Coach: Harry Canellakis
Outlook: With 10 starters back, including the area's top player, midfielder Ashley Spivey, the Eagles are equipped to defend their Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland AConference title.
Coach: Doug Pryor
Last season: 14-3-3, No. 4 Postseason: MIAA A semifinalist
Outlook: Mercy has been knocking on the door the past couple of seasons, and the Magic appears best qualified to knock off defending league champ McDonogh.
3. Archbishop Spalding
Coach: Bob Dieterle
Last season: 16-4-3, No. 2 Postseason: IAAM A Conference finalist
Outlook: Minus the star power they've enjoyed in recent seasons, the Cavaliers will rely on balanced scoring and strong team defense to remain among the IAAM elite.
Coach: Josh Sullivan
Last season: 15-3-1, No. 3
Postseason: Class 3A state champion
Outlook: Led by All-Metro forward Amanda Jackson, plenty of talent returns from last year's title team, and the Gators are banking on a gifted sophomore class.
5. John Carroll
Coach: Gary Lynch
Last season: 13-3-3, No. 7
Postseason: IAAM A semifinalist
Outlook: The Patriots return 10 starters and will again be viable contenders in the IAAM.
6. Severna Park
Coach: Todd Clark
Last season: 14-1-3, No. 8 Postseason: Class 4A East regional finalist
Outlook: The return of midfielder Gabby Moreno, out last year with an injury, adds plenty to an already potent offense.
7. C. Milton Wright
Coach: Paul Austin
Last season: 16-2-1, No. 6
Postseason: Class 3A semifinalist
Outlook: With 13 regulars back, the Upper Chesapeake Bay Athletic Conference champion is looking to build on last year's impressive state tournament run.
8. South River
Coach: John Sis
Last season: 13-2-2, No. 11.
Postseason: Class 4A East regional semifinalist
Outlook: With high pressure all over the field and an experienced back line as security, the Seahawks will present plenty of headaches.
Coach: Dean Sheridan
Last season: 13-4-2, No. 5
Postseason: Class 2A state finalist
Outlook: The Gladiators have reached the state tournament each of the past five years, winning three crowns. With a strong group back and newcomers looking to seize their opportunity, they plan to return.
10. Marriotts Ridge
Coach: Robin Grey
Last season: 13-3-1, No. 10
Postseason: Class 2A South semifinalist
Outlook: With a stingy defense and exceptional team speed, the Mustangs broke through with their first Howard title last season.
Coach: Mark Hannahs
Last season: 11-4, unranked
Postseason: Class 2A East semifinalist
Outlook: Stockpiled with seniors — 15 in all — and with some of their best talent being underclassmen, the Cougars can confidently use their bench with no drop-off.
12. River Hill
Coach: Brian Song
Last season: 14-3, No. 9
Postseason: Class 3A East finalist
Outlook: With their strengths on defense and up front, the youthful Hawks will be strong contenders if they can effectively replace some graduation hits at midfield.
13. Bryn Mawr
Coach: Tina Steck
Last season: 17-1-1, No. 12
Postseason: IAAM B Conference champion
Outlook: The Mawrtians will play a demanding out-of-league schedule to prepare for a possible third straight B title. Playmaking midfielder Riley Barger is one of nine starters back.
14. Perry Hall
Coach: Rick Testerman
Last season: 12-2, No. 13
Postseason: Class 4A North semifinalist
Outlook: With 12 seniors including seven returning starters, the Gators are stockpiled with experienced talent. One setback is the loss of leading their scorer, midfielder Preslie Quaranta, who's out with a knee injury.
Coach: John Camm
Last season: 12-4, No. 15
Postseason: Class 4A East semifinalist
Outlook: In the hunt in Anne Arundel, the Bruins will play fast and technical with the necessary talent to match up with the likes of Severna Park and South River.
OTHERS CONSIDERED: Bel Air (11-5, unranked), Century (8-4-2, No. 14), Chesapeake-AA (12-4,unranked), Loch Raven (12-6, unranked), Manchester Valley (9-4-2, unranked), Notre Dame Prep (8-7-1, unranked), South Carroll (10-1-2, unranked)