ALC Tournament team previews

Published: Wednesday, May 2, 2012 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, May 3, 2012 at 12:27 a.m.

A look at the six teams playing in this weekend's American Lacrosse Conference Tournament.

Florida Gators

Seed: 1

Record: 15-2, 5-0 ALC

Key players: Ashley Bruns (jr., a, 41 goals, 20 assists), Gabi Wiegand (jr., a., 45 goals, 13 assists)

Outlook: Hosting the tournament should serve as an advantage to the Gators, who finished the regular season 9-1 home. UF’s lone home loss came in double-overtime against Syracuse (12-11). Florida has beaten seven ranked opponents and scored 20 or more goals in seven games this season.

Northwestern Wildcats

Seed: 2

Record: 16-1, 4-1 ALC

Key players: Shannon Smith (sr., m/a., 56 goals), Taylor Thornton (jr., m/d., 23 goals, 56 draw controls)

Outlook: Northwestern is the defending ALC Tournament championships and like Florida, has a bye in the first round before playing Friday. The Wildcats have won 12 games against ranked opponents, including seven wins against top-10 ranked teams.

Penn State Nittany Lions

Seed: 3

Record: 11-5, 3-2 ALC

Key players: Mackenzie Cyr (soph., a., 32 goals, 19 assists), Dana Cahill (sr., g., 157 saves)

Outlook: Penn State has won three games against top-10 ranked teams, including a 14-7 win over then-No. 6 Virginia on March 4. Excellent goaltending from senior Dana Cahill gives Penn State a chance to pull off upsets in any game it plays.

Ohio State Buckeyes

Seed: 4

Record: 10-5, 1-4 ALC

Key players: Alayna Markwordt (sr., a., 36 goals, 46 assists), Gabby Capuzzi (sr., m., 36 goals)

Outlook: The Buckeyes have just one win over a ranked opponent this season, a 13-11 victory at No. 15 Vanderbilt. However, the Buckeyes never lost to an unranked opponent, and took two-seed Northwestern to overtime in front of a crowd of 2,319 at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass.

Vanderbilt Commodores

Seed: 5

Record: 8-7, 1-4 ALC

Key players: Ally Carey (sr., m., 29 goals, 10 assists), Alyssa Dunlap (soph, d., 13 caused turnovers).

Outlook: Vanderbilt has lost six of its last nine games but is looking to turn things around in the tournament. The Commodores pulled off a 7-5 upset over No. 5 Duke early this season.

Johns Hopkins Blue Jays

Seed: 6

Record: 8-8, 1-4 ALC

Key players: Taylor D’Amore (soph, m, 33 assists), Colleen McCaffrey (sr., a, 39 goals).

Outlook: The Blue Jays have had some bad bounces this season. Johns Hopkins has lost three games by one goal, including a 13-12 double-overtime loss to top-seed Florida. That shows that the Blue Jays are a dangerous team capable of pulling off an upset or two in the tournament if they come in with the right mindset.

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