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2013 girls soccer Top 15 preseason poll

Maryland Transit AdministrationRyan Jones (football)

1. McDonogh

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.

5. Arundel

Coach: Laura Coe

Last season: 16-2, No. 6

Postseason: Class 4A East regional finalist

Outlook: After falling to Anne Arundel County rival and defending Class 4A state champion South River in overtime in the East regional title game last fall, the Wildcats return several talented players as they look to avenge that loss. Is this the Wildcats’ year?

6. Catonsville

Coach: James Fitzpatrick

Last season: 14-2, No. 8

Postseason: Class 4A North regional finalist

Outlook: The Comets, who return eight starters, have all the pieces in place to build on last year’s highly successful season. Jennifer Nonn is one of the area’s premier goal scorers; Allison Dingle provides stability at center midfield; and all four defenders return, led by Anna Higdon.

7. Bel Air

Coach: Josh Clemmer

Last season: 8-7-2, unranked

Postseason: Class 3A North regional semifinalist

Outlook: With 10 starters back, the Bobcats are primed for a breakthrough season in the wide open Upper Chesapeake Bay Athletic Conference. The team’s continuity and chemistry starts with Jordan Layfield in the middle, Caroline Lozzi in the back and a handful of goal scoring threats up top.

8. Perry Hall

Coach: Rick Testerman

Last season: 10-4-2, No. 10

Postseason: Class 4A North regional semifinalist

Outlook: Expectations are high at Perry Hall, where nine starters return, highlighted by a versatile midfield and staunch defense. Testerman said the deep senior class should provide leadership as the Gators look to build on last year’s 10-win season.

9. Fallston

Coach: Mark Hannahs

Last season: 14-3-2, No. 7

Postseason: Class 2A state finalist

Outlook: Scored on with 23 seconds left in last year’s Class 2A title game against three-time defending champ Middletown has motivated the Cougars. With eight starters back and a handful of newcomers eager to make an impact, Fallston is striving for a better ending this season.

10. Broadneck

Coach: John Camm

Last season: 11-3-2, No. 12

Postseason: Class 4A East regional semifinalist

Outlook: Overshadowed by Anne Arundel County rivals South River and Arundel last year, the Bruins want to state their case this season with a talented and focused group returning. All-Metro second-team forward Ellie McNulty leads eight returning starters.

11. C. Milton Wright

Coach: Paul Austin

Last season: 17-2-1, No. 5

Postseason: Class 3A state finalist

Outlook: After reaching the state playoffs for a third straight year with a stacked senior roster in 2012, the Mustangs start with a largely new and talented cast. How quickly last year’s reserves adjust to lead roles and the newcomers step up will determine their success.

12. Notre Dame Prep

Coach: Val Teixeira

Last season: 7-5-3, unranked

Postseason: IAAM A Conference semifinalist

Outlook: Teixeira, who is the director of coaching for Premier Soccer Club, takes over the program and he expects immediate success. The Blazers — a mix of experienced and young players — will look to possess the ball, counter attack and set the tone with constant hard work.

13. Eastern Tech

Coach: Kim Williams

Last season: 13-1-2, No. 9

Postseason: Class 3A North regional semifinalist

Outlook: The Baltimore County champions took a significant graduation hit, losing eight players, but the Mavericks return enough talented players to remain in contention. Midfielder Brandie Bryant leads the team, and goalkeeper Ryan Jones is tough to beat.

14. John Carroll

Coach: Gary Lynch

Last season: 10-8-1, unranked

Postseason: IAAM A Conference semifinalist

Outlook: Six starters return, including three seniors, leaving the Patriots with a quality foundation as well as some questions. Senior midfielder Sophie Centi sparks the team, with defender Kara Klages anchoring the back as the young squad looks to improve on the go.

15. Marriotts Ridge

Coach: Robin Grey

Last season: 9-6-1, unranked

Postseason: Class 2A North regional semifinalist

Outlook: Injuries limited the Mustangs in 2012, but the experience gained by younger players will be a benefit this season with eight starters returning. Taylor Hensh and Alexis Zadjura are the playmakers, with goalkeeper Jenna Bergquist anchoring a sturdy defense.

Others considered: Centennial (6-7-2, unranked); Century (9-4-2, No. 15); Chesapeake-AA (10-5-1, unranked); Hereford (7-5-1, unranked); Manchester Valley (13-3-2, unranked); Mercy (9-9, unranked); Reservoir (8-6-4, unranked); Severn (9-7-1, unranked).

glenn.graham@baltsun.com

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