The tweet: The Lightning's strength is in its midfield, and with 20 players the team also has depth that it has lacked in the past.

"We have a strong, skilled starting line up," coach Amy Davis said.

Both Millers and Sanders will figure prominently in Long Reach's offense. On the defensive end of the field, sophomore Jessica Bates is a quick and experienced goalkeeper. "I anticipate that she will have a high save percentage," Davis said.

One key for Long Reach's success this season will be its ability to communicate and for the players to look for each other on the field. "When the team connects and finds each other, they are fluid and efficient," Davis said.


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Marriotts Ridge

2011 record: 10-1, 18-1 (state champion)

Top players: Seniors Anne Zabel (MF/D), Molly Fleming (D/MF), Nicole Grote (A), Tori Thomson (A); junior Zoe Stukenberg (MF); sophomores Taylor Hensh (MF), Alexis Zadjura (D), Amanda Miller (D/MF).

The tweet: The Mustangs have a strong, experienced midfield. Stukenberg, the 2011 Player of the Year, is the top returning scorer in the county and will be complemented on offense by Grote and Hensh. Zabel is a shut-down defender and an attack player's worst nightmare.

Coach Natalie Gaieski describes her team as fast, hard working, tough defenders and good shooters, which sounds like a recipe for success. The Mustangs will have to operate as a team, though. "Teams will look to shut down certain players, therefore everyone will need to contribute," Gaieski said.

Mt. Hebron

2011 record: 11-0, 16-2 (county and District V champion)

Top players: Senior Natalie Marciniak (A); juniors Maddy Fisher (GK), Samantha Brookhart (MF), Jamie Schwartz (A), Jessie Czulewicz (D), Kieren Kelleher (MF), Haley Sutton (A/MF); sophomore Tianna Wallpher (D).

The tweet: After one year's absence, Mt. Hebron won the 2011 county title and the Vikings have every intention of successfully defending it this year.

"The will to win and desire to improve are two of our greatest qualities," coach Trish Derwert-Sullivan said. Although there are two seniors, the bulk of her team consists of juniors. Three freshmen could contribute immediately and some of the returning players will be stepping into new, more significant roles.

"We're athletic and fast with a well-anchored defense. We have more speed than last year but less experience," Derwert-Sullivan said.

She acknowledges the need for her team to constantly evolve and improve as the year goes along.

Oakland Mills

2011 record: 2-9, 3-11

Top players: Seniors Nicole Twardowicz (MF/A), Jamie Twardowicz (MF/A), Miranda Neely (A); junior Marlee Slaughter (MF).

The tweet: The Scorpions have a number of younger girls on their team who are relatively new to lacrosse, but maybe they are taking the Northwestern University approach — find athletes and teach them to play.