Welcome to Varsity Sports Network’s 2010 preseason Top 20 girls soccer poll. VSN ranks the top teams in the Baltimore region which covers public and private schools in Anne Arundel County, Baltimore City, Baltimore County, Carroll County, Cecil County, Harford County and Howard County.
1. Archbishop Spalding (20-0-1 last season)
Player to watch: Maggie Morrison, Sr., Forward
Quick score: The two-time defending IAAM A Conference champions return starters Dani Beard, Jocelyn McCoy, Michelle Boivin, Annie Hogan and Gracyn Bryant along with All-Metro selection Maggie Morrison. The Cavaliers are ranked No. 4 in the nation by ESPN Rise.
2. McDonogh (13-2)
Player to watch: Ashley Spivey, Jr., Forward
Quick score: Spivey is one of the most talented players in the Metro area and will be the focal point of most defenses. Her teammates must step up and keep defenses honest.
3. Mercy (12-5-3)
Player to watch: Alexis Prior-Brown, Jr., Forward
Quick score: Doug Pryor takes over as head coach of the Magic, who fell just short in a 2-0 loss to Spalding in last year’s A Conference title game. Mercy has a lot of firepower returning and will look to make another run in the conference. Lexi Neidoba, Alexandra Pryor, Sara Dorrance, Aubrey Witzelberger and Rachel Bourne will play key roles.
4. South River (15-3)
Player to watch: Anna D’Ambra, Jr., Forward
Quick score: The Seahawks reached the Class 4A state semifinals a year ago and return eight starters. There are high expectations in Edgewater and with players like Tara Kavanuagh, Nicole Greig, Jen La Barge, Kari Cunard and Caitlin Byrnes, it’s not hard to see why.
5. Reservior (15-3-1)
Player to watch: Katlyn Axenfeld, Sr., Midfielder
Quick score: The defending Howard County champions made a run deep into the postseason, won the Class 3A East regional crown and reached the Class 3A state title game. With six returning starters, including Axenfeld, Megan Armstrong, Katherine Tuttle, Breanna Marsh, Michelle Viegas, Megan Fowler, the Gators look to be the early favorite in the county.
6. Severna Park (13-4)
Player to watch: Gaby Moreno, Jr., Midfielder
Quick score: The reigning Anne Arundel County champions return a strong nucleus that includes Moreno, goal keeper Lexi Cavey and Marisa Kresge. Competition with South River and Arundel will not make it easy for the Eagles repeat as County champs.
7. Winters Mill (12-4-1)
Player to watch: Madison Cyr, Jr., Forward
Quick score: The Falcons claimed the Class 2A West regional championship but fell 2-1 to Fallston in the state finals. Carroll County Player of the Year and All-Metro junior striker Madison Cyr leads the Falcons who return eight of 11 starts from a year ago. Other returners include: Erin McMunn, Erica Diffendal, Carolyn Smith, Felice Artuso, Jenna Utz, Jenny Bowersox, Meghan Strugil.
8. C. Milton Wright (11-5-1)
Player to watch: Kellie McKinney, Sr., Forward
Quick score: The buzz in the UCBAC is that C. Milton Wright might be the cream-of-the-crop this Fall. Last season, the Mustangs won the UCBAC championship but fell short in the Class 3A North Regional semifinals to Hereford. Senior captains McKinney, Amy Marks and Megan Will are looking to power C. Milton Wright further into the post season.
9. Fallston (14-6)
Player to watch: Sydney Blomquist, Sr., Midfielder
Quick score: After knocking home the winning penalty kick to push the Cougars to the Class 2A state title over Winters Mill last year, Blomquist and Fallston are looking to repeat as State champs.
10. John Carroll (12-6-2)
Player to watch: Gina Maiorana, Jr., Goalkeeper
Quick score: The Patriots lost five senior starters and are without four more starters due to injury. Coach Lynch believes his team will be more competitive as the season wears on. Veterans Maiorana, Morgan Fraczkowski, Nicole Wojcik and Leah Pace will play a big role in John Carroll’s success.
11. Loch Raven (15-4)
Player to watch: Kara Kleinhammer, Sr., Attacker
Quick score: Led by Kleinhammer, a All-Baltimore County performer who led the team in scoring with 16 goals, the Raiders look to make a strong title defense. Carly Cannon, Samantha Eckels, Samantha Knapp, Michaela Bird and Christine Moyer return from the Class 1A state championship team of a year ago.
12. Arundel (14-4)
Player to watch: Carly Keer, Jr., Midfielder
Quick score: Coach Laura Coe will be without All-Anne Arundel County performer Sarah Bonney who recently tore her ACL and will count on seniors Alice LeCompte and Lexa Stevenson to lead the team. Juniors Keer, Kate Buehner and Shauna Lancey will also be counted on for the Wildcats, who made it to the Class 4A East Regional title game in 2009.
13. Notre Dame Prep (13-2)
Player to watch: Jade Petrucci, Jr., Midfielder
Quick score: The Blazers lost 10 seniors from a year ago but still look to hold their own in the tough IAAM A Conference.
14. Hereford (14-3-1)
Player to watch: Megan Bell, Sr., Midfielder
Quick score: Hereford won the Class 3A North Regional title last season with a 3-2 double overtime win over Catonsville and reached the 3A state semifinals. Outside of the five senior starters returning, the Bulls will be very young and success will depend on how quickly the younger players mature. Those seniors are Anna Curreri, Brittani Ganco, Kristina Huggins and Kelsey Mattola. Sophomore Abby Noble will also be a big contributor.
< p>15. Harford Tech (13-2)
Player to watch: Brittney Lozzi, Sr., Goalkeeper
Quick score: Coach Matt Berg feels that he may have the deepest team he has with the Cobras, who were a Class 1A state finalist a season ago. Eight starters return including Taylor Melton, Raven Stokeling, Jessica Raab, Erica Coley, Cathy Johnson, Kayla Watson and Desirae Diamond, who are all seniors.
16. Eastern Tech (13-2)
Player to watch: Jamie Richardson, Sr., Midfielder
Quick score: The Mavericks are seeking fourth consecutive trip to state Final Four.
17. River Hill (12-4-1)
Player to watch: Anna Theisen, Sr., Forward
Quick score: Coach Brian Song has a good mix of veteran and young talent. Seniors Kellie Song, Taylor Nowaski, Stephanie Norman and Tope Olujobi, along with Theisen, will need to help bring along the three sophomores and four freshman that should see minutes on the field for the Hawks. Katie Marlatt will also be counted on.
18. Catonsville (12-6-2)
Player to watch: Lisa Meyd, Sr., Defender
Quick score: The Comets beat Hereford 2-1 to win last year’s Baltimore County championship. Catonsville lost All-Metro Player of the Year Peyton Johnson to graduation. But never count the Comets out in the race for the best team in Baltimore County.
19. Glenelg (13-4-1)
Player to watch: Danielle Burris, Jr., Midfielder
Quick score: Lost five All-Howard County performers from a year ago including arguably the top player in the county Kristen Schmidbauer but return experienced players in seniors Liz Ebeling, Catherine Cottrell and Rachel McCarriher. Burris and junior classmate Brooke Carey, goal keeper will play major roles for the Gladiators.
20. Centennial (8-4-3)
Player to watch: Erica Albornoz, Sr., Goalkeeper
Quick score: Centennial graduated 11 seniors last year, seven full-time starters and two part-time starters. Jordan Coburn, Taylor Bourg, Caroline Baker, Lauren Strayhorn, Bethany Lucas and Simon Jackson are key for the Eagles. Junior Nicole Mize is returning from a torn ACL and meniscus and may be a factor later in the season.