The MIAA A Conference is widely regarded as the best high school lacrosse conference in the nation.  Although individual programs all across the country have proven they can play with the MIAA’s best, in any given season, no league has yet emerged to match the extraordinary depth and the fierce competitiveness exhibited in the MIAA on a game-to-game basis.

As a special to, Tyler Steinhardt has put together the following team-by-team preview of each team in the MIAA A Conference.  With the first face-off nearing, let this be your guide on what to expect from your favorite teams and their league opponents.

School:  Archbishop Spalding

  Ricky Schwartzberg

2010 Record:  9-11 (6-8 Conference)

Key Losses:  Brian Cooper (Maryland), Chris Piccirilli (Villanova), J.P. Ricker (Jacksonville), Daniel Burke (UMBC), Connor McRoy (Delaware), Jarred Carrier (Sacred Heart), Matt King (Salisbury).

Key Returners (Committed School):  Matt Franchak (Saint Joseph’s), Kevin Hess (Mount St. Mary’s), Mike Keane (Quinnipiac), Nick Haley (Mount St. Mary’s), Conor Pequigney (Syracuse*), Ryan Cochran (Delaware*), Chris Hamilton

Out of Conference Games:  Landon (DC), Hill Academy (Canada), Dematha (DC)

Important Notes:  Spalding is definitely hurt by losing all-star midfielder Brian Cooper.  Spalding features an incredibly athletic team, with one of the best faceoff men in the conference in Syracuse commit Connor Pequigney.  The Cavaliers also have a new coach in Ricky Schwartzberg.

School:  Boys’ Latin

Coach:  Bob Shriver

2010 Record:  16-4  (12-3 Conference)

Key Losses:  Pat Foster (UNC), RG Keenan (UNC), Marcellus Preston (UMBC), Kevin O’Neil (Villanova), Conor Finch (UMBC), Ryan Rubenstein (Stevenson), Ryan Jarvis (Bryant),

Key Returners (Committed School): Wells Stanwick (Johns Hopkins), Andrew Dempsey (Bucknell), Jeff Chase (Loyola), Ben Kellar (Bucknell), Taylor Stothoff (Penn State), Adam Davey (Lynchburg), Joey Weidner (Towson), Stephen Luck (Washington College), Greg Pyke, Max Cooke, Mac Pons

Out of Conference Games:  Saint Andrew’s (FL), Episcopal Dallas (TX), St. Stephen/St.Agnes (DC), Conestoga (PA)

Important Notes:  The Lakers lost a ton of starters, but are bolstered by a talented senior class.  Wells Stanwick leads a highly potent offense that is well supported with a strong returning defense.  Whether the Lakers can adjust to fewer possessions without Keenan is central to their success this spring.

School:  Calvert Hall

Coach:  Bryan Kelly

2010 Record:  9-6 (7-6 Conference)

Key Losses:  Phil Castranova (Johns Hopkins), Frankie Kelly (UNC), David Kelly (Rutgers), Tony Rossi (Stevenson), Greg Dutton (Ohio State), Patrick Rhodey (Maryland), Tommy Holland (Delaware)

Key Returners (Committed School):  Garrett Novotny (Bucnkell), Matt Diehl (Quinnipiac), Carmen French (Quinnipiac), Patrick Kelly (UNC*), Stephen Kelly, Garrett Epple, Jack Brust (Quinnipiac), John Belz (Maryland*), Brian Bolewicki (Towson*), Kelton Black (Johns Hopkins*), Johnny Kelly, Evan Connell (UNC*), Tom Hollenback, Carter Brown (Ohio State*),

Major Transfers:  Ryan Brown (Johns Hopkins), Ky Reinhardt (Delaware*), Dom Scarfo (Navy)

Out of Conference Games:  St. Stephen/St. Agnes (DC), Hill Academy (Canada), Hill School (PA), La Salle (PA)

Important Notes:  The Cardinals take a major hit in losing Dutton and an incredibly strong 2010 class.  Calvert Hall is no doubt powered by its depth and youth, however major questions in net and on the defensive end must be answered for Coach Kelly’s squad.

School: Gilman

Coach:  Brooks Matthews

2010 Record:  9-10 (6-7 Conference)

Key Losses:  Duncan Hutchins (UNC), Paul Danko (Denver), Dennis Foster (Dartmouth), Jack Matthews (Rutgers), Tripp Trainor (Saint Joseph’s), Michael Barger (Dickinson)

Key Returners (Committed School):  Ryan Tucker (UVA), Conor Doyle (Notre Dame), John Heinrich (Navy), Justin George (Duke), Palmer Murray (Dickinson), Jake Matthai (UNC*), Gordie Koerber, TJ Trusty, Robby Haus, Pete Senft, Brian Zimmerman (Air Force)

Out of Conference Games:  Landon (DC), Norfolk Academy (VA), Georgetown Prep (DC)

Important Notes: The Greyhounds are extremely athletic and fast, led by Cavalier commit Ryan Tucker.  Coach Matthews’ team also returns a strong goalie with an experienced defense.  Gilman will no doubt be one of the tougher teams this season.

