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Field hockey poll
Ann Andrews, foreground, field hockey coach at Severna Park High School, conductsa recent practice. (Kenneth K. Lam / Baltimore Sun)

Compiled after consulting with Baltimore Sun staff and area coaches.

1. Severna Park

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Coach: Ann Andrews

Last season: 16-2, ranked No. 3

Postseason: Class 4A state champion

Outlook: The perennial-power Falcons are searching for their third straight state title under Andrews, and enter the season ranked No. 16 in the nation by MAX Field Hockey. Despite graduating three All-Metro players, they return a roster loaded with gifted athletes, led by top returning scorer Eva Klaus (nine goals). The question will be how long it takes them to jell as a unit.

2. Archbishop Spalding

Coach: Leslee Brady

Last season: 14-3, ranked No. 4

Postseason: IAAM A Conference semifinals

Outlook: The Cavaliers will be a force on offense, with second-team All-American Erin Shanahan at forward, as well as a pair of USA Field Hockey Under-17 national team members in midfielder Kyler Greenwalt and forward Margot Lawn. The big question mark will be on defense, where each of last year's starters has moved on.

3. McDonogh

Coach: Jonna Wahle

Last season: 13-0-2, ranked No. 1

Postseason: IAAM A Conference champion

Outlook: Former assistant Wahle takes over a program that went unbeaten a year ago to capture its first IAAM A Conference title. Despite several notable losses, the Eagles return a formidable unit led by second-team All-Metro midfielder Brindi Griffin and a strong group on juniors.

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4. Garrison Forest

Coach: Traci Davis

Last season: 17-2-1, ranked No. 2

Postseason: IAAM A Conference finals

Outlook: All but four starters return for a team that allowed just 13 goals all of last season. Among them are leading scorer Natalie Adamez, a second-team All-Metro forward who finished with 20 goals and six assists, and speedy playmaker Kara Frazier.

5. Hereford

Coach: Caitlin MacKenzie

Last season: 17-1-1, ranked No. 5

Postseason: Class 2A state champion

Outlook: A strong core returns for a team that last year outscored opponents 87-5. The Bulls feature a quick attack and suffocating defense, led by all-county junior Dana Meehling. They should again be the class of Baltimore County.

6. Glenelg

Coach: Ginger Kincaid

Last season: 14-3-1, ranked No. 7

Postseason: Class 2A state semifinals

Outlook: With senior Noelle Frost in goal, the Gladiators have to be considered a state contender. Frost, a first-team All-American last season who has committed to Maryland, stepped 102 of 118 shots a year ago, with eight shutouts. She will get support from defensive midfielder Laney Treacy.

7. North Carroll

Coach: Denean Koontz

Last season: 16-2, ranked No. 12

Postseason: Class 1A state champion

Outlook: The two-time defending Class 1A state champions return an extremely potent offense, led by first-team All-Metro pick Jensyn Koontz and fellow forward Zoe Rosner, who combined to score 41 goals last season. Expect the Panthers to be among the front-runners in a wide-open Carroll County race.

8. Century

Coach: Jess Goodwin

Last season: 13-3-1, ranked No. 9

Postseason: Class 2A West finals

Outlook: Eleven seniors return for the Knights, including a handful playing their third year together on the varsity. Defender Kassie Kavoukas, midfielders Katie Armstrong and Sarah Jacobs and forward Kerri McCorkell will help the squad again challenge in Carroll County.

9. Broadneck

Coach: Jen Plack

Last season: 8-9, unranked

Postseason: Class 4A East finals

Outlook: A bounce-back season is in the cards for the Bruins, who return 14 players from a team that showed some of its vast potential in last year's playoffs. Among them are a pair of offensive standouts in Maryland-commit Ena Belch and Salisbury-commit Kara Siegel.

10. Arundel

Coach: Carrie Vosburg

Last season: 12-4, ranked No. 10

Postseason: Class 4A East semifinals

Outlook: A core group of veteran players returns for the Wildcats, who move up in class this season to the top tier of Anne Arundel County field hockey. Leading scorer Ally Pollak and standout goalie Erin Cresswell lead a squad that adds several talented newcomers.

11. South River

Coach: Megan Atkinson

Last season: 11-4, ranked No. 11

Postseason: Class 4A East quarterfinals

Outlook: Potential is the key word for the Seahawks, who should be in the thick of the Anne Arundel County race despite their abundance of youth. Midfielders Kassidy Bresnahan and Jillian Ulery and forward Sarah King return as starters for the squad, which will have to make due without Maryland-bound midfielder Emily Thomas (knee).

12. John Carroll

Coach: Gary Scholl

Last season: 12-2-1, ranked No. 13

Postseason: IAAM B Conference champion

Outlook: Most of the key pieces from last year's championship team return, including top scorers Jordan Butler, Katie Sullivan and Emily Stancliff. In addition, a defense that allowed the fewest goals in the league remains intact. With significant help coming from the JV, could a second straight title be in the works?

13. Atholton

Coach: Martie Dyer

Last season: 12-2, ranked No. 8

Postseason: Class 3A East semifinals

Outlook: The Raiders will rely on a young but talented nucleus to again vie for a Howard County title. Sophomore attack Tori Raulin is one of the top players in the county, and juniors Meaghan Quinn, Rachel Foster and Ashley Martin provide plenty of support at attack, midfield and defense, respectively.

14. Westminster

Coach: Katie Corson

Last season: 16-1-2, ranked No. 6

Postseason: Class 3A state champion

Outlook: Corson, a former volunteer assistant, takes over a program that last year claimed its third state title in five years, then graduated eight seniors. The Owls will be younger, but still will feature a number of talented players, particularly at midfield.

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15. Dulaney

Coach: Kellie Fialcowitz

Last season: 13-4, unranked

Postseason: Class 4A North semifinals

Outlook: Second-team All-Metro midfielder Cristina Lopez leads a talented and experienced team, which returns six starters and a nine-player senior class. Also back in the mix are each of the Lions' top three scorers from a year ago in Emma Klein, Reece Spann and Claire Podles.

Other teams considered: Bel Air (11-5), Bryn Mawr (7-6-3), Catonsville (11-5), Marriotts Ridge (13-3), Old Mill (13-3)

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