Coming off undefeated season and IAAM A Conference title, the Blazers lead VSN’s Field Hockey Preseason Top 20
Pictured above: Notre Dame Prep field hockey basks after claiming its first IAAM A Conference championship last November. The Blazers are No. 1 in VSN’s Preseason Top 20 for 2018.
by Nelson Coffin
You don’t get much better than perfect and that’s what Notre Dame Prep field hockey did in 2017.
With reigning VSN Coach of the Year Katrina Ross and Player of the Year Nathalie Friedman returning, as well as a host of other top talent, the IAAM A Conference champion Blazers (18-0 last year) are the easy choice to open the 2018 season as No. 1 in the VSN Field Hockey Preseason Top 20.
The IAAM A and Anne Arundel County took exclusive hold of the top five with NDP’s league rivals Garrison Forest (No. 3) and Archbishop Spalding (No. 5) reaching the elite group, along with Chesapeake-Anne Arundel comes (No. 2) and Severna Park (No. 4).
Here is the entire 2018 VSN Field Hockey Preseason Top 20:
VSN FIELD HOCKEY PRESEASON TOP 20 POLL
1. NOTRE DAME PREP BLAZERS
2017 Final VSN Top 20 rank: #1
Coach: Katrina Ross
2017 record: 18-0
Players to watch: Nathalie Friedman, Sr., midfield; Rachel Borzymowski, Sr., midfield; Olivia Kenny, Sr., defense; Pyper Friedman, So., defense
Long hit: With VSN Player of the Year Nathalie Friedman leading the way, Blazers favored to repeat in highly competitive IAAM A Conference.
2. CHESAPEAKE-ANNE ARUNDEL COUGARS
2017 Final VSN Top 20 rank: #3
Coach: Joan Johnson
2017 record: 16-3
Players to watch: Rachel Fleig, Sr., forward; Leah Evans, Sr., defense; Eve Vickery, Jr., goal; Eryn Beal, Sr., gidfield
Long hit: Three-peat opportunity in Class 3A for Cougars.
3. GARRISON FOREST SCHOOL GRIZZLIES
2017 Final VSN Top 20 rank: #4
Coach: Traci Davis
2017 record: 15-4
Players to watch: Leigh Jones, Sr., midfield; Macy Miller, Jr., forward
Long hit: IAAM A runner-up Grizzlies have another strong squad ready to challenge for top prize.
4. SEVERNA PARK FALCONS
2017 Final VSN Top 20 rank: #2
Coach: Shannon Garden
2017 record: 13-2
Players to watch: Lila Slattery, Jr., midfield; Delaney Ott, Sr., midfield
Long hit: Garden, a former Archbishop Spalding assistant, looks to steer Falcons back to state title after tumultuous postseason exit in 2017.
5. ARCHBISHOP SPALDING CAVALIERS
2017 Final VSN Top 20 rank: #11
Coach: Leslee Brady
2017 record: 11-6-1
Players to watch: Margot Lawn, Sr., forward; Olivia Malamphy, Sr., midfield
Long hit: Under-17 U.S. team member and University of Louisville-bound Lawn brings plenty of firepower for Cavaliers in quest to regain IAAM A crown.
6. SOUTH RIVER SEAHAWKS
2017 Final VSN Top 20 rank: #6
Coach: Megan Atkinson
2017 record: 12-8
Players to watch: McKenzie Jamison, Sr., midfield; Darcy Clement, Sr., forward/midfield
Long hit: Seahawks out to prove last season’s 4A state title run was no accident.
7. C. MILTON WRIGHT MUSTANGS
2017 Final VSN Top 2o rank: #5
Coach: Kelly Mattingly
2017 record: 17-2
Players to watch: Samantha Aljets, Sr., forward; Georgia Beachley, Sr., midfield; Taylor Marchetti, Sr., midfield
Long hit: Class 3A state finalist still most dangerous squad in UCBAC.
8. GLENELG GLADIATORS
2017 Final VSN Top 20 rank: #8
Coach: Nicole Trunzo
2017 record: 10-4
Players to watch: Tess Muneses, Sr., forward; Jenny Giampalmo; Sr., midfield; Kathryn Hoffman, Jr., midfield
Long hit: Class 2A state champs have top three scorers back for title defense.
