Gloucester's girls soccer team has talent, depth and experience. But Dukes coach Bob Fisher constantly reminds his players that isn't enough.
"They have the potential, and they have the asset of individual competitiveness," Fisher said. "But the problem can be working on the same page together."
The Dukes were a cohesive group as they went 8-0-1 in the district through the regular season. They weren't as they lost their final two games by a combined score of 6-0.
Still, Gloucester should have enough to repeat as district champion. But don't rule out Menchville, which beat the Dukes 2-1 in the Garvey Tournament.
1. GLOUCESTER (8-0-1 district). The Dukes should be the one to beat with the return of first-team All-PD picks F Mary Williams, D Karsyn Wass and GK Cheyenne Hogge. Fisher says the team is promising "on paper" but needs to improve its "individual discipline."
2. MENCHVILLE (7-0-2). The Monarchs made it to the regionals last year and should get back with the return of MF Madison Cobb, F Tori Browne, GK Danielle Walker, D Anna Webb, MF Sophie Brinkley and the Korecky sisters (Jessica and Sarah).
3. WOODSIDE (6-2-1). The Wolverines lose Player of the Year Sarah Watson, which will be hard to overcome. But Coach Eduardo Timas returns a pair of three-year starters in Megan Walden and Jasmin Gomez. Also back are sophomores Sarah Brewington and Asia Harris.
4. KECOUGHTAN (5-3-1). Coach Jennifer Mangus likes the mix of experience and talent, which she compares to the 2010 team that went to the regionals. MF/D McKenna Simpson, an All-PD pick, is back. So is MF Alexa Ruffin and GK Laura Stephan, who started as a freshman.
5. DENBIGH (5-3-1). The Patriots lost a major talent in three-time All-PD pick Leslie Coates. But first-year coach Moe Kanneh likes this team's game knowledge. Among the veterans are senior Tara Grimm and juniors Chaz Bradford and Emily Cody.
6. WARWICK (4-3-2). The Raiders lost a large part of their offense with F Erin King, but Coach Erin Wojtkun expects junior Oksana Nix to step up her scoring this season. Also back is MF Eliza Lavery and GK/F Anna Wahlstrom.
7. HAMPTON (2-6-1). Coach George Welch will rely on his team's experience for what he hopes will be an improved season. The veterans include Alyssa Ochsenfeld, Nohemi Almendarez, Mykal Lofton and Tia Middleton.
8. PHOEBUS (1-6-2). Michael Zamora has plenty of experience playing, coaching and officiating. But this is his first season with the Phantoms. He's hoping Lisa Muller, a transfer student from Germany, can help produce more wins.
9. BETHEL (1-7-1). It was a rough season for the Bruins, whose only win came against winless Heritage. Coach Steve Midlik hopes the veteran presence of seniors like MFs Ashtin Plott and Carmella Thomas will bring improvement.
10. HERITAGE (0-9-0). Though the Hurricanes were winless, Maurice Leeks was named PD Coach of the Year by his colleagues. He likes the mental toughness of his players, including MF Natalie Wright and GK Marcella Molden.Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun