The Washington Times - February 12, 2009, 01:40PM

Filed this for the dead-tree edition, and before I start cranking out a Will Yeatman feature for tomorrow, just wanted to toss this up.

Obviously, there’s other rankings out there, and this is a modestly revised version of my preseason ballot for Inside Lacrosse. But it is a quick take on the season to come (with a few games from last weekend already in the books):


1. Virginia (14-4 in 2008)
* Must replace Rubeor, but three of top four scorers return from a final four team

2. Syracuse (16-2)
* Defending national champions reassume perch near the top of the sport

3. Maryland (10-6)
* Offense may be Cottle’s best in College Park, but rebuilt defense is the question

4. Johns Hopkins (11-6)
* Could be a remarkable team if goalie Gvozden reprises second-half stardom

5. Georgetown (9-4)
* After first postseason miss since 1996, Hoyas return as ECAC favorites

6. Duke (18-2)
* Danowski, Greer and other stalwarts are gone; it’s a different time in Durham

7. North Carolina (8-6)
* New coach Breschi infuses hope into program with 18 straight losses to ACC foes

8. Cornell (11-4)
* Seibald, Glynn give Big Red one of the nation’s elite midfield units

9. Notre Dame (14-3)
* Irish must replace goalie Kemp; a potent offense will keep them atop the GWLL

10. Navy (10-6)
* Mids are deep all over, but the real issue is whether they’ve improved a lackluster offense

11. UMBC (12-4)
* Retrievers bring back nine starters, but losing defenseman Atwell (ACL) hurts

12. Ohio State (11-6)
* Dalgarno will be Buckeyes’ focal point after 40-goal season last spring

13. Albany (8-8)
* Best bet to unseat UMBC in America East, and a final four darkhorse as well

14. Princeton (7-6)
* Tough to believe Tigers have one final four appearance in the last six years

15. Brown (11-3)
* Bears might possess the nation’s best goalie in Bullis product Jordan Burke

16. Denver (10-7)
* Up-tempo Pioneers will give fits to everyone with their pressure-oriented system

17. Loyola (7-7)
* Greyhounds could contend in GWLL; long pole P.T. Ricci might be the best in the country

18. Colgate (11-6)
* Returning starters Corp, Colleluori combined for 76 goals last spring

19. Hofstra (10-6)
* Pride looking to build off last season’s CAA championship; a repeat is possible

20. Army (9-6)
* Plenty to replace, but Black Knights still talented enough to make a run at a Patriot title


21. Bucknell (10-5)
22. Massachusetts (5-8)
23. Delaware (9-7)
24. Harvard (6-8)
25. Rutgers (6-7)
26. Drexel (13-4)
27. Penn State (7-7)
28. Towson (5-9)
29. Stony Brook (7-7)
30. Penn (6-7)

—- Patrick Stevens