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Francis Scott Key Eagles 1994 record: 8-7. Coach: Mindi Wagner.

Top players: Stacey Greene, Sr., F; Carrie Kibler, Sr., HB; Jen Wildesen, Sr., HB; Jessica Guynn, Sr., L; Angie Barnes, Sr., L; Kristi Muller, Sr., HB; Crystal Martz, Sr., G.

Outlook: The Eagles have some obstacles to overcome as they chase their 11th consecutive regional championship. This team certainly has talent, but it's inexperienced as Wagner lost eight seniors from last year's Class 1A state semifinalists. The Eagles have to fight through a tough early-season schedule while they gain experience. Still, the Eagles have Greene, the top scorer from a year ago -- and she'll have to carry some of the load early on. "She's just such an aggressive player," said Wagner. "She's a workhorse." But Wagner also said that this year's team has skill and works very well together. Wagner said she hopes for a more well-rounded team this season. Jen Parrish (junior forward) also should help Greene on offense, and Wildesen, Kibler and Muller will spark the defense.

Liberty Lions 1994 record: 10-4. Coach: Courtney Vaughn.

Top players: Shelley Sanders, Sr., M; Alisa Vorderbrueggen, Jr., A; Ashley Meehan, Jr., HB; Heather Carter, Jr., G; Danielle Gray, Sr., A; Jessica Horneman, Sr., D; Kelly Grammes, Sr., A; Liz Armstrong, Jr., M.

Outlook: Offense looks to be the lone question mark for the co-CMC champion Lions. Vaughn said that, although Gray (second on team with seven goals, three assists) and Grammes (third with three goals and one assist) are back, they are limited in that area. The Lions do, however, look strong on defense. Seniors are the core of the defense, which is led by Horneman, Carter and Meehan. In addition, Carter is in her third year as a starter. "We're really solid on defense," said Vaughn. The biggest problem comes from Horneman set to miss the first half of the season with a broken jaw suffered in a recent scrimmage. Vaughn said she's looking for Meehan to step in for Horneman. If the defense does its job, and the offense can come on a bit, the Lions should have another strong season.

North Carroll Panthers 1994 record: 10-4-1. Coach: Denean Koontz.

Top players: Becky Bosley, Jr., G; Jackie Chase, Sr., M; Heather Lynch, Jr., M; Ahna Hentz, Jr., F; Diana Vaughan, Jr., FB; Tara Walker, Jr., FB.

Outlook: The loss of nine senior starters could make this year tougher for the defending region champions. Offense is Kooontz' biggest concern. Koontz lost all of her top scorers and said she's going to "need someone to step up and put the ball in the cage." She said she likes how unselfish her team looked in the preseason and said good passing should be one of its strong points. Defense should also be a plus for the Panthers. Bosley, a real leader on the field, started in goal last year and will anchor the defense along with Vaughan, Chase and Walker. North Carroll should grow as the season progresses, but first must get through a brutal season-opening run (Liberty, Key, South Carroll, Middletown, Westminster).

South Carroll Cavaliers 1994 record: 7-6-1. Coach: Stacy Stem.

Top players: Allison Cain, Sr., F; Jessica Etzler, Sr., L; Sarah King, Jr., HB; Sarah Stevens, Jr., L; Christine Nichols, Jr., F; Lori Herschberger, Jr., L.

Outlook: Stem calls this "a building year" and it's easy to see why. She lost nine starters from the region finalist of a year ago. The entire South Carroll defense has never started for Stem -- and a couple have never played the game. But Stem said the team has talent, it just needs a chance to show it. Cain and Etzler should carry much of the load for the Cavaliers, and Etzler will help at both ends of the field. Stem said this year's group will be different from last year because the 1995 Cavaliers will rely on offense -- as defense was more important last year. Both Cain and Etzler have good shots and should be a force for the Cavaliers. "The kids just need experience. They just need to know what to do in situations. They just need to play," Stem said.

Westminster Owls 1994 record: 11-4. Coaches: Brenda Baker and Sue Hooper.

Top players: Ann Brennan, Sr., F; Megan Magee, Sr., M; Nikki Cornell, Sr., HB; Corrina Battes, Sr., M; Netia Little, Sr., HB; Shelly Dinterman, Sr., HB; Jen Medura, Sr., F.

Outlook: Good offense, good defense, experience, depth -- the Owls certainly look good on paper as they try for a seventh straight region title and maybe their fourth state title in 12 years. Westminster, which won the county title and shared the CMC crown with Liberty, brings back several experienced players at both ends of the field -- 11 overall (including seven starters). Despite losing the county's top scorer (Kristy Mathaii), Westminster will have Brennan (nine goals, 10 assists), Magee and others to spark the offense. Baker said the Owls, who lost to Northern-Calvert in the Class 4A state semifinals, are team-oriented and won't look to one player to do all of the scoring. The defense also is very seasoned, led by Cornell and Little, who've been on the varsity since they were sophomores. Baker also said the team should be motivated by tough losses in the state semifinals in each of the past two years. The biggest question is if the new players can step up and fill the necessary holes.

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