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High School Sports

Boys soccer preseason poll for fall 2014

1. McDonogh

Coach: Brandon Quaranta

Last season: 21-0-1, ranked No. 1

Postseason: MIAA A Conference champion

Outlook: The Eagles are loaded and among the nation's elite high school programs. McDonogh is the favorite to repeat as champion with 12 returning players, including seven starters and several All-America candidates.

2. Severna Park

Coach: Ryan Parisi

Last season: 17-0-2, No. 3

Postseason: Class 4A state champion

Outlook: The Falcons will be formidable again with the return of Daniel Kwon and Miseker Wingate. Severna Park has 10 other returning players from last season's undefeated squad.

3. Loyola Blakefield

Coach: Lee Tschantret

Last season: 9-9-3, No. 10

Postseason: MIAA A semifinals

Outlook: The Dons will push for the MIAA A Conference title with nine returning players. Gavin Barger (nine goals, eight assists) is a four-year starter; Ryan Conrad led the team with 10 goals and four assists, and Riley Collins had three goals and four assists from the central back position.

4. St. Paul's

Coach: Majid Mirza

Last season: 15-4-1, No. 2

Postseason: MIAA A Conference final

Outlook: After moving up from the B Conference last season, the Crusaders advanced to the title game, where they fell to McDonogh in the final minute of regulation. St. Paul's will be a force again and is well balanced.

5. River Hill

Coach: Matt Shagogue

Last season: 16-2, No. 5

Postseason: Class 3A state semifinals

Outlook: The Hawks should make a run at the state title. All-America candidate Mike Heitzmann led the team last year with 10 goals and eight assists, and is being recruited by a handful of Division I programs.

6. Perry Hall

Coach: Pete Eibner

Last season: 13-3-2, No. 9

Postseason: Class 4A North final

Outlook: The Gators have six returning starters and are gunning for their third straight Baltimore County championship. Perry Hall has two new experienced players in Luke Still, a transfer from Archbishop Curley, and Justin Spencer, who returns for his senior year after playing for an academy team last season.

7. Gilman

Coach: Jon Seal

Last season: 9-8-3, No. 7

Postseason: MIAA A Conference semifinals

Outlook: The Greyhounds lost some key senior leadership, so they'll rely heavily on their experienced players, including Andy Matthews, Jake Waxter and Cole Sutton. "We have several young players that are either new to the program or are being asked to play a more prominent role this season," Seal said.

8. Calvert Hall

Coach: Rich Zinkand

Last season: 6-11-2, not ranked

Postseason: None

Outlook: The Cardinals will push for a playoff spot with an experienced roster that includes 10 seniors. Calvert Hall will be led by Nick Rosso and Seth Walker.

9. Archbishop Curley

Coach: Barry Stitz

Last Season: 11-10-1, No. 6

Postseason: MIAA A Conference semifinals

Outlook: The Friars are young but talented, and Stitz has a way of getting the most out of his players. Curley should make a run for a playoff spot and returns Tre Pulliam, who led the team in scoring last season with 12 goals and two assists.

10. Reservoir

Coach: Josh Sullivan

Last season: 11-3-2, not ranked

Postseason: Class 3A East semifinals

Outlook: The Gators are deep and talented with 13 returning players, including eight starters. Kyle Saunderson, a four-year starter, will lead the defense, and Serigne Gueye, who plays with the Baltimore Celtic club team, will anchor the midfield.

11. Mount Saint Joseph

Coach: Mike St. Martin

Last season: 7-11-1, not ranked

Postseason: None

Outlook: Several members of the Gaels' starting lineup last season graduated, and the team will carry six freshmen. Still, St. Martin likes what he has seen so far. "We'll be young, but we'll be good," hesaid.

12. Broadneck

Coach: Sean Tettemer

Last season: 10-4, not ranked

Postseason: Class 4A East quarterfinals

Outlook: The Bruins will look to make a deep playoff run in the tough Class 4A East region with a talented and hard-working squad. Broadneck will be led by Tyler Gabarra, who had 10 goals and seven assists last season.

13. Oakland Mills 12-5-1

Coach: Don Shea

Last Season: 12-5-1, No. 12

Postseason: Class 2A state semifinals

Outlook: The Scorpions have enough talent to challenge for the Howard County title. They will be led by midfielder John Caldwell, a two-year starter who was an All-Howard County pick last season, forward Hymad N'diaye (eight goals, eight assists) and defender Javier Avetrani (four goals, five assists).

14. John Carroll

Coach: Jim Fendryk

Last season: 12-12-2, No. 15

Postseason: MIAA A Conference quarterfinals

Outlook: The Patriots have a good mix of returning upperclassmen, including senior Nektario Athanasiou, who returns after missing the 2013 season playing in the U.S. Soccer Development Academy, and junior Jake Dengler, who returns after missing most of the 2013 season with a broken leg.

15. Marriotts Ridge

Coach: Kevin Flynn

Last season: 14-2, No. 13

Postseason: Class 2A South semifinals

Outlook: The Mustangs are in a rebuilding mode, with eight freshmen and sophomores fighting for playing time. Flynn hopes to have the team running on all cylinders when the playoffs come around.

Other teams considered: Bel Air (8-9, not ranked), Boys' Latin (12-6-1, not ranked), C. Milton Wright (8-5-1, No. 11), Dulaney (10-4, not ranked), Hereford (15-3-3, No. 4), Meade (10-6, not ranked), North Harford (7-4-4, not ranked), South Carroll (11-5-2, not ranked)

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