The Cardinals opened as the area's top-ranked team in The Sun's Top 15 preseason poll, but battled with inconsistent play throughout the campaign to settle for the third seed and play the extra game in the quarterfinals. They remain a dangerous team, but can't overlook the Dons – proof coming in Loyola's 2-1 win in the teams' first meeting on Sept. 21. The Cardinals avenged the loss in a big way on Oct. 21, comfortably handling the Dons in a 5-1 home win. The Cardinals have senior experience and standout players with forward Ben Alexander (21 goals, six assists) the main target up front. Brady O'Connor and Chris Carroll are dynamic playmakers with Seth Walker the glue in back. The Dons won two of their last three to gain the final seed. Senior defender Nick Battaglia, a four-year varsity player with championship game experience, will be leaned on heavily to keep the otherwise young Dons poised.