Girls soccer: Top 15 preseason poll

August 29, 2012|By Glenn Graham | The Baltimore Sun

1. McDonogh

Coach: Harry Canellakis

Last season: 18-3, No. 1

Postseason: IAAM A Conference champion

Outlook: Graduating one of the program's finest classes -- led by two-time All-Metro Player of the Year Ashley Spivey -- the two-time defending league champions will need key returnees to thrive in bigger roles. There's clearly enough talent to bring home another crown.

2. Archbishop Spalding

Coach: Bob Dieterle

Last season: 14-6-1, No. 2

Postseason: IAAM A Conference finalist

Outlook: The Cavaliers are determined to get redemption after a second straight loss to McDonogh in the IAAM A Conference title game last season. Fast, skilled and deep, they have enough talented players to be the last team standing in the conference this fall.

3. John Carroll

Coach: Gary Lynch

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

Postseason: IAAM A Conference semifinalist

Outlook: Dangerous up front and creative at midfield, the Patriots will put consistent pressure on opponents. If talented, but unproven defensive players can come together, John Carroll could makes its way to the top of the IAAM.

4. C. Milton Wright

Coach: Paul Austin

Last season: 14-5, No. 5

Postseason: 3A state semifinalist

Outlook: Is this the Mustangs' year? With 10 starters back from last year's team that fell just short of a state championship for a second straight year, they are on a collective mission to capture the elusive title.

5. River Hill

Coach: Brian Song

Last season: 12-3-1, No. 7

Postseason: 3A East Region quarterfinalist

Outlook: The Howard County and District V champs are loaded with talent -- led by the one-two scoring punch of Sheridan Street and Alex Hamer -- and the Hawks have added incentive after last year's early playoff exit.

6. Broadneck

Coach: John Camm

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

Postseason: 4A East Region quarterfinalist

Outlook: All the pieces are in place for Broadneck to take control of Anne Arundel County. With seven starters back from last year's team that allowed just four goals in the entire season, the Bruins will play aggressively with speed and skill.

7. Notre Dame Prep

Coach: Chris Lopez

Last season: 7-6-2, unranked

Postseason: IAAM A Conference semifinalist

Outlook: The Blazers showed they could compete with the IAAM's top teams when they upset Mercy in the playoffs last season. With seven starters back, they'll rely on an experienced defense and balance on offense.

8. South River

Coach: John Sis

Last season: 11-4-1, No. 13

Postseason: 4A East Region quarterfinalist

Outlook: Scoring wasn't a problem for the Seahawks last season as they averaged 4.5 goals per game. They will have to once again lean on their persistent attack while players in other areas of the team gain experience.

9. Mercy

Coach: Doug Pryor

Last season: 12-5-1, No. 6

Postseason: IAAM A Conference quarterfinalist

Outlook: After significant losses due to graduation, the Magic is banking on a deeper roster this season to contend in the IAAM. An experienced defense is important to the team's success as other areas improve.

10. Severna Park

Coach: Todd Clark

Last season: 15-3-1, No. 4

Postseason: 4A state finalist

Outlook: The defending Anne Arundel County champions could take a step back with only three starters returning from last season. A deep junior class and promising newcomers, however, will be key if the Falcons hope to be on top again this year.

11. Catonsville

Coach: James Fitzpatrick

Last season: 12-4, unranked

Postseason: 4A North Region finalist

Outlook: Expectations are high at Catonsville, where the Comets have talented players returning all over the field. With eight starters and 16 varsity players back, they're the early favorites in Baltimore County.

12. Marriotts Ridge

Coach: Robin Grey

Last season: 7-4-3, unranked

Postseason: 2A North Region semifinalist

Outlook: With a quality blend of experienced players -- seven starters are back -- and several newcomers ready to make an impact, the Mustangs will be a team to watch in Howard County.

13. Bel Air

Coach: Josh Clemmer

Last season: 12-4-1, unranked

Postseason: 3A North Region semifinalist

Outlook: The Bobcats are young and skilled, but they also have enough senior leadership to make a run in the Upper Chesapeake Bay Athletic Conference and state playoffs this season.

14. Severn

Coach: Adam Ritchie

Last season: 15-5, No. 14

Postseason: IAAM B Conference finalist

Outlook: The Admirals have eight starters back as they make the jump to the IAAM A Conference. Last year's highlights included wins over Archbishop Spalding, Severna Park and Broadneck.

15. Glenelg

Coach: Maureen Hammond

Last season: 12-3-1, No. 8

Postseason: 2A state semifinalist

Outlook: New coach Hammond takes over a young, skilled team from her father, Dean Sheridan. The Gladiators will gain ground as the season progresses and expect to be ready for another strong playoff run.

Others considered: Bryn Mawr (14-5, No. 9), Eastern Tech (14-3-1, unranked), Fallston (9-4-1, unranked), Hereford (N/A, unranked), Liberty (8-5-1, unranked), Patterson Mill (10-3, unranked), Perry Hall (15-4, No. 10), Reservoir (9-9, unranked)

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