Outlook: The Knights return five starters from a team that lost in the first round of the playoffs to Winters Mill. Century has an influx of promising newcomers. "I have a lot of new talent on the team, so I am excited to see what they will do as the season progresses," Goodwin said via email. "The strength of my team is the leadership of my returning players and the enthusiasm the new players bring to the team."
Outlook: There don't seem to be many weaknesses on the Eagles. FSK returns eights starters and has aspirations of reaching the Class 1A state tournament. "We have lost in overtime both times to a county team," Knights said of the regional final. "One of our goals is to win that game in regulation and not go to overtime."
Outlook: Good luck scoring on the Lions' defense. They return the entire unit, led by first-team all-county performer Goetz. That area could be the key in getting Liberty to another state tournament, this time in 2A (they won a 1A crown in 2016). "It's really hard to get through them," Strohmer said.
Key returners: Madi Callahan, junior F; Taylor Glover, junior M; Cambria Leidy junior M; Rhiannon Lessner, junior M.
Outlook: The Mavericks ended the 2016 season with a loss to Kent Island in the Class 2A state semifinals. Duryea is counting on a strong returning nucleus to get the team back. "This year is going to be all about each player stepping up to support each other on the field," Duryea said via email. "Communication and trust are the two most important factors."
Key retunrers: Abby Behn, junior F; Corinne Kearney, senior G; Madi Radnoff, senior M: Julia Weiss, sophomore F.
Outlook: Radnoff has several standouts to build her team around. Radnoff earned Times first-team all-county honors last year, Weiss led the team in scoring and Kearney returns between the pipes. "The core group has been together for several years, and on and off the field chemistry will play a huge factor," Radnoff said via email. "The team is built on the defensive strength of several returning starters, but the emergence of several athletically talented sophomores and juniors will be the key."
Coach: Katie McDonald, 3rd year
Last year's record: 14-4, 6-0 county
First game: Sept. 2 at South River tourney, 9:30 a.m.
Outlook: The last time we saw the Owls, they lost in the 3A final to Chesapeake. Now they're eager for another stellar season. "We lost a lot of seniors and have big shoes to fill; however, our upperclassman have been stepping up huge," McDonald said via email. "We have a few holes to fill in our lineup, but if players continue to step up, I believe that we will have another very successful season."
Coach: Christine Bradley, 2nd year
Last year's record: 4-8, 0-6 county
First game: Sept. 5 vs. Tuscarora, 4
Key losses: Georgi Chiavacci, Tess Myers, Hannah Wheeler, Sophie Pusateri
Key returners: Hailey Bennett, senior M/D; Carlee Cook, senior M; Karlie Pruitt, senior D; Brayden Ziegler, senior F.
Outlook: Bradley welcomes back 11 seniors. Pruitt and Bennett anchor the defense and Ziegler, last year's top scorer, leads the offense. The Falcons are "more skilled and faster than last year," Bradley said via email. "I think we will give everyone a run for their money."