In 2003, the Ivy League had three men’s lacrosse champions — the first time the title was split three ways since 1969. Since then, all three defending champs have seen a lot of things change on their own rosters, while at the same time watching the rest of the league reposition themselves for a furious title challenge. But in 2004, as in every Ivy season, the theme of parity will once again play a large role. How will the deepest lacrosse conference in Division I stack up this spring? Only time will tell, but we’ll take our best guess anyway.
2003: 9-4, 5-1 Ivy
The Good: Andrew Collins and Sean Greenhalgh comprise the most dangerous scoring combination in the country.
The Bad: Ryan McClay ’03 is the best long-stick defenseman in the world. Unfortunately for the Red, he’s not on the team any more.
The Ugly: The Red’s schedule is challenging and stacked. However, it does require a lot of travel. This could wear quite a bit on the team.
2003: 11-4, 5-1
The Good: Attack Ryan Boyle is a bona fide stud. He’s a first-team All-American, a school-record holder for assists in a season and is a three-time All-Ivy honoree. As far as dangerous offensive players go, he has to top the list. The Tigers also return Jason Doneger, an explosive goal scorer who scored a combined 12 goals in Princeton’s games against Cornell and Syracuse.
The Bad: The Tigers graduated seven starters from last season’s national-quarterfinalist team. Among those are first-team All-America defenseman Damien Davis and Princeton’s third-leading all-time scorer, Sean Hartofilis.
The Ugly: Quite simply, the Tigers are inexperienced. Only four players on the 2004 roster have ever started a college lacrosse game before this season.
2003: 11-3, 5-1
The Good: Seven of the Green’s top eight goal scorers from a year ago return, including preseason All-Americans Ben Grinnell, Tom Daniels, Pat Keeley, and Jamie Coffin. Dartmouth also returns first-team All-Ivy goalkeeper Andrew Goldstein. The Green also has the experience of its first-ever trip to the NCAA tournament to motivate it this year, the first under the guidance of former Cornell assistant Bill Wilson.
The Bad: Continuity. It will be a big challenge for the Green to adjust to Wilson’s system after last year’s critic-defying run under former head coach Rick Sowell. In addition, the team only has eight seniors, providing a dearth of upperclass leadership in a situation that desperately demands it.
The Ugly: Hanover in March and April can get pretty cold.
2003: 9-5, 2-4
The Good: Midfielders Scott Kenworthy and Net Britt will provide a huge boost to the Bulldogs’ offensive threat. Both are coming off very strong 2003 seasons and will look to take their places among the league’s elite scorers. On the attack, Seth Goldberg returns after a season in which he posted five multiple-goal games.
The Bad: The defensive corps is is highly inexperienced, as it returns only two letterwinners from 2003. Yale will also face an absence in goal, as Roy Skeen will hope to pick up where Eric Wenzel left off last season.
The Ugly: New head coach Andy Shay is the Elis’ third in as many years. Any amount of uncertainty in the coaching ranks is troublesome, but Yale’s situation is a particular cause for concern.
2003: 5-8, 1-5
The Good: Goalkeeper Jake McKenna is among the best in the country. Last season, he was named honorable mention All-Ivy after putting up an 8.27 goals against average and a .556 save percentage. This year, he was named a preseason All-American.
The Bad: Harvard three other All-Ivy selections from a year ago, Doug Logigian, Matt Primm, and Andrew Crocco, have all graduated.
The Ugly: The Crimson has not gotten off to the most auspicious of starts. On March 6, the team lost to Bucknell, 14-5.
2003: 4-10, 1-5
The Good: Goalkeeper Mike Levin is among the best in the country, after being named first-team All-Ivy as a sophomore in 2002. Last year, he recorded 19 saves twice, giving the Bears a lift in numerous close-game situations.
The Bad: Brown’s defense is very young. For a team that allowed 14 goals or more six times last season, this part of the game continues to be serious issue.
The Ugly: The Bears only won one Ivy League game last season, and that was in overtime against Penn.
2003: 6-7, 2-4
The Good: The Quakers are young, but they are experienced. Of the team’s 15 returning letterwinners, seven are sophomores, including midfielders D.J. Andrzejewski, who scored seven points last year; and Patrick Rogers, who played in all 13 games.
The Bad: The Quakers are young. The team graduated four starters and nine letterwinners from last year, creating a severe lack of experience.
The Ugly: Penn’s pretty good at just about every other sport.
Archived article by Owen Bochner