High School Girls’ Lacrosse Preview: Breaking Down Mid-Atlantic Top 10

PHOTO BY JOHN STROHSACKER


An undefeated 2019 has McDonogh (Md.) at No. 1 to begin the 2020 season (both nationally and in the Mid-Atlantic region), but that’s not to say the Eagles are comfortably ahead. With so much talent in this region, anything could happen.

*US Lacrosse Magazine recently released its Nike/US Lacrosse High School Girls Preseason National Top 25. Check it out here.

1. McDonogh (Md.)
Last season: 21-0

McDonogh enters 2020 at the top spot after going undefeated last spring and winning the IAAM-A conference championship. The Eagles are led by a strong senior class that includes Kayla Abernathy, Ava Class, Izzy Marsh, Ella Little and Blake Cunneen, but they also have several underclassmen playmakers — most notably, sophomores Caroline Godine, Dakota Uy and Kori Edmondson. The Eagles play a strong out-of-conference schedule including games against Manhasset (N.Y.) and Bishop Ireton (Va.).

2. St. Stephen's & St. Agnes (Va.)
Last season: 25-2

Last season, the Saints captured their first Virginia Independent Schools Athletic Association championship since 2016, and they have a strong team returning. Junior midfielder Rita Peterson and senior defender Simone Holland lead the way.

3. Oak Knoll, (N.J.)
Last season: 24-2

The Royals made quite the statement at the end of last season, defeating rival Moorestown for their second Tournament of Champions title in program history. The Royals are primed for another big season in the Garden State, led by Keelin Schlageter.

4. Episcopal Academy (Pa.)
Last season: 18-1

The Churchmen aim to win their fourth straight Inter-Ac League championship behind another solid squad. Keep an eye out for sophomore Brooke Stocku in the midfield, as well as seniors Caroline Burt (Yale) and Jayne Morley (Harvard) and All-American midfielder Devon Whitaker, who is committed to Virginia.

5. Moorestown (N.J.)
Last season: 19-5

The New Jersey powerhouse looks to reclaim its status as the top team in the state after winning the NJSIAA Group 3 championship last year, only to fall to Oak Knoll in the Tournament of Champions final. The Quakers will have a ton of firepower this season, with key returners including Avery Jaffe (Maryland), junior Margaret Lawler and sophomore Katie Buck.







6. Ridgewood (N.J.)
Last season: 21-1

The Maroons fell to Moorestown in a Tournament of Champions semifinal last year and have to replace a star-studded senior class that included Mid-Atlantic Player of the Year Jackie Wolak. Second-year coach Crysti Ellen is pleased with the foundation laid last season and said the 2020 team will be just as gritty. The midfield unit of Keely Bennett, Sara Ellinghaus and Katie McCarthy should be solid, and Cailin Bracken will be a force at attack. Remy Riccardi, Allie Doyle and Clare McCooe lead the defense. Besides playing in-state rivals, Ridgewood also will battle against Hill Academy (Ont.), St. Anthony’s (N.Y.) and Darien (Conn.).

7. Bishop Ireton (Va.)
Last season: 17-6

The Cardinals aim for their fifth consecutive Washington Catholic Athletic Conference title this spring, and they are primed for a big year. Coach Rick Solfield returns a dynamic group. The senior class is loaded with star power, including Reilly Casey (North Carolina) on attack and Aubrey Williams (Virginia), Isabelle Thornburg (Navy) and Tess Moore (Virginia Tech) in the midfield. Junior Ashley Bowan (Penn State) is one of the top goalies in the region. The Cardinals play McDonogh (Md.), Notre Dame Prep (Md.), Milton (Ga.), Sacred Heart Academy (N.Y.), Brighton (N.Y.) and Bayport-Blue Point (N.Y.) to go along with the tough competition within the D.C.-Northern Virginia area.

8. Georgetown Visitation (D.C.)
Last season: 19-5

The Cubs finished last season on a sour note with a loss to St. Stephens & St. Agnes in the Independent School League final, but they are poised to make another run at a title. Notable returners include juniors Allison Baldwin and Molly Finlay and senior midfielder Morgan Pence, who will be a leader and a voice in the huddle.

9. Severna Park (Md.)
Last season: 19-1

The Falcons only lost one game in 2019, and coach Kaitlyn Hines was named Washington Post Coach of the Year, but the question is this: Can the Falcons carry over the momentum into this season? Severna Park has reloaded in pursuit of a 15th state title and will have tremendous talent on both sides of the ball. Seniors Camryn Chew (Loyola), Sophie Grazioli (Fairfield) and Julia Putzi (Butler) and junior midfielder Reagan Clark will help lead the way.

10. St. Paul’s School for Girls (Md.)
Last season: 13-10

The Gators’ 2019 postseason run to the IAAM-conference championship game should not be viewed as a fluke. They fell to McDonogh in the title game but should be contenders once again. The IAAM is extremely competitive, as always, and could shake out a number of different ways. Led by Esprit Cha and Paris Colgain, St. Paul’s has a slew of talent to make opposing teams do their homework. The Gators open the season against in-conference opponent John Carroll on March 16.

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