By Nelson Coffin and Tom Worgo, email@example.com
9:40 AM EDT, March 29, 2014
Consistently warmer weather may not have arrived, but that hasn't stopped the local squads at Bryn Mawr, Lutheran, Maryvale, Roland Park, St. Paul's and Friends from striving for a successful season.
Read on to see who will play for your favorite team.
2013 record: 11-5
Coach Wendy Kridel's quote: "Bryn Mawr is going to be a team that gets stronger every time it competes."
Breakdown: Senior Peyton Capute (William Smith College) and Georgia Carroll (Middlebury) spearhead an attack with junior Hadley Brown (Vanderbilt).
The unit also boasts promising sophomore Bridget Danko.
Juniors dominate on the midfield with Alex Argo (Princeton), Julie Blaze (Vanderbilt) and Julia Feiss (Denver) taking charge for the Mawrtians.
Senior defender Katie Groenke (Franklin and Marshall) and first-year senior starter Maggie Kane (Richmond) anchor the defense with junior Maddie Stuzin (Columbia) and freshmen Abby Fisher, Sophie Murphy and Joanna Levin.
There still could be an issue of team maturity for a Bryn Mawr squad that lacks significant game experience.
After all, the Mawrtians have dropped their first two games for the first time in at least a decade, including an 8-7 setback to archival Roland Park on March 19.
"Graduating nine seniors leaves us with a lot of less seasoned players in the lineup," Kridel said.. "Thankfully, our team has great leadership and loves to compete."
2013 record: 13-4
Coach Mandy Hudson’s quote: “I know (other league) teams graduated a lot of players. It was our year not to lose many.”
Breakdown: The Quakers return nine starters.
That means they are likely the team to beat for an Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland B Conference championship.
Friends is in the running for a title every year under Hudson, a fourth-year coach.
The Quakers won it all in 2012 and lost in the final last year and 2011.
“This year, we have a very unselfish team,” Hudson said. “They really rely on each other to play hard. I think they really have grown.”
The Vikings should not have much trouble scoring. Senior midfielder Abigail Corkum (William & Mary), junior midfielder Rachel Kehoe (UMBC) and sophomore attacker Marli Caplan will be difficult to slow down.
Corkum led the team with 61 goals and 15 assists last year. Kehoe scored 44 goals and dished out 22 assists. Caplan had 27 goals.
The Quakers will look for midfield help from juniors Lynne Cullen and Caitlin Donovan, sophomore Anne Marie Green and freshman Irene Lunt.
Senior Louise Foster will also be a big part of the attack.
Hudson thinks the depth and talent on defense will be as strong as last year. The unit features seniors Isabel Blalock and Kailie Saudek and junior Mackenzie Gerrity.
They’re protecting probably the best goalie in the league in senior Rose Woolson, a four-year starter who will play at Davidson next year.
2013 record: 1-9
Coach John Tucker's quote: "The girls are listening to the coaches, and they don't pretend to know everything."
Breakdown: With former Gilman and Loyola Blakefield coach Tucker now running the show, the Saints' fortunes are trending upward after last year's failed attempt to defend the Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland C Conference championship, garnered by the unbeaten (16-0) squad in 2012.
The attack features junior Kelly Richter and a trio of sophomores, Alllie Clay, Lisa Licata and Kaitlin Woolsey.
Lutheran matched last season's win total when Woolsey pumped in a team-best three goals in an 8-4 triumph over St. Vincent Pallotti on March 20.
Senior twins Savannah and Lindsey Chamberlain and sophomore Victoria Kather use their speed to ignite transition from the midfield.
Senior defender Victoria Lake and her junior sidekicks Jenna Gregory, Carissa Smith and Adrianna Woodward protect junior goalie Lily Dickinson.
In his first tour as a girls head coach, Tucker is already seeing improvement in a team eager to learn and excel.
"I thought the girls played smarter and harder," in the win over Pallotti, he said. "I don't know how good we will be, but, by May, we'll be a better team."
2013 record: 11-5
Coach Jessica Randisi's quote: "Our midfield is fast and strong. Our attack is still figuring out a plan."
Breakdown: Sophomore Cara Baldwin and freshman Amanda Jenkins have big shoes to fill since inheriting the job of goaltending from current Johns Hopkins starter Caroline Federico.
