Field hockey: Top 15 preseason poll

August 28, 2012|By Sandra McKee | The Baltimore Sun

1. Garrison Forest

Coach: Trace Davis and Leigh McDonald Hall

Last season: 18-1-2, No. 3

Postseason: IAAM A Conference champion

Outlook: Nine Grizzlies starters return from last year's A Conference championship team, including seniors Brooke Adler, Geagy Pritchard, Claire Forbes and Futures Elite goalie Kendall Kuntz.

2. Glenelg

Coach: Ginger Kincaid

Last season: 18-1, No. 1

Postseason: 2A state champion

Outlook: The Gladiators must replace Alyssa Parker (114 goals and 108 assists in her career) as they go after their third consecutive state title. "We should be strong," Kincaid said. Junior midfielder Morgan Philie is among the returning players.

3. North Harford

Coach: Carla Harward

Last season: 11-5, No. 12

Postseason: 3A state semifinalist

Outlook: Nine starters, including goalkeeper Abby Phillips, return for the Hawks in 2012. Harward, a former assistant at North Harford and head coach at C.Milton Wright, takes over a speedy, experienced group that has added depth this season.

4. Bryn Mawr

Coach: Jeanette Budzik

Last season: 11-5-1, unranked

Postseason: IAAM A Conference quarterfinalist

Outlook: With 10 seniors, the Mawrtians are counting on refined stick skills and strong leadership on and off the field. Senior defender Anabelle Bacon, senior midfielder Caroline Joy and junior midfielder Rachel Park anchor the squad.

5. South River

Coach: Katie Corcoran

Last season: 16-2, No. 5

Postseason: 4A East Region finalist

Outlook: The Seahawks were hit hard by graduation, but Corcoran's team is still full of talented players, including senior forward Abbey Lawrence (26 goals, 10 assists). Big question: who replaces All-Metro goalkeeper Shannon Flanagan?

6. Severna Park

Coach: Ann Andrews

Last season: 17-2, No. 2

Postseason: 4A state champion

Outlook: Andrews is the Falcons' new coach, replacing the legendary Lil Shelton, who created the program and retired after 37 years and 20 state championships. Marissa Balleza (14 goals, 10 assists) is among 13 seniors and five starters returning this year.

7. Broadneck

Coach: Jen Parks

Last season: 11-5, No. 11

Postseason: 4A East Region semifinalist

Outlook: A large group of seniors -- including leading scorer Aislinn Probst (four goals, eight assists) -- gives the Bruins maturity, experience and skill. They'll need it, facing rivals Severna Park and South River in back-to-back games to start the season.

8. Notre Dame Prep

Coach: Maggie Anton

Last season: 9-3-4, No. 14

Postseason: IAAM A Conference semifinalist

Outlook: The Blazers are a strong, senior-laden team. With eight starters returning, they will rely on cohesion, transition and communication skills in the midfield. Senior forward Anne Federico leads the attack, while the defense plans to capitalize on offensive chances.

9. Patterson Mill

Coach: Shannon Swinscoe

Last season: 10-5, unranked

Postseason: 1A state semifinalist

Outlook: Though only five seniors are returning from last season's squad, Swinscoe believes trust among players, the passing game and dedication have all improved for the Huskies. Sophomore midfielder Linnea Gonzales (18 goals, seven assists) leads the attack.

10. Westminster

Coach: Mary Rivera

Last season: 16-3, No. 4

Postseason: 3A state champion

Outlook: Are the Owls planning to repeat as state champions? "Wouldn't that be lovely?" Rivera said. Junior forward Maddy Walsh and sophomore goalkeeper Hailey Poisel are among nine returning players.

11. Century

Coach: Terry Duryea

Last season: 13-3, No. 9

Postseason: 2A state semifinalist

Outlook: With expectations high, the Knights have senior role models in Allison Remenapp, Abby Remenapp and Kailey Wolfe. Duryea said the group they are leading "is the hardest working group of girls I have ever coached."

12. Archbishop Spalding

Coach: Leslee Brady

Last season: 11-6, unranked

Postseason: IAAM A Conference semifinalist

Outlook: The goalkeeper spot is in good hands with senior Melissa Rize returning from an ACL injury. Brady expects underclassmen Maggie Kaulis and Katie Kries, as well as senior Sabrina Davis, to be impact players for Spalding in a run for the IAAM A Conference title.

13. Hereford

Coach: Tammy Mundie

Last season: 14-1, No. 10

Postseason: 3A North Region finalist

Outlook: The offense, led by Mary Claire Abbott (17 goals, nine assists) and Shannon Martello (eight goals, four assists), will be key -- as will the development of the defense. Caitlin Abbott is the only returning defensive starter for the Bulls.

14. Fallston

Coach: Maddie Palko

Last season: 15-2, No. 7

Postseason: 1A state champion

Outlook: The Cougars' new coach has a nice problem with battles for starting spots going on all over the field, including goalkeeper, where seniors Sarah DiMaggio and Kristina Baker, and junior Kayla Solomon are all fighting for a spot.

15. Mount Hebron

Coach: Jeannette Ireland

Last season: 13-6, No. 8

Postseason: 3A state finalist

Outlook: A 1-0 loss in double overtime in the Class 3A state final still rankles the Vikings, who enter this season feeling they have unfinished business. Seven starters return, led by junior forward Tianna Wallpher, who made the team's offense go.

Others considered: Bel Air (8-5, unranked), Catonsville (6-6, unranked), Friends (6-6-2, unranked), Howard (9-4, unranked), Manchester Valley (11-3, No. 15), Marriotts Ridge (12-4, unranked), McDonogh (15-5, No. 6), Dulaney (12-6, No. 13), Mount de Sales (16-4-1, unranked)

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