9. DULANEY LIONS
2017 Final VSN Top 20 rank: #7
Coach: Kellie Fialcowitz
2017 record: 18-2
Players to watch: Zoe Hermann, Sr., forward; Sidney Snyder, Jr., midfield; Allie Mercer, So., oal
Long hit: Lions must replacing top scorers in quest for another Baltimore County crown.
10. BROADNECK BRUINS
2017 Final VSN Top 20 rank: #9
Coach: Jen Plack
2017 record: 8-4-1
Players to watch: Teresa Pelli, Sr., midfield; Megan Munley, Sr., forward; Sophia Hartman, Sr., defense
Long hit: Bruins out for redemption after an early postseason exit last fall.
11. HEREFORD BULLS
2017 Final VSN Top 20 rank: #13
Coach: Caitlin Duvall
2017 record: 10-8
Players to watch: Mackenzie McKillop, Sr., midfield; Sydney Lippe, Sr., goal; Chloe Parker, Jr., forward
Long hit: Bulls ready to regain its place atop Baltimore County and Class 2A.
12. MCDONOGH SCHOOL EAGLES
2017 Final VSN Top 20 rank: #14
Coach: Denise Wolf
2017 record: 11-6-1
Players to watch: Emma Sheetig, Sr., midfield; Blake Cunneen, Jr., forward
Long hit: Healthy Eagles out to claim second IAAM A title in three seasons.
13. RIVER HILL HAWKS
2017 Final VSN Top 20 rank: #13
Coach: Shelly Chamness
2017 record: 17-1-2
Players to watch: Caroline Kral, Sr., goal; Quinn Kindbom, Jr., midfield
Long hit: Hawks have the talent to make a big impression on Howard County foes.
14. WESTMINSTER OWLS
2017 Final VSN Top 20 rank: #10
Coach: Katie Corson
2017 record: 13-3
fPlayers to watch: Arianna Babylon, Sr., midfield; Haleigh Moore, Sr., forward, Veronica Maring. Sr., forward
Long hit: Owls get early nod in tight Carroll County title race.
15. ST. PAUL’S SCHOOL GATORS
2017 Final VSN Top 20 rank: #18
Coach: Ann McKenzie
2017 record: 11-2
Players to watch: Leighton Eber, Sr., midfield; Caroline Pearce, Sr., forward, Carson Stephenson, Sr., goal
Long hit: Eight returning starters boost Gators’ chances to make impact in newly-configured A Conference this fall.
16. LIBERTY LIONS
2017 Final VSN Top 20 rank: #15
Coach: Brenda Strohmer
2017 record: 14-3
Player to watch: Grace Fenner, Sr., Goal
Throw in: The Lions, with a sparkling 29-6 mark over last two seasons, are on the rise.
17. MARYVALE PREP LIONS
2017 Final VSN Top 2o rank: Not ranked
Coach: Shannon Radebaugh
2017 record: 12-7
Players to watch: Emma Radebaugh, So., midfield; Tess Keppel, Sr., midfield
Long hit: Lions will have a stern test with move to IAAM A.
18. MOUNT HEBRON VIKINGS
2017 Final VSN Top 20 rank: Not ranked
Coach: Jeannette Ireland
2017 Record: 11-6
Players to watch: Esha Shah, Jr., midfield/forward; Ellie Miller, Sr., midfield/forward
Long hit: Young front line poised to be even better in 2018 for Vikings.
19. MARRIOTTS RIDGE MUSTANGS
2017 Final VSN Top 20 rank: #16
Coach: Stacie Gado
2017 record: 10-5-2
Players to watch: Michaela Hartigan, Sr., midfield; Lauren McAuley, Sr., forward; Elle Clevenger, Jr., midfield
Long hit: Mustangs have talented returnees on offense, but hoping defense will mature for title run in Howard County.
20. FALLSTON COUGARS
2017 Final VSN Top 20 rank: #20
Coach: Caitlin Walker
2017 record: 9-6
Players to watch: Megan Dudick, Jr., goal; Olivia Reed, Jr., midfield
Long hit: Class 1A North Region champ Cougars’ youth gives big boost to contending for UCBAC Chesapeake title.