March 12, 2002

Tigers Are Team to Beat, Again

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Lacrosse, the fastest sport on two feet, is a game of speed, finesse, skill and more importantly, Long Islanders. This time-honored game has been played and perfected on the fields of Nassau County, from Hicksville to Massapequa. From there, it has been exported to colleges all over the Eastern U.S. So we exercised our lacrosse savvy and crunched some numbers, and tabulated our preseason Ivy League picks

1. Princeton

2001: 14-1, 6-0 Ivy

The good news is one Tierney is gone. The bad news is the other Tierneys stayed. National goalie of the year Trevor Tierney graduated, but his father, head coach Bill Tierney still helms the ship, and the younger, junior attackman Brendan Tierney is still lighting up the offense. Graduation has hurt Princeton, losing the entire starting midfield and the national defender of the year, both of which led the team to its NCAA Title. Junior goalie Julian Gould has a hard act to follow but will be aided by the strong defensive corps. All-Americans senior B.J. Prager and junior Sean Hartofilis will carry the Tigers’ scoring burden. Make no mistake, though, after winning 37 straight Ivy League games, this team is not about to end its impressive streak.

L.I. Factor: 9

2. Cornell

2001: 7-6, 4-2 Ivy

See pages 4 and 5 for the facts.

L.I. Factor: 7

3. Penn

2001: 6-7, 3-3 Ivy

The Quakers ended last season on a three-game winning streak and haven’t lost a step coming into 2002. Even with the addition of head coach Matt Hogan, Penn is ready to increase its recognition in the Ivy ranks. The Quakers’ record from last year was deceptive; four of their seven losses were by two goals or less. With their new defense-minded coach and two seniors on the attack in Scott Solow and Peter Scott, Penn looks to gain more recognition in the league. Junior goalie Ryan Kelly put up solid numbers between the pipes last year (9.83), but he should be even stronger this year with a better defensive scheme. The Quakers do lack the depth of Princeton or Cornell, which will hurt them down the stretch.

L.I. Factor: 9

4. Brown

2001: 6-7, 2-4 Ivy

Boasting the best midfield in the Ivy League and perhaps the nation, Brown is certain to earn some more respect this year. The Bears were the only team other than Princeton to beat the Red last season. They lost their star attacker to graduation, but senior middie Jim Mormile, the team’s 2000 offensive MVP, is returning from injury. Junior Chas Gessner, who burned Cornell on the gridiron last fall, is the Bears’ leading returning scorer and another person to watch out for. Mike Levin is a question mark in goal for Brown after starting only once last year. Nevertheless, head coach Scott Nelson will be looking to improve the team in his second year at the helm.

L.I. Factor: 11

5. Harvard

2001: 7-7, 2-4 Ivy

The Crimson was decimated by injuries last year and didn’t benefit from a freshman in the cage. However, if it can stay healthy, and if goalie Jake McKenna can improve upon his rookie season, the Crimson could be a league contender. Harvard had one of the bigger non-conference wins last year against Duke, showing its potential. Look for senior Matt Primm to lead the attack, and junior All-Ivy first team selection Doug Logigian to contribute from the midfield. A strong recruiting class will ease the Crimson’s troubles in 2002.

L.I. Factor: 7

6. Yale

2001: 6-7, 3-3 Ivy

The Elis will have one of the more potent attacks in the league this year, as they return practically every offensive player from 2001. The offense will be headed by senior All-Ivy attacker Brian Hunt. Other than juniors Ryan Floyd and Mike Scaglione, Yale has few scoring threats behind him. The defense is mediocre and netminder Eric Wenzel had less than stellar numbers last year with a 58% save percentage and 10.2 goals against average. The Elis’ success depends on how many goals their offense can score. They have the potential to cause an upset if Hunt and the offense have a big game. However, Yale’s inconsistency will most likely keep it out of the upper half of the conference standings. Don’t look for the ‘D’ to keep the team in tight games.

LI Factor: 7

7. Dartmouth

2001: 6-8, 1-5 Ivy

The Green had a rough season last year, winning only one conference game and suffering from the death of a freshman, Matthew Demaine, during the season. The team doesn’t return much depth and is largely comprised of underclassmen (there are only three seniors on the team). While the rookie class has much promise, it most likely will have to mature quickly to make a difference in Dartmouth’s season. Junior goalie Mike Gault is the team’s strength. But you need offense to win games. The Green doesn’t have the personnel to produce many goals this year.

L.I. Factor: 3

Archived article by Amanda Angel