Girls soccer: The poll

1. MCDONOGH Last season: 16-5-2, ranked No. 3

•The Eagles are loaded, bringing back all 11starters, adding an influx of young talent and having the invaluable experience of playing in last year's IAAM A Conference title game.

2. RIVER HILL Last season: 18-1-1, No. 1

•With two straight state titles and six overall, the Hawks have established themselves as the best public school program in the area.

3. ST. VINCENT PALLOTTI Last season: 11-5-2, No. 2

•The defensive-minded Panthers graduated a quality class. Of course, we said that last year and they went on to capture their first IAAM A Conference title.

4. ARCHBISHOP SPALDING Last season: 18-2-1, No. 4

•With the program's two most prominent players having graduated - midfielder Christine Nairn and goalie Karen Blocker - the Cavaliers will bank on a deep and talented roster.

5. FALLSTON Last season: 16-1-1, No. 6

•The Cougars, whose only loss came in the regional title game last year, have eight starters back and unfinished business in mind.

6. EASTERN TECH Last season: 14-2-1, No. 10

•With 10 starters back, the Mavericks have plenty of talent and incentive after taking River Hill into OT before falling, 2-1, in last year's Class 2A state final.

7. C. MILTON WRIGHT Last season: 13-5-1, No. 8

•Motivation isn't a problem and neither is talent at C. Milton Wright, where the Mustangs return eight starters after losing the Class 4A state final to Quince Orchard on penalty kicks.

8. WILDE LAKE Last season: 15-5, No. 5

•The Wildecats, state finalists last season, have the returning talent at every position to make another strong run under first-year coach Phil Webster.

9. JOHN CARROLL Last season: 17-5, No. 7

•Limited experience won't disrupt things with the Patriots, who always find a way to make a positive imprint in the IAAM AConference.

10. BROADNECK Last season 8-4-3, unranked

•Talented, aggressive and experienced, the Bruins have a slight edge in what should be a balanced Anne Arundel County league.

11. SEVERNA PARK Last season: 15-3, No. 11

•The young Falcons will lean on smart play at midfield and their speed up front while a largely new defense settles in.

12. CATONSVILLE Last season: 16-2, No. 12

•The Comets have eight starters back from last year's state semifinal team and will rely on balance to offset the 32 goals lost by the graduation of Jessica Nonn.

13. MERCY Last season: 11-7-1, unranked

•Seven returning starters and a promising freshman class could translate into a big year for the Magic in the tough IAAM AConference.

14. SOUTH RIVER Last season: 8-4-4, unranked

•Poised for a breakthrough, the Seahawks have the experience and talent to make a serious charge in Anne Arundel County.

15. WINTERS MILL Last season: 12-4-1, unranked

•The defending Carroll County champion Falcons made significant strides last season - winning eight more games than the previous year - and the upward trend should continue.

OTHERS CONSIDERED •Arundel (11-4, unranked), Centennial (11-4-1, No. 13), Century (12-4, unranked), Loch Raven (10-6-1, No. 15), Institute of Notre Dame (14-5-1, No. 9)

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