Coach: Ashley Yuscavage
Last season: 19-1, ranked No. 1
Postseason: Class 4A state runner-up
Outlook: The Wildcats lost a lot after last season, but the Orr twins — Allie and Brittany — lead a good group of returning players. Anne Arundel County looks more balanced this year, but the two-time defending state finalists look to continue as the best of the bunch.
2. St. Paul’s
Coach: Kelli Wilkinson
Last season: 13-5, unranked
Postseason: IAAM A Conference semifinalist
Outlook: Simply put, the Gators are loaded this season. Wilkinson returns her entire team and adds transfer Bella Pivec (Notre Dame Prep). With its talent, depth and experience, St. Paul’s enters the year as the clear favorite in the IAAM A Conference.
Coach: Grant Scott
Last season: 9-8, No. 13
Postseason: Class 3A East regional finalist
Outlook: The Lions got stronger at the end of last season, and there’s a lot of upside to this team. Scott, who lost only one senior from last year, said the squad is very motivated and has great senior leadership. Howard moves to Class 4A this season.
Coach: Larry Schofield
Last season: 18-1, No. 3
Postseason: Class 3A state runner-up
Outlook: The Eagles lost All-Metro Player of the Year Trisha Mockapetris (Jacksonville State) to graduation, but Centennial is deep and always finds a way to reload. If Schofield can replace the two departed starters, another trip to College Park for the state playoffs is likely.