Liberty has reloaded once again. All-county senior sweeper Ryan Ford anchors a stingy defense that gave up just 19 goals in 16 games last season. Junior forward Dave Szymanski is a scoring threat.
The key could be the development of senior goalkeeper Bobby Khaksari, who started in four games last year.
Ten of the 18 players on South Carroll have varsity experience, which could prove significant toward the end of the season. Junior Andrew Hebble was a second-team all-county forward last year, and senior midfielder Matt Kinsler is tough and agile. But none of the 10 veterans played defense last season.
Westminster graduated eight players from a squad that finished 2-7-3, but the Owls return a promising group of players, including senior midfielder Joe Geiman and junior goalie Alex Hernandez. Westminster will test itself early with contests scheduled against state champs Mount Hebron and Glenelg and state semifinalist Dulaney.
North Carroll boasts a bevy of seniors and juniors on its roster, including senior midfielder Steve Eafrati, an all-county choice last season. The Panthers will be guided by new coach Chuck Beaver, who previously stood at the helm for Westminster.
Francis Scott Key also has two new coaches in Bob Cole and Mike Oakes. Senior goalkeeper Eddie Maloney heads the Eagles' defense, but scoring has been a concern during the preseason.
Carroll Christian, the reigning Potomac Christian Athletic Conference champ, graduated eight players from last year's squad, but returns some potent firepower in senior halfback Matt Elban and senior sweeper Mark Siebeking.