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Girls Lacrosse: Team-by-team preview capsules for 2019

Girls Lacrosse: Team-by-team preview capsules for 2019
Westminster players celebrate their 10-9 overtime win over Bel Air during a state semifinal girls lacrosse game at Mt. Hebron High School on Saturday, May 19. (Brian Krista / Carroll County Times)

CENTURY

Coach: Becky Groves, 9th year

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First game: March 22 at Maryvale Prep, 4

Last year’s record: 12-5, 4-2 county

Key loss: Kelsey Morrison

Key returners: Maddie Bates, junior A; Grace Bruce, junior MF; Christina Haspert, junior A; Demma Hall, sophomore MF; Kaitlyn Huber, junior D; Madison Plitt, sophomore MF

Outlook: The Knights return 10 of 12 starters this season, including Times first team all-countians Bruce, Hall, Haspert and Huber, but are waiting to see who emerges as the go-to goalie. Haspert led the team with 80 points (55 goals, 25 assists) last season. “We are looking forward to building our foundation set from last season,” Groves said via email.

FRANCIS SCOTT KEY

Coach: Michelle Hodiak, 2nd year

First game: March 22 at Smithsburg, 6

Last year’s record: 5-9, 0-6 county

Key losses: None

Key returners: Emmy Beahm, sophomore MF; Samantha Beahm, sophomore D; Lakota Comeau, senior D; Delaney Stalnaker, junior A

Outlook: The Eagles made an appearance in the 1A West regional final last season and could contend for another regional title spot this year. Hodiak said the team boasts a strong class of four freshman who will add depth to the roster. “We have a strong group of girls with a lot of potential,” Hodiak said. “If they can find that click or that niche, I think we can actually compete this year."

GERSTELL

Coach: Josh Gochnauer, 4th year

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Next game: March 25 vs. Notre Dame Prep, 4

Last year’s record: 9-5

Key losses: Maddie Bauhof, Abby Best, Jess Lyons, Jillian Wilson

Key returners: Haley Gochnaur, junior A; Emily Fenwick, junior A; Kennedy Major, sophomore MF/D; Carly Merlo, senior G; Emily Messinese, sophomore MF/A; Lauren Messinese, junior MF; Haley Polk, sophomore MF/D

Outlook: The Falcons are in the Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland A Conference for the first time this season after playing an independent schedule across the IAAM last year. Tough competition lies ahead for the Falcons, but they are prepared to battle all season.

LIBERTY

Coach: Tom Brandel, 1st year

First game: March 21 vs. Walkersville, 6:15

Last year’s record: 4-9, 1-5 county

Key losses: Erin Risch

Key returners: Heidi Ellis, senior MF, Christine Goetz, junior D; Hannah Shrader, senior G; Alanna Wray, junior MF.

Outlook: The Lions have a new coach with Brandel at the helm this season and return a solid group of athletes set to be led by captains Ellis and Wray. The team registered just one county win last season and is prepared to change their culture this year. “We are just striving to get a little bit better each day at practice,” Brandel said via email. “I am just looking for constant improvement throughout the season.”

MANCHESTER VALLEY

Coach: Shelly Brezicki, 10th year

First game: March 21 at Catonsville, 6

Last year’s record: 9-5, 4-2 county

Key losses: Lauren Cremen, Tayler Warehime, Becca Wade

Key returners: Mia Alvarez, senior A; Jeri Garland, senior MF; Abby Ziegenfuse, senior D

Outlook: The Mavericks graduated 22 seniors over the past two seasons, including Warehime, the 2018 Times Girls Lacrosse Player of the Year. Brezicki said via email that the Mavericks will use the early part of the season to redefine their roles and gain unity and cohesiveness on the field. “Success will come from hard work, focus and energy, which has been plentiful this far,” Brezicki said.

SOUTH CARROLL

Coach: Brigid Scanlon, 7th year

First game: March 21 vs. Linganore, 6:15

Last year’s record: 11-2, 5-1 county

Key losses: Paige Colvin, Leanne Harris, Natalie Hoff, Haleigh Piccolo

Key returners: Abbey Behn, senior A; Riley Evans, senior MF; Julia Weiss, junior G

Outlook: The Cavaliers captured their first Carroll County Athletic League championship last season, but suffered an early playoff exit at the hands of Century. Abbott, Behn, Evans and Weiss are all back from last year’s all-county team and the Cavs are primed for continued success in 2019. “The team is eager to work harder, push their teammates to be their best and strive for growth on and off the field,” Scanlon said via email.

WESTMINSTER

Coach: Jackie Stevens, 10th year

First game: March 22 vs. Damascus, 6:15

Last year’s record: 17-2, 5-1 county

Key losses: Erin Anderson, Madi Macera, Chloe Sankovich, Maddie Taylor

Key returners: Hannah Dintino, senior MF; Haleigh Moore, senior D; Anna Ruby, senior MF; Lauren Saltz, sophomore MF; Chloe Sedlar, junior A; Sara Tyssowski, senior G

Outlook: The Owls defeated Mt. Hebron to capture their first state championship last season and return with three members from last year’s all-county team — Dintino, Moore and Ruby. “We are looking forward to another successful season,” Stevens said via email. “We have some very talented key returners and look forward to our new players to fill in our key losses.”

WINTERS MILL

Coach: Amalie Meszaros, 3rd year

First game: March 26 at Rising Sun, 7

Last year’s record: 11-6, 2-4 county

Key losses: Anna Diffendal, Sarah Rhoads

Key returners: Madison Harmening, sophomore MF; Kaitlyn Thompson, senior MF

Outlook: The Falcons graduated 11 seniors last season; including Times first team all-countian Diffendal, but return Harmening, who was second on the team with 53 points (44 goals, nine assists). This team will be young this year, but are poised for a positive showing. “We are a young team, but very hard-working and coachable,” Meszaros said via email. “We’re excited for the season.”

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