Western's stranglehold on the City League championship could be in jeopardy this fall as City will present a major challenge.
The Doves (9-3 last season), who lost to Dulaney in the Class 4A North semifinals last season, have claimed the last seven city titles, but will be depending on underclassmen to maintain its supremacy.
City (8-3) has 18 holdovers from a squad whose only losses were to Western in the league competition. The play of freshman goalie Whitney James (replacing league player of the year Rosie Hicks) could be the key if the Knights can finally overtake the Doves.
Poly (5-7), with 12 returnees, figures to be right there if Western and City stumble. Southern (2-8), which won its first game in five years, and Patterson (1-9) will be looking to improve.
Mercy and IND will look to make an impact against the likes of John Carroll, McDonogh and St. Mary's in the upper half of the Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland A Conference.
The Indians (9-8-3), who lost to St. Mary's in the second round of the IAAM A Tournament last year, must replace all-city/county first-teamer Jessa Karko (UMBC), but have nine starters returning. The Magic (12-8-1) returns eight starters among 13 returners, but also lost a first-team all-city/county performer in Kristi Korrow (Loyola).
After one season in the A Conference, Bryn Mawr (6-12-1) and Roland Park (3-12) should both contend for the B league championship. Catholic has a new coach in Patrick Moore and 11 returning lettermen. In its first varsity campaign, Friends (3-10-2) had a respectable showing in the B Conference. The Quakers will have six starters back among 14 holdovers.