School:  Loyola

Coach:  Jack Crawford

2010 Record:  13-6 (8-6 Conference)

Key Losses:  Emmett Cahill (Maryland), Mike Packo (Roanoke), Brian Cannon (Dickinson), Bobby Distler (Gettysburg), Mike Smith (Gettysburg), Max Bradley

Key Returners (Committed School):  Dylan Bozel (Rutgers), Conor O’Toole (Washington and Lee), Patrick Bivons (McDaniel), TJ Neubauer (Fairfield*), Conor Dalton (Fairfield*), Matt Dunn, Deemer Class (Duke*), Kevin O’Toole, Kacy Kapinos (Ohio State*), Alex Hardwick, Mike Smith (Dickinson*)

Out of Conference Games:  Penn Charter (PA), Haverford School (PA), Malvern Prep (PA), New Trier (IL), Trinity-Pawling (NE),

Important Notes: The Dons are bolstered by a strong Junior class that saw significant time last year.  Loyola is a much bigger team than others, and its size will prove crucial late in the season.  As always Crawford will be able to steer his boys towards the post season where they will be a contender.

School: McDonogh

Coach:  Andy Hilgartner

2010 Record:  16-6 (10-5 Conference)

Key Losses:  Tyler Frederick (Ohio State), Joe Meurer (Ohio State), Kyle Rice, Sam Eby (Navy), Tyler Siebert (Georgetown), Ben Love (St. Mary’s)

Key Returners (Committed School):  Brenny Daly (Syracuse), Bryson Greene (Georgetown), Keegan Michel (Harvard), Brady Faby (Johns Hopkins), Evan Glaser (Rutgers*), Kyle DeVinney (Navy), Connor Morgan (Hamilton
), Greg Caso (UPENN), Geoff Davis

Out of Conference Games:  McCallie (TN), Highland Park (TX), Durham Academy (NC), Haverford (PA), Avon Old Farms (CT)

Important Notes: McDonogh has an incredibly strong senior class that leads a team with a strong defense and fast paced offense.  Depth and goaltending are the main concerns of the Eagles who should be able to make a title run.

School:  Mount St. Joseph

Coach: David Slafkosky

2010 Record:  1-17 (0-13 Conference)

Key Losses:  Connor Casey (UMASS), Justin Campbell (Washington College), Andrew Klose (Roanoke)

Key Returners (Committed School): Tyler Fields (York), Ethan Haddaway (Goucher), Craig Costabile, Matt Lucas

Out of Conference Games:  St. Stephen/St. Agnes (DC), St. John’s (DC), Wheatley (NY), Arundel (MD), Southern AA (MD)

Important Notes:  The Gaels come off a tough season, but a new coach and a determined team seeks to make gains in the Conference.  Expect to see junior attackman Craig Costabile lead the offense.

School:  St. Mary’s

Coach:  Rob Chomo

2010 Record:  12-8  (8-7 Conference)

Key Losses:  Mark McNeill (UNC), Dom Lamolinara (Maryland), Warren Pumphrey (Stevenson), Charlie Whiteley (Gettysburg), Peter Boyle (Maryland), John Hogan (Deerfield/Cornell)

Key Returners (Committed School):  Logan Connolly (Notre Dame), Patrick Manley (Penn State), Reed Carlson (Villanova), KC Beard (Dartmouth), John Kluh (Villanova*), Nate Lewnes (UMBC*)

Out of Conference Games:  Gonzaga (DC), Dematha (DC), Landon (DC)

Important Notes:  Long time Saints coach John Hogan has left the sidelines to become the school’s athletic director while former offensive coordinator Rob Chomo has been promoted to the team’s helm.  Chomo leads a team that has a strong offense, quarterbacked by Notre Dame commit Logan Connolly.  The Saints lost top goalie Dom Lamolinara, but last year’s back-up and Villanova commit Reed Carlson steps in.

School:  St. Paul’s

Coach:  Rick Brocato

2010 Record:  16-4  (12-3 Conference)  MIAA Champions

Key Losses:  Zach Linkous (UMBC), Alec Mitchell (Gettysburg), Alex Chay (Georgetown), Jeff Fountain (Georgetown), Mike Faby (Johns Hopkins), Pat Powderly (Syracuse), Draper Donley (Dickinson), Andrew Barton (Providence)

Key Returners (Committed School):  Taylor Michel (UVA), Jay Carlson (Maryland), Spencer Parks (UNC*), Wyatt Land (Bucknell), Dan Gutberlet (Vermont), Mac Hall (Vermont), Ben Brehne, Gunnar Waldt (Bryant), Josh Mantanin (Rutgers), Robby Maddux (Gettysburg), Connor Gavin (Rollins), Brett Parker (Dickinson)

Out of Conference Games:  Haverford (PA), Norfolk Academy (VA), Western Reserve Academy (OH), Avon Old Farms (CT), Georgetown Prep (DC), Garden City (NY),

Important Notes:  The defending champs take sharp losses to their defense and midfield.  Depth is also a major question for the Crusaders who feature one of the strongest starting line-ups.  However expect Brocato and a potent offense to contend in May once again.

School:  Severn

Coach:  Brian Wood  

2010 Record:  5-15 (1-12 Conference)

Key Losses:  Alex Cramer (Fairfield), Drew Foard (Navy)

Key Returners (Committed School):  Mark Cohen (UMBC*), Brett Bedard (UNC*), Pat Lamon (Drew), Nate Babcock (St. Mary’s), Cole Bailey (Tufts), Asher Stusek

Out of Conference Games:  Bullis (DC), Gonzaga (DC), Western Reserve Academy (OH), Cape Henry Collegiate (VA), St. Anne’s Bellfield (VA), Friends (MD), Culver Academy (IN), Annapolis (MD), Severna Park (MD)

Important Notes: The Admirals are a young rebuilding team, but could prove tough for teams weaker in the midfield.  Severn takes on a large slate of out of conference games which should prepare them for the rough conference schedule.