Preseason Top 15

March 23, 1995

1 Mount Hebron -- See capsule.

2 Loch Raven -- The defending state Class 1A-2A and Baltimore County champs lost five starters from last year's 16-0 squad, but they bring back some sensational talent especially in the midfield. The Raiders return All-Metro first-teamer Robyn Harry and second-teamer Kim Allen. The veteran midfield can score. Harry (32 goals, 26 assists) and Alison Jones (29, seven) should continue to make big contributions. The Raiders also look solid on defense, so they have all the ingredients for making a strong run at their fourth state title in five years.

3 Roland Park -- The Reds won an unprecedented fourth straight Association of Independent Schools championship last year finishing 15-0 with their first No. 1 ranking. Only four seniors graduated so the Reds have plenty of strength back to make a run at a fifth title. Lizzy Bennett and Hedy Born are back on attack and Ridgely Bennett, Meredith Shuey and goalie Melissa Coyne return to the defense.

4 Mount de Sales -- The Sailors are the team most likely to dethrone Roland Park, but they were last year, too. Instead, they never met the Reds, bowing out of the tournament in the semifinals for a disappointing end to their 19-2 season. The Sailors return on attack All-Metro first-teamer Lisa Banbury and second-teamer Amy Buck, who combined for 158 goals last season. The defense appears strong with veterans Ana Martinez and Katie Santry.

5 Severna Park -- For the first time in the five-year history of the state championships, the Falcons did not win the Class 3A-4A title last year. Despite one of the best teams coach Carin Peterson had ever fielded, the Falcons fell to Annapolis, 6-5, in the regional final to finish 13-1. Almost all the big names are gone from last year's squad but the Falcons still have one of the most balanced, skilled teams around. Most of the talent returns in the midfield anchored by seniors Diane Mooney, Melissa Ballance and Michelle Rose.

6 Annapolis -- The Panthers enjoyed their most successful season ever last year with a regional victory over rival Severna Park and an appearance in the state Class 3A-4A championship game where they lost to Mount Hebron, 16-9. The Panthers return eight starters, including second-teamer defender Stephy Samaras, midfielder Amy Brew (24, nine) and attacker Karen Hunt (44, 16).

7 Liberty -- The Lions, who finished 16-2, reached the Class 1A-2A state title game for the first time last season. Although they lost to Loch Raven, 19-7, in the final, the five-time Carroll County champions might have laid down a foundation for a return trip. They lost six seniors, including three who combined for 190 goals and 92 assists, but coach Courtney Vaughn expects to reload with Debbi Bourke, Amy North and Amie Rose. Much of the defense returns, including Carey Epler and Natalie Hannibal.

8 Garrison Forest -- Ten seniors return from Karen Mallonee's 7-3-1 team and they could help the Grizzlies make a big move in the AIS A Division. Jacque Weitzel, Lauren Klein and Tricia Ward can score a lot of goals, and the team also has experience and balance on defense. Many of the players were on the Grizzlies' AIS champion field hockey team.

9 Bryn Mawr -- The Mawrtians return a veteran squad, including center Emily Hickman, attacker Christine Lazatin and goalie Kristin Garro from last year's 9-4-1 team. Coach Libby Davis has a promising mix of nine seniors and a handful of newcomers.

10 Fallston -- The Cougars are the only team other than Mount Hebron, Loch Raven and Severna Park to qualify for the state tournament all five years. Last year, they made their best stand yet, falling to Loch Raven 11-10 in the semifinal. The Cougars return a host of talent from that 12-2 team including attackers Jenny Weber, Krissy Battenfeld, Julie Haire and Kathleen Turk and defenders Courtney Benner and Jinae Szerensits.

11 Broadneck -- The defense took a big hit to graduation, but five solid starters return from an 11-4 team that lost to Annapolis, 11-5, in the regional final. The Bruins return a strong contingent on attack and in the midfield, including Jessica Hull, Megan Branning, Liz Goodrich and Ann Rodriguez, which should boost goal production.

12 Maryvale -- On attack, the Lions are in good shape with Meghan Doyle (55 goals, nine assists) and Meghan McLaughlin (22, nine), but they have some rebuilding to do on defense. After improving to 8-3 from 2-10 in 1993, the Lions are looking to take another step up, and if the talent pans out, they should be among the AIS A Division's best.

13 Centennial -- See capsule.

14 ixl,2l C. Milton Wright -- Kathy Breymaier's defending Harford County champs bring back experience and speed from last year's 11-4 state Class 3A-4A semifinalist team. Among those back are speedy midfielders Becky Gerhart, who led the county with 42 goals, and Miranda James as well as goalie Kim Kalista. The Mustangs have a two-year winning streak in the county league play and have beaten Fallston for the county title two years in a row.

15 Arundel -- The Wildcats are coming off their first trip to the regional playoffs and with nine starters returning Christine Fellona's squad could be poised for another trip. Senior Nicole Ross leads a strong midfield contingent that includes returnees Michelle Haynie and Karen Diacont. The Wildcats finished 10-5 last year, but every loss was to a playoff team.

How the poll is chosen: The 1995 girls lacrosse poll is selected each week by the local sports staff through game observations and consultation with coaches.

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