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 Thursday, the Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland A Conference and the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference will be featured.
Here's a closer look at the Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland A Conference:
For nearly a decade, the IAAM has mostly been a two-team race with McDonogh and Archbishop Spalding separating themselves from the rest of the pack.
The teams have met in the past four championship games, with the Eagles winning three times. In the past eight years, McDonogh has those three crowns and Spalding has won four.
Will anything change this season?
With four Division I players led by two-time All-Metro first-team forward Bridgette Andrzejewski leading the way, defending champion and No. 1 McDonogh is the favorite.
The No. 3 Cavaliers once again expected to provide the biggest test.
The Eagles did lose major contributors to graduation, so the key to continued success will be the others thriving in bigger roles. It could make things interesting.
Spalding brings a lot of talent back and always plays with confidence as it looks to take it one step further under second-year coach Ashly Kennedy.
Two other second-year coaches – Albert Oni at Severn and Val Teixeira at Notre Dame Prep – could have their teams ready to break through.
Oni’s Admirals played Spalding tough in both meetings last season (each 1-0 setbacks) and also showed drastic improvement against McDonogh in the playoffs.
At Notre Dame Prep, the competition was fierce and healthy during training camp, with 70 players coming out for the team. The Blazers are still young, but could be to make significant progress.
John Carroll and Mercy will try to rebound following sub-.500 seasons in 2013.