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2018 girls lacrosse preseason Top 15 poll

Top 15

No. 1 McDonogh

Coach: Nancy Love

Last season: 22-0, ranked No. 1

Postseason: IAAM A Conference champion

Outlook: The Eagles have won 179 straight games, earned nine straight A Conference championships and been the No. 1 team in the country since 2010. They will try to carry on those streaks with a new coach as Love, an Eagles assistant since 2003, takes over for Chris Robinson. The Eagles lost most of their leadership and defense to graduation, but only four starters, and they have experienced young players waiting to play full-time roles. Losing two-way junior midfielder Julia Dorsey to an ACL tear hurts. Still, a solid core returns centered around All-Metro Player of the Year Maddie Jenner, whose ability to dominate the draw will go a long way toward keeping the Eagles in the hunt for another championship.

No. 2 Glenelg Country

Coaches: Paige Walton, Brian Reese

Last season: 15-5, No. 5

Postseason: IAAM A Conference semifinalist

Outlook: All-Metro Coaches of the Year Walton and Reese moved the Dragons up from the B Conference last season and they were instant contenders. With 10 starters back and one of the area’s best midfields, they opened the season Tuesday with a 10-9 win over Notre Dame Prep. In rebounding from a 5-0 deficit, they proved that they’ve adjusted to the loss of two four-year starters on attack and that they have a veteran defense to be reckoned with backed by goalie Avery Dyer.

No. 3 Notre Dame Prep

Coach: Mac Ford

Last season: 20-3, No. 3

Postseason: IAAM A Conference finalist

Outlook: The Blazers lost only to McDonogh and Glenelg last year — by a total of 10 goals. They’ve lost to McDonogh in the IAAM tournament the past three years, falling in the title game last season, 12-9. Seven starters return and they’ll have plenty of experienced depth with 21 seniors. They also have one of the area’s top one-two punches in All-Metro attackers Caitlynn Mossman and Hannah Mardiney, and although they lost their starting goalie, they return two with varsity experience.

No. 4 Bel Air

Coach: Kristen Barry

Last season: 15-4, No. 8

Postseason: Class 4A-3A state champion

Outlook: The Bobcats return eight starters from their first state championship team, including stellar two-way midfielder Elizabeth Hillman and top scorer Julia Henry. Only six seniors graduated, so there are veterans at every position, especially in the midfield, where all four starters return. The Bobcats also have three starting defenders back, which be critical while breaking in a new starting goalie. They will be aiming for the Class 4A title this season as the state tournament expands to four classifications.

No. 5 Glenelg

Coach: Nicole Trunzo

Last season: 20-0, No. 2

Postseason: Class 3A-2A state champion

Outlook: The Gladiators were one of only two teams in the Baltimore area to finish undefeated last spring as they won their second straight state title. They graduated 10 seniors, including key players in every field position, but with seven starters back, it shouldn’t take long to reload, especially with veterans such as All-Metro midfielder Anna Callahan, defender Emily Nalls and goalie Maddie McSally providing a strong foundation.

No. 6 Marriotts Ridge

Coach: Amanda Brady

Last season: 13-4, No. 4

Postseason: Class 3A-2A South Section I finalist

Outlook: The Mustangs return about half of their starters but bring back 14 players with game experience in the tough Howard County league. They have an experienced attack and, although they’re rebuilding on the rest of the field, have leadership returning in All-Metro defender Shay Clevenger, veteran goalie Olivia Ranta and midfielder Hayleigh Simpson.

No. 7 Century

Coach: Becky Groves

Last season: 17-3, No. 7

Postseason: Class 2A-1A state champion

Outlook: Coming off their eighth state championship in 14 years, the Knights have a lot of young talent to bolster a team with just four returning starters. They also received good news this week that attacker Christina Haspert, who scored 56 goals last year as a freshman, will play despite a nagging knee injury.

No. 8 Archbishop Spalding

Coaches: Tara Shea, Don Restly

Last season: 13-5, No. 6

Postseason: IAAM A Conference quarterfinalist

Outlook: The Cavaliers have a lot of experience returning from a team that won quite a few close games last year to finish the regular season in a three-way tie for third place in the A Conference with Glenelg Country and Garrison Forest. They look strong on attack with speed and athleticism on the defensive end.

No. 9 Severna Park

Coach: Kaitlyn Hines

Last season: 17-3, No. 10

Postseason: Class 4A-3A state finalist

Outlook: The Falcons graduated just six seniors, but all were starters, so Hines is watching leaders emerge on a team primarily built with juniors and sophomores. Still, there’s plenty of talent to make a run at Anne Arundel County and state titles with lots of speedy midfielders who will also be critical on attack and defense.

No. 10 Roland Park

Coach: Kim McNemar

Last season: 10-7, No. 15

Postseason: IAAM A Conference quarterfinalist

Outlook: The Reds lost five one-goal games last season, including two in overtime. Only McDonogh and NDP beat them by more than a goal, thanks in large part to All-Metro goalie Amber Bustard, now a junior. The Reds also return experience on both ends of the field.

No. 11 Westminster

Coach: Jackie Stevens

Last season: 14-3, No. 12

Postseason: Class 4A-3A South Region finalist

Outlook: The Owls were just two goals away from a state championship last season, losing to 10-9 in overtime to Bel Air, which went on to win the title by one goal. With half of their starters back, look for the Owls to contend again for Carroll County and regional titles.

No. 12 St. Paul’s

Coach: Mary Gagnon

Last season: 8-9, No. 13

Postseason: IAAM A Conference quarterfinalist

Outlook: The Gators were inconsistent a year ago, dropping some close games, including 8-7 to NDP. With seven starters back, midfielder Darby Welsh returning from an ACL tear and nine strong freshmen, they could turn some of those close games into wins.

No. 13 C. Milton Wright

Coach: Dave Pellegrino

Last season: 11-7, Not ranked

Postseason: Class 3A-2A finalist

Outlook: The Mustangs lost just three seniors as Pellegrino becomes their fourth coach in four years. Midfielder Moriah Snyder and All-Metro defender Sydney Frank lead a returning contingent aiming for a third straight regional title, although they’ll have to get past Bel Air to win it.

No. 14 Bryn Mawr

Coach: Brooke Matthews

Last season: 8-9, No. 14

Postseason: IAAM A Conference quarterfinalist

Outlook: Under new coach Matthews, who played at Friends and Northwestern, the Mawrtians have a high-powered, veteran offense and a solid midfield. They have a little work to do on defense, where just one field player returns.

No. 15 Manchester Valley

Coach: Shelly Brezicki

Last season: 13-3, No. 11

Postseason: Class 3A-2A South Section I semifinalist

Outlook: The Mavericks will be rebuilding after graduating 14 seniors and nine starters. However, they have one of the area’s top midfielders in Tayler Warehime and a lot of players who gained considerable game experience last season.

Other teams considered: Centennial (10-6), Dulaney (12-5), Mount Hebron (9-6), Southern (14-3), South River (12-6)

katherine.dunn@baltsun.com

twitter.com/kdunnsun

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