Powerful and decisive on and off the ball, the All-Metro first-team selection is one of the area’s most dangerous and consistent offensive threats, evidenced by her sensational 25-goal, 12-assist sophomore season for the defending IAAM A champions. Always wanting to be the difference-maker, DeSmit produced nine multigoal games last season with her fourth hat trick coming in the Eagles’ 5-0 win over Archbishop Spalding in the conference title game.
The two-time defending 2A state champions came into last season vulnerable after losing a standout senior class to graduation. Enter Duffy, who immediately established herself in goal to turn a question mark into an exclamation point and another state crown for the Hawks. Making 96 saves and surrendering just five goals in her 17-1 freshman season, the All-Metro second-team pick is primed to pick up where she left off with excellent hands, vision and positioning to go with vocal leadership.
Wilde Lake, senior, defender
The Wildecats have their entire back line returning and Geralis, a four-year starter, is the linchpin. Geralis shuts down opponents with smart and tenacious play, consistently winning the one-on-one battles and passing well out of the back. Her work rate, competitive spirit and leadership will be invaluable as the Wildecats aim to reach their lofty goals this season.
The four-year varsity player, All-Metro first-team pick and captain brings shrewd technical and tactical awareness to the middle of the field for the defending IAAM A champion Eagles. McCarthy’s poise sets a positive tone and her steady offensive productivity plays a big role. She finished with 15 goals and 17 assists in her junior year, including seven multigoal games and at least one assist in 15 to bring her career totals to 30 and 37, respectively.
South River, senior, midfielder
No returning player enjoyed a bigger breakthrough last season than Michalski-Cooper, who earned All-Metro first-team honors and was named Capital Gazette Player of the Year in Anne Arundel County, making a giant leap in her second varsity season. She scored 10 goals, added nine assists and made an equally big impact at the defensive end for the 13-2-2 Seahawks. End to end, the heart she plays with stands out the most in her play.
Set to become a four-year starter, Neal does everything right at center back to keep things tidy at the defensive end for the defending 4A champions. A two-year captain and All-Metro first-team pick last season, she has a business-like approach that features dominant one-on-one skills, smart positioning and gifted speed. Last season, her strong play helped lead the Gators to 10 shutouts, including four in the playoffs. She’ll be the team’s leader and steadying influence this season.
The area’s best kept secret plays at Edgewood, where Parncutt controls the middle of the field with gifted ball skills, exceptional vision and a pace that’s difficult to match. A four-year starter, three-year captain and Old Dominion commit, she’s equally adept passing or scoring with both feet, finishing with six goals and 11 assists last season. After being named a captain as a sophomore, she responded with a 10-goal, 12-assist season.
Reservoir, junior, forward
One of the players in Howard County to keep a close eye on is Parris, who appears primed to build on her seven-goal, five-assist sophomore season. Set to become a three-year starter, she is a load for opposing defenses to handle with her ball skills, speed, physicality and ability to create chances for herself and teammates. Expectations are high for the Gators, and Parris, with quality teammates around her, has the ability to carry them a long way.
The Bulls’ game plan is simple: Get the ball to Patrick and watch good things happen. An All-Metro pick in her first two seasons, she uses her speed, awareness and skills to successfully take on defenses aimed at containing her. The South Carolina commit racked up 30 goals and 17 assists last season to bring her career totals to 52 and 32, respectively, going into her promising junior year.
Archbishop Spalding, junior, defender
A starter since her freshman season, the center back is the centerpiece of the Cavaliers defense with athleticism, smarts and skills. Rarely is she found out of position, making it difficult for opposing offenses to break through. Instead, she reads the game efficiently and is always in the right spaces, knowing when and where to pressure and when to drop off to maintain the defense’s shape. Wallace thrives in one-on-one situations, constantly winning balls and getting the offense moving with precises passes.