Girls lacrosse: The poll

Compiled by Katherine Dunn after consulting with area coaches

March 16, 2012

1. McDonogh

Coach: Chris Robinson

Last season: 19-0, ranked No. 1

Postseason: IAAM A Conference champion

Outlook: Riding a 51-game winning streak, the Eagles know every one of their opponents has that game circled in red on its schedule. With eight returning starters, including All-Metro Player of the Year Taylor Cummings, the Eagles show no signs of letting up. Look for them to make a strong run at their fourth straight A Conference championship.

2. Bryn Mawr

Coaches: Wendy Kridel, Kim Simons

Last season: 16-3, No. 3

Postseason: IAAM A Conference semifinalist

Outlook: The Mawrtians gave McDonogh one of its toughest challenges last season before falling, 11-9, and with 16 players back and as many as seven seniors in the starting lineup, they are primed for another run at the top. They need to replace go-to player Morgan Rubin but still have balance, depth and one of the top goalies in the country, Molly Wolf.

3. Marriotts Ridge

Coach: Natalie Gaieski

Last season: 18-1, No. 4

Postseason: Class 3A-2A state champion

Outlook: The Mustangs won the state title in only their third year as a varsity program, and they bring back nine starters determined to repeat. With a veteran defense that held Century to four goals in the state final and a versatile attack looking to boost its output, the Mustangs should add the Howard County title to a postseason sweep.

4. Notre Dame Prep

Coaches: Mary Bartel, Lisa Costello

Last season: 11-7, No. 6

Postseason: IAAM A Conference semifinalist

Outlook: The Blazers lost some big-name players who led last year's team, but they return another solid group, especially on defense. Having every defensive starter back, including goalie Mary Sean Wilcox, will help as a new attack comes together.

5. St. Paul's

Coach: Brooke Kuhl-McClelland

Last season: 11-8, unranked

Postseason: IAAM A Conference quarterfinalist

Outook: The Gators lost a couple of one-goal games to middle-of-the-pack A Conference teams last season but should improve in their second year under Kuhl-McClelland with 11 returning starters, more firepower and strong senior leadership.

6. Fallston

Coach: Mike McTeague

Last season: 15-3, No. 10

Postseason: Class 3A-2A state semifinalist

Outlook: The Cougars' roster includes 11 returning starters and 18 seniors, but McTeague said they're taking nothing for granted. With that attitude and experience, they should battle for the UCBAC title as well as a return to the state final four.

7. Century

Coach: Becky (Trumbo) Groves

Last season: 15-3, No. 8

Postseason: Class 3A-2A state finalist

Outlook: The Knights return seven starters but could start as many as five freshmen. Most of the scoring returns, along with a solid goalie. The Knights bring back just one occasional starter on line defense, but their offense should keep them on top while the defense develops.

8. Severna Park

Coach: Carin Peterson

Last season: 17-4, No. 7

Postseason: Class 4A-3A state champion

Outlook: The Falcons return half of their starting lineup but have some holes to fill. Peterson, last season's All-Metro Coach of the Year, has a promising sophomore class to keep them gunning for another state title.

9. Roland Park

Coaches: Kristin Nicolini, Reagan Raneri

Last season: 15-6, No. 2

Postseason: IAAM A Conference finalist

Outlook: No team got closer to McDonogh last season than the Reds, who fell, 18-17, in the title game. Although they graduated a solid core of seniors and have some rebuilding to do on defense, don't look for them to fall far off the pace.

10. Winters Mill

Coach: Courtney Vaughn

Last season: 15-3, No. 5

Postseason: Class 2A-1A state champion

Outlook: The Falcons return seven starters but start a new goalie for the third consecutive year. The attack might need time to mesh, so the defense will have to hold tight early. Still, look for the Falcons to be primed for another state title run.

11. South River

Coach: Kim McNemar

Last season: 14-4, unranked

Postseason: Class 4A-3A East regional semifinalist

Outlook: The Seahawks, who lost to Severna Park in the regional semifinal, have a new goalie but return strength everywhere else on the field with eight starters back. Although still young with only three seniors, they have much better chemistry.

12. Maryvale

Coach: Jessica Vitrano Randisi

Last season: 8-8, unranked

Postseason: IAAM A Conference quarterfinalist

Outlook: The Lions peaked in the playoffs before falling to Roland Park in the quarterfinals by one goal. With 11starters back, look for them to build off that strong finish and possibly make a big move in the A Conference.

13. Broadneck

Coach: Karen Tengwall

Last season: 13-4, No. 15

Postseason: Class 4A-3A East regional finalist

Outlook: The Bruins return only a handful of starters, but they have eight seniors and a lot of juniors ready to step into leading roles. Most of the experience is on defense, but look for the midfield to make a quick impact.

14. John Carroll

Coach: Krystin Porcella

Last season: 10-4, No. 11

Postseason: IAAM A Conference quarterfinalist

Outlook: With only five starters back and some players in new positions, the Patriots might need a little time to develop their team dynamic. Even if they get off to a slow start, look for them to remain a contender in the area's toughest league.

15. Dulaney

Coach: Kristi Korrow

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

Postseason: Class 4A-3A South regional finalist

Outlook: The Lions graduated 11 seniors, but had 12 juniors ready to take their places. With 14 players back, they aim to go at least one step further than the regional final, where they fell to C. Milton Wright, 11-9.

OTHERS CONSIDERED: Mount Hebron (16-2, No. 12), St. Mary's (7-10), Severn (12-9), Westminster, (16-1, No. 9), C.Milton Wright (12-4, No. 13)

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