the poll

August 30, 2006

1. John Carroll

Last season: 14-6, ranked No. 1

The know-how is there for the two-time defending Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland A Conference champion Patriots, who will once again have to fend off a number of highly qualified challengers.

2. Arch. Spalding

Last season: 17-3, No. 2

Can last year's championship-game experience put the talented Cavaliers over the top this fall in the highly competitive IAAM A Conference?

3. River Hill

Last season: 12-2, No. 4

The senior-laden Hawks come into the season with plenty of incentive after last season's double-overtime loss to eventual Class 3A champion Tuscarora in the state semifinals.

4. McDonogh

Last season: 11-7, No. 12

The Eagles have the mix of young talent and experience to challenge in the IAAM.

5. Severna Park

Last season: 13-1-3, No. 6

The Falcons have eight starters back as they pursue the program's seventh state title.

6. C. Milton Wright

Last season: 15-2, No. 3

The defending Class 4A state champion Mustangs like to take it to opponents with their speed, athleticism and depth.

7. Kenwood

Last season: 11-2-2, No. 10

Will this be the year a talented group fulfills its potential?

8. Eastern Tech

Last season: 11-2-1, No. 8

After winning their first Class 2A state crown last season, the Mavericks will be aiming for an encore.

9. Glenelg

Last season: 9-5, unranked

An impressive start last season was spoiled by a disappointing finish, and the Gladiators are looking to make amends this fall.

10. St. Vincent Pallotti

Last season: 15-5, unranked

With offensive firepower returning and key additions in back, the Panthers are primed to build on last year's IAAM semifinal appearance.

11. Centennial

Last season: 12-2-1, No. 7

New coach Kristen McManus will attempt to lead the Eagles to their third consecutive Howard County crown.

12. North Harford

Last season: 12-4-1, No. 5

The experienced Hawks, who beat Harford County rival Fallston and state power Severna Park in last year's regional playoffs, are looking for more this season.

13. Chesapeake-AA

Last season: 14-4-1, No. 9

The scrappy Cougars are looking to build on last season's Anne Arundel County crown and Class 4A state semifinal appearance.

14. Perry Hall

Last season: 11-2-1, No. 11

The Gators lost key assets -- including All-Metro Player of the Year Jessica Knight -- but have always found a way to stay competitive.

15. Broadneck

Last season: 11-5, No. 13

A good mix of returning talent and promising newcomers has the Bruins in the hunt for the Anne Arundel County crown.

Other teams considered: Arundel (9-3-1, unranked), Century (8-4-2, unranked), Fallston (8-3-4, unranked), Institute of Notre Dame (14-8, unranked), Notre Dame Prep (8-7, No. 14).

2005 champions

State

Class 4A

C. Milton Wright

Class 3A

Tuscarora

Class 2A

Eastern Tech

Class 1A

Smithsburg

IAAM

A Conference

John Carroll

B Conference

Severn

C Conference

Chapelgate Christian

County/city

Anne Arundel

Severna Park, Chesapeake*

Baltimore City

Western

Baltimore County

Perry Hall

Carroll

Westminster

Howard

Centennial

UCBAC

C. Milton Wright

*Co-champions

Mark your calendars

Sept. 21 -- Glenelg at River Hill, 5:30

Sept. 26 -- Chesapeake-AA at Severna Park, 7

Sept. 30 -- Kenwood at Eastern Tech, 10

Oct. 3 -- Poly at Western, 3:45

Oct. 10 -- Century at Westminster, 6:30

Oct. 10 -- John Carroll at Archbishop Spalding, 4

Oct. 13 -- John Carroll at C. Milton Wright, 7

players to watch

Karen Blocker

Arch. Spalding, goalkeeper

In complete charge of the penalty area, the junior posted 24 shutouts in her first two seasons for the Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland A Conference runner-up.

Julia Bouchelle

Notre Dame Prep, midfielder

The talented junior showed she could finish on her own as well as create for teammates with an 11-goal, six-assist effort last fall.

Alissa Bourne

Glenelg, defender

Smooth and poised play from Bourne, a senior sweeper and four-year starter, is the starting point in back for the Gladiators.

Annesia Faulkner

St. Vincent Pallotti, forward

The senior scored six of her area-best 25 goals last season in the IAAM playoffs to lead the Panthers to their first semifinal berth.

Melissa Gomes

John Carroll, forward-midfielder

The senior has started every varsity match in her high school career and played every field position for the two-time defending IAAM A Conference champ.

Christine Nairn

Archbishop Spalding, forward

The dynamic junior was a Parade All-American last season after recording 16 goals and 10 assists.

Cindi Nickles

Eastern Tech, midfielder

Entering her fourth varsity season, the two-time captain is a strong two-way player and the defending Class 2A state champ's centerpiece.

Christine Sadowski

Kenwood, midfielder

Along with a nonstop work rate and fine leadership, the senior brings versatility to the middle of the field for the Bluebirds.

Erika Theisen

River Hill, forward

A dominating presence in the penalty area, the senior standout has totaled 32 goals and 17 assists in her first three varsity seasons.

Samantha Young

Sev. Park, midfielder-forward

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