Coach: Harry Canellakis
Last season: 16-3, ranked No. 4
Postseason: IAAM A Conference finalist
Outlook: The Eagles’ bid for a wire-to-wire No. 1 ranking last season was foiled by Archbishop Spalding in a loss on penalty kicks in the IAAM A Conference title game. With nine starters returning — including five sophomores — McDonogh is poised to achieve the feat this year.
2. River Hill
Coach: Brian Song
Last season: 19-0, No. 1
Postseason: Class 3A state champion
Outlook: After capturing the program’s eighth state title with an undefeated 2012 season, the Hawks have all the ingredients to continue their success. Sheridan Street, an All-Metro first-team pick, and Alex Hamer, a second-team selection, give River Hill a prolific one-two punch.
3. South River
Coach: John Sis
Last season: 18-2, No. 3
Postseason: Class 4A state champion
Outlook: With 10 starters back from last year’s title team to go with a number of newcomers who are prepared to challenge for spots, the Seahawks are primed for a repeat. All-Metro Player of the Year Kacie Longo, a senior forward, provides consistent scoring and leadership as the team’s catalyst.
4. Archbishop Spalding
Coach: Ashly Kennedy
Last season: 15-3-3, No. 2
Postseason: IAAM A Conference champion
Outlook: Kennedy, a former standout at St. Mary’s, takes over for Bob Dieterle, who turned Spalding into a powerhouse with four IAAM A Conference championships in 11 seasons. Kennedy will look to maintain the lofty standards with a hard-working group that emphasizes an attacking, high-pressure style.