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Field hockey preseason poll 2014

1. Archbishop Spalding

Coach: Leslee Brady

Last season: 21-1, ranked No. 2

Postseason: IAAM A Conference champion

Outlook: A year ago, the Cavaliers were special. This year, they might be insurmountable. All-Metro first-team midfielder Erin Shanahan and U.S. Under-17 Junior National team member Kyler Greenwalt leads a squad teeming with experienced talent.

2. McDonogh

Coach: Halyna Fried

Last season: 14-4-1, ranked No. 6

Postseason: IAAM A Conference final

Outlook: The Eagles return 14 players, including nine starters, from a team that fell just short of its first IAAM A Conference title. Senior Elizabeth George, an All-Metro second-team forward, leads the offense.

3. Severna Park

Coach: Ann Andrews

Last season: 14-3-1, ranked No. 3

Postseason: Class 4A state champion

Outlook: Maryland signee Olivia Reiter and Dartmouth signee Jessica Valvano lead the defending Class 4A champion, which will be searching for its state-record 22nd title. Despite losing a pair of All-Metro players, the Falcons return experienced contributors all over the field.

4. Mount Hebron

Coach: Jeannette Ireland

Last season: 17-2, ranked No. 4

Postseason: Class 3A state final

Outlook: A solid core of six starters returns for the Vikings, whose only blemishes a year ago were a pair of one-goal losses. The team averaged more than four goals per game, earning its second trip to the state final in three years.

5. South River

Coach: Megan Atkinson

Last season: 14-3, ranked No. 5

Postseason: Class 4A East semifinals

Outlook: The Seahawks are out to prove that last season's early playoff exit was an anomaly. Kayla White returns as one of Anne Arundal County's top offensive threats, and All-Metro defender Zoe Smith is back, too. Midfielder Emily Thomas returns after missing most of last season with a broken collarbone.

6. Garrison Forest

Coach: Traci Davis

Last season: 17-4, ranked No. 8

Postseason: IAAM A Conference semifinals

Outlook: The Grizzlies will field a young team, though one that's not lacking in experience. Twelve players return, including seven who were starters.

7. C. Milton Wright

Coach: Janice Rhodes

Last season: 18-1, ranked No. 1

Postseason: Class 3A state champion

Outlook: The Mustangs will face significant challenges including the loss of All-Metro first-team midfielder Sabrina Rhodes (torn ACL). That said, this team still has too much talent to not rank among the area's elite.

8. Century

Coach: Terry Duryea

Last season: 15-4, ranked No. 10

Postseason: Class 2A state champion

Outlook: The Knights return all but four players, including Mandi Trostle, largely seen as the top player in Carroll County. This team is in a strong position to make another run at a championship.

9. Arundel

Coach: Carrie Vosburg

Last season: 11-5, unranked

Postseason: Class 4A East semifinals

Outlook: Look out for the Wildcats, who are looking to step into Anne Arundel County's elite this season. A majority of last year's roster returns.

10. Bryn Mawr

Coach: Nina Emala

Last season: 9-9-3, unranked

Postseason: IAAM A Conference semifinals

Outlook: Former assistant Nina Emala takes over for longtime head coach Jeanette Budzik and will get help from a strong senior class, led by captain Alex Argo. Expect this team to play a fast-paced game, with a number of players capable of putting the ball in the goal.

11. Atholton

Coach: Martie Dyer

Last season: 10-3, other teams considered

Postseason: Class 3A East quarterfinals

Outlook: Syracuse commit Jen Bleakney leads a squad that returns all but three starters. The Raiders dropped just two games during the regular season a year ago, by one goal each.

12. Broadneck

Coach: Jen Plack

Last season: 12-5, ranked No. 12

Postseason: Class 4A East final

Outlook: Though younger and less experienced than a year ago, the Bruins should be in the thick of the Anne Arundel County race. Four starters return, led by Regan Littell, who will anchor the team from the midfield.

13. Glenelg

Coach: Ginger Kincaid

Last season: 15-3, ranked No. 7

Postseason: Class 2A state semifinals

Outlook: Despite graduating a pair of All-Metro first-team players, the Gladiators have tremendous team speed and depth of talent. It might take some time for this team to jell, but it could be dangerous by season's end.

14. Dulaney

Coach: Kellie Fialcowitz

Last season: 13-6, ranked No. 11

Postseason: Class 4A state semifinals

Outlook: Underclassmen will play a pivotal role for the Lions, who were the class of Baltimore County a year ago but have just six seniors this season. All-Metro second-team goalie Kalie Paranzino is excellent in the cage.

15. Patterson Mill

Coach: Shannon Swinscoe

Last season: 13-5-1, other teams considered

Postseason: Class 1A state final

Outlook: Under-21 national team member Linnea Gonzales leads a squad that surged late last season to become one of the area's elite, forcing overtime in the Class 1A title game. She will be one of nine seniors.

Other teams considered: Catonsville (12-3), Hereford (12-5-1), Marriotts Ridge (13-3), Mount de Sales (19-1), North Carroll (14-3), Old Mill (13-3), Westminster (12-3)

Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun
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