh, senior A (21, 22)
Also back -- Alex Wharton, sophomore A (2, 2); Matt Ryan, senior M (11, 10); Matt Karweck, senior M (13, 13); Michael Podgajny, sophomore M (10, 6); Drew Peters, senior M (5, 4); D.J. Driscoll, senior D; Joey Rallo, junior D; Joey Kemp, sophomore G (.652 save percentage)
Key additions -- Duncan Swezey, freshman A; Peter Christman, freshman A
The Sun's take -- The Irish, five years removed from their only final four appearance, should win the Great Western and could cause problems for a favorite in the NCAA tournament. Kemp led the nation in save percentage, and the offense will be stronger with the return of junior A Brian Hubschmann, who missed the 2005 season with a knee injury.