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Girls lacrosse preseason poll

Florida Gators

1. McDonogh

Coach: Chris Robinson

Last season: 22-0, No. 1

Postseason: Interschoalstic Athletic Association of Maryland A Conference champion

Outlook: The Eagles finished last season ranked No. 1 nationally for the fourth-straight time and every opponent is aiming to end their 91-game winning streak and five-year run as A Conference champs. After graduating 17 seniors, the Eagles don’t have many big names back, except Maryland commit Megan Whittle, but they return 11 players with significant playing experience and add a host of talented youngsters to kick off the season Wednesday night against Vero Beach in Florida.

2. Marriotts Ridge

Coach: Amanda Brady

Last season: 17-1, No. 2

Postseason: Class 3A-2A champion

Outlook: The Mustangs graduated All-Metro Player of the Year Zoe Stukenberg and have a new coach in long-time assistant Brady, but they return eight starters from a team that lost only to No. 1 McDonogh. Their strengths lie in veteran goalie Rachel Ortell and a balanced attack.

3. Maryvale

Coach: Jessica Randisi

Last season: 11-5, No. 9

Postseason: IAAM A Conference semifinalist

Outlook: The Lions return seven starters but have a pair of youngsters vying to start in goal after graduating All-Metro keeper Caroline Federico. The field defense and midfield remain strong, but some newcomers will need to be aggressive on attack.

4. C. Milton Wright

Coach: Brent Ritz

Last season: 16-2, No. 6

Postseason: Class 3A-2A state semifinalist

Outlook: Fourth-year starters anchor the midfield and the defense looks solid as the Mustangs return seven players from a team that lost two games last season by one goal. They need to fill a few holes on defense and develop leadership.

5. St. Paul’s

Coach: Courtney Connor

Last season: 13-5, No. 3

Postseason: IAAM A Conference finalist

Outlook: The Gators’ third coach in five years, Connor — a former UMBC coach and Maryland All-American — takes over a program that returns five starters and 15 players from last season’s turn-around team that gave McDonogh a battle for the A Conference crown.

6. Century

Coach: Becky Groves

Last season: 16-3, No. 5

Postseason: Class 3A-2A finalist

Outlook: The Knights graduated seven starters, but they have a lot of strength in the junior class and their leading scorer last season was a freshman. They will rely even more on talented young players now, including a new goalie.

7. Severn

Coach: Renie Sotiropoulos

Last season: 9-7-1, No. 13

Postseason: IAAM A Conference quarterfinalist

Outlook: The Admirals have something their A Conference foes do not — a fourth-year starting goalie in Harvard-bound Meredith Brown. With five other starters back, they return plenty of attack but need youngsters to fill in the midfield.

8. Mount Hebron

Coach: Trish Derwart

Last season: 14-3, No. 7

Postseason: Class 3A-2A South regional semifinalist

Outlook: The Vikings lost only to the No. 1 and No. 2-ranked teams last season, and they have a talented group ready to step in for nine graduated seniors. Look for a balanced team to make a run at Marriotts Ridge in Howard County.

9. Archbishop Spalding

Coach: Don Restly

Last season: 12-8, No. 11

Postseason: IAAM A Conference quarterfinalist

Outlook: The Cavaliers had some big wins last season but were inconsistent. With nine starters back, they could easily move up in the A Conference standings and turn around some of the five games they lost by three goals or less.

10. Bryn Mawr

Coaches: Wendy Kridel, Kim Simons Tortolani

Last season: 11-4, No. 4

Postseason: IAAM A Conference semifinalist

Outlook: The Mawrtians have one of their youngest teams in decades with just one senior among their five returning starters. The coaches have a knack for crafting strong defensive teams, but they need to find an offensive spark.

11. John Carroll

Coach: Stephanie Maychack

Last season: 5-9, Not ranked

Postseason: IAAM A Conference quarterfinalist

Outlook: The veteran Patriots are eager to improve on a season that included four one-goal losses and two overtime losses. New coach Maychack added just two players to the roster this season, and the team will return strength all over the field.

12. Broadneck

Coach: Katy Kelley

Last season: 18-3, No. 10

Postseason: Class 4A-3A state champion

Outlook: Nine starters graduated from the team that won its first title in 11 years. They left large holes on attack and defense but Kelley, who takes over after 13 years an assistant, returns a lot of talent eager for time in the limelight.

13. South River

Coach: Sam Farrell

Last season: 15-3, No. 12

Postseason: Class 4A-3A East regional finalist

Outlook: Former Severna Park All-Metro defender Farrell takes over a team that swept through Anne Arundel County before falling to Broadneck in the regional final. A large senior class departed, but key players return, especially in the midfield.

14. Hereford

Coach: Anne Ensor

Last season: 13-5, No. 14

Postseason: Class 3A-2A North regional finalist

Outlook: The defending Baltimore County champions will have a healthy Noelle Funk in the midfield after two ACL tears limited the high-scoring junior to playing just half of last season. Seven strong returnees should make up for the loss of 12 seniors.

15. Notre Dame Prep

Coaches: Mary Bartel, Lisa Costello

Last season: 6-12, Not ranked

Postseason: IAAM A Conference first round

Outlook: The Blazers have the foundation to recover from a disappointing season, with 12 returning seniors who can provide the leadership to turn things around. As usual, they are strong through the midfield.

Others considered: Annapolis, (9-5); Catonsville (16-3, No. 15), Mount de Sales (8-9), North Harford (13-3, No. 8), Perry Hall (8-7), Roland Park (6-10), Severna Park (11-4), Winters Mill (15-5)

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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