Coach: Courtney Vaughn, fifth year
Assistant coaches: Lynn Stone,Michelle Jolly, Gigi Jones
Last year's record: 8-4 overall, 5-1 in county, lost in state semifinals
Top returnees: Seniors -- defender Erin Myers, attacker Val Swomley, midfielder Angie Rose; junior -- goalie Dani Fostik, goalie
Top newcomers: Juniors -- attacker Chrissy Primavera, defender Krista Sentofanti; sophomore -- Megan Horneman
Coach's comments: "We had 45 girls out, and all but two are experienced. Our junior varsity should be incredibly strong. We want to go for the county title again; we won it the past two years, and we want to make it three. North Carroll always gives us a battle in the county. The kids have to have that desire to win; you can only coach that so far -- it's got to come from within."
The Carroll County Sun's outlook: Liberty is shaping up into another outstanding county team with a solid group of experienced players returning. It will be up to North Carroll and possibly Westminster to derail their train, and North Carroll is our pickto do just that.
NORTH CARROLL PANTHERS
Coach: Stacey Abeles, fourth year Assistant coaches: Jodi Shipley, Denean Powellson
Last year's record: 10-2, state semifinalist
Top returnees: Seniors -- attacker Danielle Miller, attacker Amy Eggers, attacker Gina Christiani, defender Jen Rothlingshofer, defender Stephanie Vaughan, defender Jen Mead, defender Jill Culver
Top newcomers: Junior -- attacker Tammy Giffi
Coach's comments: "We have a very strong passing game, very strong fundamentals and leadership from seniors. This team is very intelligent on the field. We're going to come out with a lot of different offenses to throw teams off. We'll definitely be in contentionin the region this year."
The Carroll County Sun's outlook: Betting on a favorite always makes us nervous, but this team should romp under the wire. Despite graduation losses up front, plenty of scoring power will be in evidence. They've got experience and now know what they need to do outside of the county. One word of warning -- watch out for Liberty.
SOUTH CARROLL CAVALIERS
Coach: Stacey Stem, third year
Assistant coaches: Bill Merashoff, Margo Burns
Last year's record: 6-6 overall
Top returnees: Seniors -- attacker Erin Eaton,attacker Julie Langlois, third man Lisa Mitchell; juniors -- attacker Julie Manley, goalie Hilary Griffith, attacker Kelly Adams
Top newcomers: Senior -- Audrey Van Norman; freshmen -- Melissa Gettemy and Danielle Picker
Coach's comments: "My defense is hurting this year. My attack looks strong; most of my experience is there. I've seena big increase in skill level. They really want to win, and they finally have a desire to win."
The Carroll County Sun's outlook: The Cavaliers have heart, and several of the players who were part of thechampionship field hockey team bring that same can-do spirit to the lacrosse field. This will be a high-scoring team, with seniors shaping the attack. But Hilary Griffith has never played goal before, and that typifies the inexperience that's going to plague the defense. TheCavs should do well in the county, but they'll need a rather miraculous gelling of the defense to stand up to Liberty or North Carroll.
Coach: Suzanne Peters, fourth year
Assistant coaches: Amanda Bodden, Bridget Owings
Last year's record: 3-8 overall, 3-3 in the county
Top returnees: Seniors -- center Judie Marcus, defender Meredith Fisher, defender Tiffany Luers, defense; junior -- Kara Hedges
Top newcomers: Juniors -- attacker Anitha Naganna, attacker Mary Muller
Coach's comments: "We have a different schedule this year, we play more Howard County schools instead of Anne Arundel County schools. We're shooting for .500, and with the new playoffsystem we'll see where we get. We're strong defensively and in the midfield. We have talented players, but they need experience. We have good junior varsity players, but varsity is another level of play."
The Carroll County Sun's outlook: The Owls have some talent and experience, but it's going to come down to how much they want to win. Assuming the team comes together quickly, the Owls could prove to be the fly in North Carroll's and Liberty's ointment.
WESTERN MD. GREEN TERRORS
Coach: Kim Easterday, 16th year
Assistant coach: Kathy Railey
Last year's record: 3-6 overall, 1-4 in MAC - Western Division
Top returnees: Seniors -- midfielder Shannon Smith, midfielder Stephanie Grau, midfielder Maija Strenger; juniors -- attacker Katie Dunn, attacker Julia Mignatti, midfielder Jenny Preston; sophomores --midfielder Jill Grosso, defender Gina Cappi
Top newcomers: Seniors -- Lisa Franklin, Libby Bieling, Tracy Egan and Christin Hegna; junior -- Kate Keller; freshmen -- Wendy Pahl, Heather Bailey, Meghan Barry and Stacy Baker
Coach's comments: "We graduated a lot of defense. Our offense should be stronger because we're experienced there. The midfield will be strong. It's a matter of finding the right combination. If we find the right combination, we'll click and be just fine."
The Carroll County Sun's outlook: The best defense is a good, well, defense, and that's just what this team lacks. But the midfield is strong, and the attack shows promise.