Wildcats overcome early season struggles to challenge for regional championship


Despite a sub-.500 record, Arundel High field hockey has returned to the VSN Field Hockey Week 9 Top 20. The Wildcats are young and talented, but inexperience sent them on a six-game losing streak to start the season. Since then they have won 7-of-9 including back-to-back games against then No. 9 Crofton to reach Wednesday’s 3A Region I final against Chesapeake-AA. Arundel checks in at No. 12 in this week’s rankings.

Garrison Forest School and Archbishop Spalding appear to be on a collision course for the IAAM A championship game and they continue to hold the top two spots in the poll. The rest of the Top 5 also remains intact with No. 3 Severna Park, No. 4 Glenelg and No. 5 McDonogh School.

Also returning to the Top 20 this week is No. 19 Francis Scott Key.

Here is the complete VSN Field Hockey Week 9 Top 20:


1. GARRISON FOREST SCHOOL

Record: 13-5

Previous rank: 1

Note: Entering IAAM A semifinal match Wednesday with No. 6 Bryn Mawr School, Grizzlies averaging 6.75 goals per game over last four.


2. ARCHBISHOP SPALDING

Record: 13-1

Previous  rank: 2

Note: Cavaliers have won five straight since an early October loss to No. 1 Garrison Forest. If they get past No. 5 McDonogh School in IAAM A semis, the Cavs may get another shot at Grizzlies.


3. SEVERNA PARK

Record: 13-2

Previous rank: 3

Note: Falcons seek to repeat win over No. 11 Old Mill in Anne Arundel County championship game when they face the Patriots, Wednesday in Class 4A East Region I final.


4. GLENELG

Record: 12-1

Previous rank: 4

Note: On nine-game win streak, Gladiators will host Hammond for the 2A South Region II title Wednesday.


5. MCDONOGH SCHOOL

Record: 14-2

Previous rank: 5

Note: Eagles played worse game of season in 5-0 loss to No. 2 Spalding in mid-September. They hope they show how much they’ve improved when they challenge Cavaliers in Wednesday’s IAAM A semis.


6. BRYN MAWR SCHOOL

Record: 13-3

Previous rank: 6

Note: Mawrtians have been pleasant surprise all season. Win over No. 1 Garrison Forest in Wednesday’s IAAM semifinal would be sweetest surprise of all.


7. ATHOLTON

Record: 12-0

Previous rank: 7

Note: Raiders will face their toughest challenge when they host No. 8 River Hill for 3A East Region II crown Wednesday.


8. RIVER HILL

Record: 12-3

Previous rank: 8

Note: Hawks could be threat in 3A if they win region final at No. 7 Atholton.


9. BROADNECK

Record: 11-4

Previous rank: 10

Note: Bruins travel to Leonardtown Wednesday in search of 4A East Region II title.


10. OLD MILL

Record: 10-4

Previous rank: 11

Note: Upstart Patriots routed Glen Burnie, 11-0, in playoff opener. They get another shot at No. 3 Severna Park Wednesday.


11. HEREFORD

Record: 11-2

Previous rank: 13

Note: Baltimore County champs heavily favored to advance to 2A state quarterfinals when they face Eastern Tech in North Region II final Wednesday.


12. ARUNDEL

Record: 7-8

Previous rank: Not ranked

Note: Don’t be fooled by Wildcats record. They’ve played one of the area’s toughest schedules.


13. MERCY

Record: 9-1

Previous rank: 14

Note: Magic closed their regular season with 3-0 win over Park School. If it can repeat that performance in Wednesday’s IAAM B semifinals, Mercy will advance to  conference championship game Sunday.


14. DULANEY

Record: 10-4

Previous rank: 15

Note: Lions bounced back from penalty shots loss to Hereford in the Baltimore County title game with 6-0 win over Perry Hall in playoff opener.


15. CROFTON

Record: 9-4

Previous rank: 9

Note: Young Cardinals lost their final two games of 2021, both to Arundel, including Monday’s setback in 3A South Region I semifinals.


16. C. MILTON WRIGHT

Record: 10-3

Previous rank: 12

Note: Mustangs’ offense went cold in 1-0 2A West Region II final loss to North Harford.


17. MARRIOTTS RIDGE

Record: 9-4

Previous rank: 16

Note: Mustangs split two regular season meetings with Mount Hebron. The rubber match comes Wednesday in 3A East Region I final.


18. FALLSTON

Record: 9-4

Previous rank: 18

Note: Cougars aiming for regional title when they visit Harford Tech Wednesday.


19. FRANCIS SCOTT KEY

Record: 10-2

Previous rank: Not ranked

Note: Eagles host Catoctin in the 1A West Region II championship game Wednesday.


20. CENTURY

Record: 10-4-1

Previous rank: 19

Note: Match-up with Manchester Valley Wednesday is all that stands between the Knights and 2A West Region II title.