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Chopticon

Head coach: Christine White (first season)

Last year: 2-11, 2-10 (11th in SMAC)

Athletes to watch: A Jodie Buddenbohn (Jr., All-County)

Key personnel losses: M Morgan Ostrowski (All-County), M Kirstin Norris (All-County)

Strengths: White pointed to the team’s athletic prowess as a strength heading into this year. White also mentioned that the team’s excited attitude about the new season will bode well for the Braves.

Weaknesses: White admitted that there are no major concerns or weaknesses thus far.

Coach’s comments: “This is an exciting new season for the Chopticon Lady Braves. The program has four new coaches, who are very excited about what is ahead for the team. Our team goal is to work hard each and every game and to expect great things.”

Key games: April 2 at Leonardtown, April 5 at Great Mills, April 16 at Patuxent

JAMES A. McCRAY III

Great Mills

Head coach: Pam Hageman (sixth season)

Last year: 8-5, 8-4 (tied for fourth in SMAC with Calvert and Northern)

Athletes to watch: A Allison Hollingsworth (Sr., All-SMAC, All-County), G Ashley Dennis (Sr., All-County), M Rachel Neville (So.), M Malarie O’Brien (Sr.), D Megan Brown (Sr.)

Key personnel losses: D Sydney Schaeffer (All-SMAC, All-County), M Samantha Sparr (All-SMAC, All-County), M/U Leah Neville (All-County), D Ashia Joseph (All-County)

Strengths: Team chemistry reflects a cohesive energy that is a cornerstone of this year’s team. The team has worked hard in practices and has bonded quickly as a unit. They have a strong work ethic that the coaching staff expects to see translated into positive results on the field. Hollingsworth returns for her senior year after scoring 21 goals just a year ago.

Weaknesses: After graduating 10 seniors and with the return of only a few experienced varsity starters, the Hornets have a lot to cover in a short period of time. The loss of Sparr, who was the 2012 team captain and MVP, will hit the midfield hard.

Coach’s comments: “We have a young and talented team. We look to play with intensity and be competitive in every game while improving our fundamental stick skills and strategic field awareness.”

Key games: March 22 at Patuxent, April 22 vs. Calvert, April 26 at Norther, May 6 vs. Huntingtown

TAMMY SHOWALTER

Leonardtown

Head coach: Ken Mcllhenny (sixth season, All-SMAC COY, All-County COY)

Last year: 14-3, 12-0 (SMAC champion)

Athletes to watch: D Maggie Nantz (Sr., All-SMAC, All-County), M Abby Finkelston (Jr., All-SMAC, All-County), D Blake Autry (Sr., All-County), D Rebecca Cox, D Callie Flowers

Key personnel losses: M Kate Finkelston (All-SMAC MOP, All-County AOY, All-American), D Sydney Dishman (All-SMAC, All-County), A Loren Day (All-SMAC, All-County), A Reese Gassie (All-SMAC, All-County), G Madison Carroll (All-SMAC, All-County), A Laci Bowes, A Rachel Ferrara

Strengths: The Raiders enter the 2013 campaign with the traditional bull’s-eye on their backs, but they are still riding high after making it to the Class 4A-3A East Region championship game a season ago.

Nantz finished the season with 29 goals, while Abby Finkelston finished with 23 goals and 50 draw controls. Mcllhenny said the team has a strong core that will enable them to continue to grow as a team.

Weaknesses: Mcllhenny did not report any weaknesses, but the Raiders did lose some major components to their four years of consecutive SMAC titles.

Kate Finkelston, Gassie and Day were all four-year varsity players for Mcllhenny and compiled a 44-0 record in that time. Those kinds of numbers are hard to duplicate. The Raiders also lost Carroll, who, in her first year as a varsity goalie, finished with 52 saves and a 65 percent save ratio.

Coach’s comments: “We should have a strong season in SMAC and perform well in the state tournament.”

Key games: April 19 vs. Huntingtown, April 25 at Northern, April 26 vs. Patuxent

TAMMY SHOWALTER

St. Mary’s Ryken

Head coach: Matt Evans-Riester (second season)

Last year: 6-10, 3-5 (seventh in WCAC)

Athletes to watch: A Jackie Boone (Sr.), M Julia Rowse (Sr., All-County), M Lindsay Cimini (Jr., All-County), A Carlee Joseph (Jr.), M Chrissy Boone (Jr.), M Katie Pappas (So.), A Isabella Evans-Riester (Fr.)

Key personnel losses: None

Strengths: Evans-Riester stated that the team continues to grow together as just that, a team. He believes the unity amongst the team will turn out positive results. On the field, he also mentioned that his team is fast and explosive. Lastly, he stated that there are several leaders on the team, which should also bode well for the season.

Weaknesses: The coach said that, early on, the defense has been an aspect that he has kept his eye on but states that the team has been working hard in practice on that very thing. This will remain a concern, he said, because most of the defense will graduate upon completion of this season.

Coach’s comments: “This is my second year as head coach and I feel that I am better prepared. ... My overall expectation for this season is for our team to be very competitive. I expect that we are going to surprise many of the teams we played against last year. I believe that we have a very good team overall.”

Key games: March 19 vs. Holy Cross, March 22 vs. Good Counsel

JAMES A. McCRAY III