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Century

Coach: Scott Booker, 5th year

Last year's record: 8-4-2, 3-2-1 county

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First game: Sept. 1 at Walkersville, 7

Key loss: Sean Lippincott

Key returners: Dylan Breitenbach, senior D; Cole Broomfield, senior M; Bradley Shipley, senior GK; Chris Yanchoris, senior F.

Outlook: The Knights have more returning starters than any other county team — 10. That could mean double digits in victories for a team that features Times second-team all-county players Breitenbach and Shipley. "The expectations are definitely higher," Booker said of than past seasons. "This is the most talented team I've had. We're trying to take that work ethic and merge it with a good work ethic."

Francis Scott Key

Coach: Larry Haines, 4th year

Last year's record: 4-9, 0-6 county

First game: Sept. 5 at Catoctin, 6

Key losses: Skyler Lakin, Liam Risell, Luke Van der Meulen

Key returners: Nicolas Haines senior M; Ryan Marr, senior M; Jakub Mihulka, sophomore M; Levi Williams, senior D.

Outlook: The Eagles' seasoned midfield will be their biggest asset. The group will be feeding the forwards often. "We will be sharing the ball a lot," Larry Haines said. "That's a difference you will see in our team than past years."

Liberty

Coach: David Abarbanel, 4th year

Last year's record: 7-4-4, 2-0-4 county

First game: Sept. 9 vs. Urbana, 10 a.m.

Key losses: Zach Brumbalow, Chris Martin

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Key returners: Carter Munson, senior F; Justin Welsh, senior M.

Outlook: Abarbanel thinks the Lions' chances of duplicating last year's record is possible. Work ethic and chemistry could define the team. "We hope to build off of last year and have a very successful season," he said via email. "This is very tight knit group who will work hard throughout the year."

Manchester Valley

Coach: Andrew Harrell, 2nd year

Last year's record: 9-6, 3-3 county

First game: Sept. 5 at North Harford, 5:30

Key losses: Nik Gordon, Cameron Keith, Jake Meredith

Key returners: Connor Allen, junior F; Declan Marvel, junior D; Vilius Matalavage, senior M; Griffin Potter, senior GK; Matt Sanders, senior M.

Outlook: The Mavericks have plenty of experience and outstanding chemistry. Harrell hopes those things help Manchester Valley to another winning season. " We have some athletes stepping up to take on larger roles that were vacated by last years 12 seniors," Harrell said via email. "There's great team camaraderie. With a dedicated group of athletes, we're looking to improve game by game."

South Carroll

Coach: Tim Novotny, 10th year

Last year's record: 10-4-3, 2-2-2 county

First game: Sept. 1 at Marriotts Ridge, 5

Key losses: Spencer Gleeson, Kevin Morris, Chris Nunez

Key returners: John Alexander, senior D; Logan Baker, senior M; Brayden Fugini, senior G; Nico Lindsay, senior F; Stephen White, senior M.

Outlook: The Cavaliers will feel the loss of the reigning Times Player of the Year in Morris, who is now playing at West Virginia, so they need to develop another scoring threat. That player could come from the returns six starters and 10 seniors. "I expect those seniors to have an impact," Novotny said. "I like the dynamic of my team, and the situation I'm in."

Westminster won the boys soccer county title last fall, the Owls' first since 1998.

Westminster

Coach: Robert "Bird" Brown, 4th year

Last year's record: 11-4-1, 4-1-1 county

First game: Sept. 5 at Linganore, 6:30

Key losses: Joey Conklin, Logan Imbraguglio, Ryan McManus, Ryan Mills, Tristan Moore, Sam Schoberg, R.P. Walsh.

Key returnees: Mitchell Clark, junior M; Jonathan Moore, junior M; Michael Mourelatos, junior M; Brad Walsh, senior M/F; Chris Walsh, senior D.

Outlook: The reigning county champion Owls return only three starters. Brown is still trying to learn what his players can and can't do on a soccer field. "This is the youngest team I've had in four years," Brown said.

Winters Mill

Coach: Ryan Lenz, 1st year

Last year's record: 6-7-2, 2-2-2 county

First game: Sept. 2 at River Hill, 12

Key losses: Tommy Alascia, Jacob Paschall, Danny Over

Key returners: Will Cory, senior D; Matt Davis, junior G; Matt Inglis, senior M; Josh Kappes, senior D; Jack Mitzelfelt, junior M; Tyler Ryan senior F; Will Wilt, sophomore M; Aashish Varrey, junior D.

Outlook: The Falcons' new coach is no stranger — Lenz coached a few miles down the road at Westminster as a varsity assistant and JV coach. Lenz hopes last year's strong finish carries into this fall. Winters Mill closed the season 6-1-1. "They want to work hard for me and they are really giving me everything they have," he said.



tworgo@baltsun.com

410-857-7896

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