Defending Upper Chesapeake Bay Athletic Conference champion: No. 11 C. Milton Wright
After winning four straight UCBAC crowns and reaching the state tournament the past three seasons, the Mustangs could be vulnerable after graduating the overwhelming majority of their starting lineup from last year.
One thing on their side is the fact they always rely on team depth, so a number of reserves from last year got valuable playing time to prepare for stepping up into bigger roles this fall. As the new starters get comfortable, the Mustangs will lean heavily on midfielder Angela Kuhn and goalie Stacy Venanzi -- both returning starters.
While C. Milton Wright looks to reload, No. 7 Bel Air and No. 9 Fallston both return a number of starters to make strong runs.
The Bobcats return 10 starters and coach Josh Clemmer has been impressed with the team chemistry. Center midfielder Jordan Layfield is the catalyst in the middle, with Caroline Lozzi an anchor on defense.
Fallston coach Mark Hannahs was pleased to see 63 girls try out for the team, including 30 freshmen. The Cougars have eight starters back and should have no problem scoring goals, with Brooke Nigrin, Sierra Taylor and midfielder Beth Walton providing plenty of punch.
They also have plenty of incentive after a heartbreaking 1-0 loss to Middletown in the Class 2A state title game as the Knights scored with 23 seconds left in regulation.
Edgewood should also challenge and North Harford will play inspired soccer with veteran coach Tom Berg set to step down after 29 seasons.
Check back later today for breakdowns on girls soccer in Howard County and the Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland.Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun