For Virginia: The Cavaliers never trailed in their season-opening, 12-9 win against No. 16 Drexel last Saturday, but the team wasn't able to pull away until the fourth quarter, raising questions about Virginia's potency. Still, it's hard to overlook junior attackman Chris Bocklet, who leads the squad in goals (eight) and is tied with junior attackman Steele Stanwick for the lead in points (nine). Senior goalkeeper Adam Ghitelman, who was benched against Drexel, returned and made nine saves in the Cavaliers' 22-6 rout of Mount St. Mary's Tuesday.
For Stony Brook: The Seawolves return their entire starting offense from last season, a unit that combined for 189 goals and 101 assists. Senior midfielder Kevin Crowley might be the leading candidate to win the Tewaaraton Award, which is given to the country's best player. But Stony Brook absorbed some hits on the defensive end. The weight of the defense will fall on the shoulders of senior goalkeeper Rob Camposa, who stands 6 feet 5 and weighs 195 pounds.
Outlook: The Seawolves have home-field advantage, but have they fully recovered from the memory of last year's 10-9 loss to Virginia in the quarterfinals of the NCAA tournament? The Cavaliers must turn back what should be a tidal wave of emotion from a pro-Stony Brook crowd and lock down on the Seawolves' lethal offense.
About Maryland: The 2010 national champion boasts a tremendous attack with 35 goals in its first two games, but the Terrapins can also contain the opposition, allowing just 15 goals and only 38 shots. Karri Ellen Johnson (12 goals, two assists) leads an attack that returns 215 of the goals it scored a year ago.
About Duke: The Blue Devils averaged 18.3 goals in their first three games but had a tight win over William & Mary, 14-11. With 23 returning players, they have a similar balance of veterans to the Terps. Christine Kaestner (nine, nine) is the top point-getter.
Outlook: Maryland leads the series 12-8, including three wins in the past two years, and is a solid favorite, but the top rivalries in the Atlantic Coast Conference have been known to fuel upsets. Still, the Terps likely have too much firepower for the Blue Devils to handle.