"We are returning our entire starting defense except for Caroline in goal," Randisi said.
Senior defenders Lauren Hudson, Lizzie Piet, Maggie Huey and Emma Boris should be able to steady the nerves of the young goalies.
With that in mind, the attack/midfield has enough firepower to be considered among the best goal-scoring groups in the Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland A Conference.
Senior Elena McWright and junior Mackenzie Kilduff are the main threats on the attack while seniors Kalyn Crocetti and Sam Prestel, junior Miranda Ibello (Johns Hopkins) and sophomore Ally Blood take charge in the midfield. Freshman midfielder Anne Milwicz should log plenty minutes as well.
Seniors Caroline Beaupre and Ellie Bockstie (Lindenwood) add depth to the attack and freshman Annie Burns helps to round out the midfield.
Junior Amanda Mellendick and sophomore Jessica Richardson complete the Lions' backline.
Notre Dame Prep
2013 record: 6-12
Coach Mary Bartel's quote: "It was our only second losing season in 20 years."
Breakdown: The Blazers may do some damage after a rough year.
They return 10 starters and nine are committed to play in college.
"We felt we all under-achieved last year for any number of reasons," said Bartel, whose team is off to a 1-1 start, having beaten Archbishop Spalding, 18-13, and lost to John Carroll, 8-6. "We are not going to make excuses. They want a chance to set the record straight."
NDP is strong at attack with seniors Mae Tarr (Michigan), Caroline Drusano (Georgetown) and Georgia Tunney (Georgetown).
The Blazers' seasoned midfield boasts seniors Molly Cobb (Notre Dame), Caroline Doyle (Notre Dame), Elizabeth Haus (North Carolina), Katie Willis (Gettysburg) and juniors Allison Shields (Virginia) and Meredith Drusano (Boston).
"I think across the board we have improved from crease to crease," Bartel said. "We have overhauled quite a bit and continue to work hard."
Senior Jackie Dempsey anchors the defense.
In goal, senior Lucy Darlington and juniors Ellie Aburn and Annika Schaefer are competing for playing time.
"Whoever is stopping the most shots consistently in practice will be our go-to goalie," Bartel said.
2013 record: 5-10
Coach Kristin Nicolini's quote: "Don't count us out. We're pretty balanced this year."
Breakdown: The Reds are proving their coach is right so far by beginning the season with victories over Collegiate (Va.) and, more importantly, archrival Bryn Mawr for the first time in the regular season since 2007.
Junior midfielder Francesca Whitehurst scored four goals and had an assist in the win over the Mawrtians.
"She can handle pressure and make thing happen," Nicolini said about the Georgetown commit.
Senior attacker Katie Bolt and junior running mate Katie Clements add to the Reds' arsenal.
Senior Cece Finney (Florida), junior Mary Diffenderfer and sophomore Anna Hauser figure to be the top midfielders. Junior Riley Brager earned the starting nod in the goal against Bryn Mawr, totaling 11 saves in the triumph.
She's fronted by senior defender Katie DeMuth and junior Jenna Baverman
St. Paul's School for Girls
2013 record: 13-5
Coach Courtney Connor's quote: "It's been a lot of fun during the preseason watching the team grow and develop together."
Breakdown: After replacing successful predecessor Brooke Kuhl-McClelland, who guided the Gators to the Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland A Conference final last spring, Connor hopes to keep the Gators hovering near the top of the IAAM A Conference standings this spring.
A talented roster features senior leadership on the defensive side of the field with goalie Carrera Lucas (Virginia) and defenders Cassie Smith and Maclean Liotta. Junior Kaci McNeave and sophomore Paige Barton help to buttress the defense.
Although juniors Paige Aldave and Julia Braig were set to lead the attack and midfield, respectively, injuries have kept the prolific pair off the field so far.
That means junior Sara Moeller's role will expand on attack.
"Julia and Paige have been out all winter/spring and not sure if they will be back prior to the end of season," said Connor, a Loch Raven grad, who garnered five national championships at the University of Maryland, including a red-shirt year. "We lost a lot of players from last year and that's ok. Each year is different and we are ready for this team to leave its mark."