This week, Varsity Letters will take an in-depth look at the boys and girls soccer outlooks in various counties and leagues in the Baltimore area. On Tuesday, Anne Arundel County will be featured. Please be sure to check out the complete boys and girls soccer preview section which will appear online Tuesday night and run in Wednesday's print edition of The Baltimore Sun.
Here's a closer look at the Anne Arundel girls:
Just how tough is the competition at the top in Anne Arundel County?
Last season, Broadneck won the regular season county crown; Arundel claimed the county championship game; and then South River came away with the Class 4A East region by beating yet another quality county opponent, Severna Park.
The four teams combined to go 55-12-3 last year. Expect much of the same this season with all four teams ranked in The Baltimore Sun’s Top 15 preseason poll.
South River, which won the state title in 2012, once again has a lot of experienced players returning, and the Seahawks have been able to find a way to pull games out in the postseason. Seniors Alyssa Hill and Katie Berkowitz anchor the midfield with junior goalie Emily Proctor tough in the back. The big question for the Seahawks comes at the offensive end with a couple key goal-scorers lost to graduation.
Broadneck has been knocking on the door for some time, but it has been unable to break through to reach the state tournament in recent years. The Bruins are at their best when they’re buckling down on defense and grinding out wins, something coach John Camm expects to see again this year. Hailey Small had a fine freshman season on defense and could see time at midfield or up front. Midfielder Bri Harris plays a big role in the middle.
Severna Park is the county’s most storied program and could return to top form with a young and talented nucleus that showed its potential last year. The Falcons upset Arundel on penalty kicks to reach the 4A East region title game before falling to the Seahawks, 2-1. Eight starters return for the Falcons with Sarah Gunn a consistent scoring threat up front and Erin Wilson organizing the back.
Arundel has the most to replace, particularly on offense. But the Wildcats can’t be overlooked with a solid defense led by All-Metro first-team pick Jenna Surdick.
Chesapeake is capable of making some noise, and Northeast could surprise.