McDonogh earns the No. 1 slot in the 2019 VSN Boys Soccer Preseason Top 20, but plenty of contenders are on their heels


Pictured above: McDonogh, with Richie Nichols, Kyle Brown, Matthew Owusu and Mason Christian, will try for an unprecedented third consecutive MIAA A Conference championship in 2019. The Eagles are No. 1 in VSN’s Boys Soccer Preseason Top 20 poll.

by Nelson Coffin

While defending MIAA A Conference champion McDonogh School, which finished atop the final 2018 VSN Boys Soccer Top 20, also heads the 2019 list of elite prep squads in the Baltimore metropolitan area, the Eagles will find plenty of competition awaiting them in conference play this season.

That’s because the A Conference boasts at least five other serious contenders — No. 3 Calvert Hall College, No. 4 Gilman School, No. 5 Mount St. Joseph, No. 7 Loyola Blakefield and No. 8 Archbishop Curley — to challenge the Eagles.

Second-ranked River Hill, No. 6 C. Milton Wright, ninth-ranked Eastern Technical and No. 10 Towson were the only non-MIAA teams to crack The top 10 in this year’s rankings, but they should contend for state titles in their respective classifications.

Here is the complete 2019 VSN Boys Soccer Preseason Top 20:

2019 VSN BOYS’ SOCCER PRESEASON TOP 20

1. MCDONOGH SCHOOL EAGLES

Final 2018 VSN Top 20 rank: #1

2018 record: 13-4-1

Coach: Brandon Quaranta

Players to watch: Mason Christian, Sr., Forward; Richie Nichols, Jr., Midfield

Throw in: Going wire-to-wire as VSN’s top squad has become a habit for the Eagles, who are hoping to notch an 11th MIAA A Conference crown this fall.

2. RIVER HILL HAWKS

Final 2018 VSN Top 20 rank: #4

2018 record: 16-1-1

Coach: Matt Shagogue

Players to watch: Jonah Stoutenborough, Jr., Forward, Alex Krause, Sr., Forward

Throw in: With plenty of up-top pop in Stoutenborough and Krause, the Howard County powerhouse should be in the hunt for the elite program’s 10th state crown.

3. CALVERT HALL COLLEGE CARDINALS

Final 2018 VSN Top 20 rank: #13

2018 record: 10-9

Coach: Rich Zinkand

Players to watch: Ben Bender, Sr., Midfield; Sean Barwick, Sr., Forward

Throw in: Things beginning to come together for the Cardinals, who are seeking first A Conference banner since 2016.

4. GILMAN SCHOOL GREYHOUNDS

Final 2018 VSN Top 20 rank: #5

2018 record: 14-6-2

Coach: Jon Seal

Players to watch: Jack Stutzin, Sr., Forward; Grant Farley, Jr., Goalie

Throw in: Greyhounds nipping at the heels of top MIAA A Conference rivals.

5. MOUNT ST. JOSEPH GAELS

Final 2018 VSN Top 20 rank: #19

2019 Record: 7-9-1

Coach: Mike St. Martin

Players to Watch: Tyquan Stroud, Jr., Forward; Van Danielson, Jr., Midfield, Dmitri Jordan, Sr., Defense

Throw in: Bounce-back year Gaels’ goal in 2019 after rare losing mark in 2018.

6. C. MILTON WRIGHT MUSTANGS

Final 2018 VSN Top 20 rank: #3

2018 record: 15-2

Coach: Brian Tully

Players to watch: Nick Dunstan-Maiese, Sr., Defense; Ryan Lindsey., Sr., Defense

Throw in: Two-time defending Class 3A state champs’ strong back-line should keep them in contention for another crown.

7. LOYOLA BLAKEFIELD DONS

Final 2017 VSN Top 20 rank: #2

2018 record: 18-1

Coach: Lee Tschantret

Player to watch: Chase Llewellyn, Sr., Midfield

Throw in: Losing 16 seniors will challenge Dons this season after missing perfect campaign last season in penalty kick loss in MIAA A final.

8. ARCHBISHOP CURLEY FRIARS

Final 2018 VSN Top 20 rank: #6

2018 record: 11-8-1

Coach: Barry Stitz

Players to watch: Dylan Sloan, Sr., Midfield; Tyler Harry, Sr., Midfield; Kenny Clapp, Sr., Midfield

Throw in: After missing the league finals for the first time in three years, Friars look for a return to prominence in ultra-competitive MIAA A Conference.

