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
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
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
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.
Previous rank: 4
Note: On nine-game win streak, Gladiators will host Hammond for the 2A South Region II title Wednesday.
5. MCDONOGH SCHOOL
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
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.
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
Previous rank: 8
Note: Hawks could be threat in 3A if they win region final at No. 7 Atholton.
Previous rank: 10
Note: Bruins travel to Leonardtown Wednesday in search of 4A East Region II title.
10. OLD MILL
Previous rank: 11
Note: Upstart Patriots routed Glen Burnie, 11-0, in playoff opener. They get another shot at No. 3 Severna Park Wednesday.
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.
Previous rank: Not ranked
Note: Don’t be fooled by Wildcats record. They’ve played one of the area’s toughest schedules.
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.
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.
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
Previous rank: 12
Note: Mustangs’ offense went cold in 1-0 2A West Region II final loss to North Harford.
17. MARRIOTTS RIDGE
Previous rank: 16
Note: Mustangs split two regular season meetings with Mount Hebron. The rubber match comes Wednesday in 3A East Region I final.
Previous rank: 18
Note: Cougars aiming for regional title when they visit Harford Tech Wednesday.
19. FRANCIS SCOTT KEY
Previous rank: Not ranked
Note: Eagles host Catoctin in the 1A West Region II championship game Wednesday.
Previous rank: 19
Note: Match-up with Manchester Valley Wednesday is all that stands between the Knights and 2A West Region II title.