Carroll County Times
Carroll County High School Sports

2023 Carroll County girls lacrosse preview: Century, Liberty look to defend state championships in county field full of talent.

Headlined by last year’s Class 2A state champion Century and 1A champion Liberty, Carroll County is poised to be one of the most talented girls lacrosse areas in Maryland going into the 2023 season.

The Knights lose seven starters from last season, but with senior and Virginia Tech commit Jane Brewer leading the way, last year’s Carroll county champions are ready to go to work.


Liberty boasts another strong team this year as coach Tom Brandel will look to rely on seniors Riley Matthiesen (ECU) and Jenna Evans (Robert Morris) to lead the program as they aim for a third consecutive 1A state title.

South Carroll and Westminster are both coming off regional finals appearances and looking to take the next step thanks to rosters featuring Division I talent. The Cavaliers have Mount St Mary’s commit and three-sport athlete Shannon McTavish, paring her with fellow senior Caroline Laur (Campbell) and junior Catlin Yankle as they look to build off last year’s 7-7 season.


The Owls, led by Jess Kent and Amelia Reed look to get over the hump this year and take home the 3A East region I championship after a playoff run and 11-4 year in 2022.

The deep talent pool in the county extends to Manchester Valley, where coach Shelly Brezicki has a trio of Division I commits in Audrey Chopper (Robert Morris), Casey Meredith (Towson) and Erin Herrold (Sacred Heart) all returning from last year’s strong 13-2 team.

Winters Mill is looking to have one a big turnaround this year, lead by Sophia and Addison Vallandingham as well as Shenandoah University commit Kaitlyn Clemmons.

At Francis Scott Key, we’ll get to see what coach Shannon Stull has in store for her first year at the helm of the program.

Here is a team-by-team look at how they all stack up heading into 2023:

Century's Jane Brewer moves past a Glenelg defender during last year's regional championship game. Brewer returns after helping the Knights to the Class 2A state championship last season.


Coach: Becky Groves, 14th season

Last season: 19-0, Carroll County champions, 2A state champions

Top returners: Senior Jane Brewer.


Newcomers to watch: N/A

Coaches outlook: “After losing 11 players and seven starters due to graduation or injury. We have many players that have been waiting to step up and play larger rolls on the team. It will be fun to watch the team grow as the season progresses.”

Francis Scott Key

Coach: Shannon Stull, first season

Last season: 4-5

Top returners: Seniors Sierra Rose, Anna Ridlon, Emma Restivo and Halie Albright; junior Drew Watkins.

Newcomers to watch: Sophomores Brooke Owings and Kensi Bancroft.


Coaches outlook: “I’m very happy with our returners. After graduating a strong class, the returners have stepped up and grown into their roles as leaders. I’m excited to see what we can do with another strong class of seniors.”

Gerstell Academy

Coach: Dave Kennedy, second season

Last season: 3-14

Top returners: Senior Keeley Ballard, junior Olivia Sprinkle, sophomores Sarah Fenwick and Kirsten Clarius

Newcomers to watch: Freshman Maggie Kennedy, sophomore Carter Eberle and junior Reilly Sullivan

Coaches outlook: “With two-thirds of the varsity team comprised of freshmen and sophomores, we have added some young talent and a few transfers to the team and expect to better our record from last year.”

Liberty's Riley Matthiesen, left, an East Carolina University commit, is back for her senior season, trying to lead the Lions to their third straight Class 1A state championship.


Coach: Tom Brandel, fifth season

Last season: 12-7, 1A state champions

Top returners: Seniors Riley Matthiesen, Jenna Evans, Julia Lucas, Izzy Lucas and Ally Pond.

Newcomers to watch: Freshman Jordyn Ott

Coaches outlook: “We have a lot of depth at every position on the field and we are looking forward to another exciting season. Every county game is a challenge for us to win and the team would like to try and win a county, region and third consecutive state championship.”

Manchester Valley's Erin Herrold, right, tries to out run pressure from Westminster's Jess Kent during a game last season. Both Herrold and Kent return for their respective teams as they look to challenge both in the county and in the playoffs.

Manchester Valley

Coach: Shelly Brezicki, 14th season


Last season: 13-2, regional semifinalist

Top returners: Seniors Audrey Chopper, Casey Meredith and Erin Herrold; sophomore Emma Penczek.

Newcomers to watch: N/A

Coaches outlook: “We return our top four goal scorers on the attacking end. Our midfield will have a lot of experience and will generate a lot of opportunities.”

South Carroll's Caroline Laur, right, celebrates with teammate Shannon McTavish after McTavish scored a goal during last year's regional final against Liberty. Both Laur and McTavish return for the Cavaliers this season.

South Carroll

Coach: Brigid Scanlon, 11th season

Last season: 7-7, regional finalist


Top returners: Seniors Shannon McTavish and Caroline Laur; junior Catlin Yankle; sophomores Leah Miller and Charlotte Harrington.

Newcomers to watch: Senior Syd Luber.

Coaches outlook: “The team is looking forward to working together each day and growing. The girls are constantly pushing themselves and trying new things in practice. We are excited for a successful and positive season.”


Coach: Tori McDonald, first season

Last season: 11-4, regional finalist

Top returners: Seniors Jess Kent and Amelia Reed.


Carroll County Daily Headlines


Get the day's top news and sports headlines.

Newcomers to watch: N/A

Coaches outlook: “This year, fans can expect to see a disciplined, cohesive unit on the lacrosse field from the Westminster Owls. We have a team of players with excellent hustle and passion for the game.”

Winters Mill

Coach: Jessica Wynne, 16th season

Last season: 1-10

Top returners: Senior Sophia Vallandingham; junior Kaitlin Clements; sophomores Sienna Perryman and Addison Vallandingham.

Newcomers to watch: N/A


Coaches outlook: “We are looking forward to a new season with a mesh of seniors and underclassmen. We have lots of fresh faces filled with excitement.”