9. EASTERN TECH MAVERICKS

Final 2018 VSN Top 20 rank: #8

2018 record: 11-2-1

Coach: Peter Glaudemans

Players to watch: Arsalan Ahmad, Sr., Midfield; Matthew Davis, Sr., Midfield

Throw in: Two-time defending Baltimore County champs hope to make waves in state playoffs again.

10. TOWSON GENERALS

Final 2018 VSN Top 20 rank: #9

2018 Record: 11-2-2

Coach: Randy Dase

Players to watch: Nick Lewis, Jr., Midfield; Caeden Fong, Jr., Goal

Throw in: Youth movement keeps Generals near the top in Baltimore County chase.

11. PATTERSON MILL HUSKIES

Final 2018 VSN Top 20 rank: #10

2018 record: 14-3

Coach: Wes Rich

Players to watch: Michal Gradus, Sr., Forward; Eric Neutzling, Sr., Midfield

Throw in: Huskies eyeing Class 1A state title repeat.

12. MOUNT HEBRON VIKINGS

Final 2018 VSN Top 20 rank: #12

2018 Record: 11-3-1

Coach: Michael Linsenmeyer

Players to watch: Justin Cargiulo, Sr., Goal; Jimmy Linsenmeyer, Soph., Midfield

Throw in: Vikings hope to get over the hump against River Hill in Howard County.

13. ARUNDEL WILDCATS

Final 2018 VSN Top 20 rank: #15

2018 record: 10-5-3

Coach: Mike McCarron

Players to Watch: Spencer Hanks, Sr., Forward; Nico Espartero, Sr., Midfield; Mike Magorko, Jr. Midfield

Throw in: With only five seniors departing from last year’s club, the Wildcats’ strong midfield should make them a major force in Anne Arundel County.

14. BROADNECK BRUINS

Final 2018 VSN Top 20 rank: #7

2018 record: 16-3

Coach: Sean Tettemer

Players to watch: Reilly Joyce, Sr., Defense; Kyle Waggoner, Sr., Forward

Throw in: Last year’s setback in 4A state semifinal should motivate Bruins to loftier heights this fall.

15. HEREFORD BULLS

Final 2018 VSN Top 20 rank: #11

2018 record: 13-5

Coach: Adam Mizell

Players to watch: Niko Hillary, Sr., Forward, Will Frasier, Center Midfielder, Logan Kauffman, Center Midfielder

Throw in: Bulls look to challenge in Baltimore County and make another deep postseason run.

16. BEL AIR BOBCATS

Final 2018 VSN Top 20 rank: #18

2018 record: 11-5-1

Coach: Dominic Rose

Players to watch: Emre Sipos, Sr., Midfield; Nick Feinour, Sr., Defense

Throw in: Bobcats will again contend in rugged UCBAC Chesapeake.

17. MANCHESTER VALLEY MAVERICKS

Final 2018 VSN Top 20 rank: Not ranked

2018 record: 11-3

Coach: Andrew Harrell

Player to watch: Joey Hamm, Sr., Goal

Throw in: Graduation of top three defenders will make the talented Hamm all the important to Mavs’ fortunes this fall.

17. FRIENDS SCHOOL QUAKERS

Final 2018 VSN Top 20 rank: Not ranked

2018 record: 12-5-2

Coach: Phil Greatwich

Players to watch: Christian Barnes, Sr., Midfield; Ned Forbush, Jr., Defense

Throw in: Last year’s MIAA B Conference runner-ups ready to take next step in 2019.

19. WILDE LAKE WILDECATS

Final 2018 VSN Top 20 rank: #17

2018 record: 10-3-2

Coach: Trevor Shea

Players to watch: Gabrial Viteri, Sr., Goal; Ethan Shulgold, Sr., Midfield

Throw in: Despite losing to his dad, Don (Oakland Mills), in the 2A South Region playoffs last year, Wildecats look to contend again in Howard County.

20. BOYS’ LATIN SCHOOL LAKERS

Final 2018 VSN Top 20 rank:: #20

2018 record: 14-4-2

Coach: Aaron Urban-Zukerberg

Players to watch: Ben Smith, Jr., Forward; Hunter Hegmann, Jr., Midfield

Throw in: Move to A Conference will test the Lakers, who hope the talented Smith’s recovery from back woes is swift.