High School Girls’ Lacrosse Preview: Breaking Down West Region Top 10

PHOTO FROM RYAN CASEY/CHSAANOW.COM


Colorado Academy hasn’t lost a game since 2017 and it doesn’t appear to be losing any footing as the Mustangs seek a sixth straight state title, but San Ramon Valley also brings back plenty of firepower from an undefeated 2019 team and will be among the other teams to watch.

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

1. Colorado Academy (Colo.)
Last season: 19-0

The Mustangs completed their second straight unbeaten season and wrapped up a fifth consecutive state title last year, and it doesn’t appear their reign in Colorado will end any time soon. They return 10 starters as they seek to add to a 48-game win streak and 74-game unbeaten streak against in-state competition. Returning players include senior attacker Ella Greene, junior midfielders Katharine Merrifield and Jessie Bakes, junior defender Maya Rutherford and senior goalie Ella Marks.

2. San Ramon Valley (Calif.)
Last season: 22-0

The Wolves finished off a perfect season with the North Coast Section Division I title, and now they reload to defend their first championship since 2006. West Region Player of the Year Tatum Geist (Georgetown) is back to lead the way after a solid season in which she posted 37 goals, 50 assists and a .721 draw percentage. Other top players include senior Catie Grace Carrington (San Diego State) and juniors Lauren Iorio (St. Joseph’s), Alannah Scott (UC Davis), Taylor Daetz and Chloe Morris.

3. St. Margaret’s (Calif.)
Last season: 16-4

The Tartans have holes to fill as they seek a third straight title after beating Palos Verdes (Calif.) in the CIF Southern Section championship last year. Senior Campbell Case (Johns Hopkins) is one of the players they will lean on to help carry the load as young players step up and find their roles.

4. Scripps Ranch (Calif.)
Last season: 19-2

The Falcons claimed the CIF San Diego Open Division title last year and are expected to be among California’s best again in 2020. They outscored opponents 383-114 and have weapons to keep that trend going. Senior defender Mara Zajac (Oregon) is among the top returners.

5. Cherry Creek (Colo.)
Last season: 17-2

The Bruins made it to their 22nd straight state final last year, but they will rely on a young core this season as they seek their first title since 2014. Six starters return, including midfielder Morgan Haws, attacker Amelia McCarthy and defender Lizzy Zerr, and Cherry Creek will be known for its speed and creativity.







6. Regis Jesuit (Colo.)
Last season: 14-4

The Raiders return eight starters from their state semifinalist squad that nearly upset Cherry Creek last year, and they should be back in the mix again in 2020. Four-year starter Bella Ames is back to lock down the defense. Regis continues to boast a dominant mid-line led by third-year starters Cate Lord and Grace Weigand.

7. Mercer Island (Wash.)
Last season: 17-0

The Islanders must replace three integral members of their backfield but return just about everyone else from their 2019 state championship lineup. That means the offense will lead the way early, as Mercer Island has plenty of capable scorers, such as juniors Annabelle Gersch, Emma Brodsky and Hannah Tiscornia and senior Chloe Anbarcioglu.

8. Amador Valley (Calif.)
Last season: 19-4

The Dons return at least eight starters from last year’s North Coast Section Division I runner-up team and are looking for more balance in their attack after Bella Mayo racked up 110 goals. They are led by a seven-player senior class consisting of Sophia Shiblaq, Alexis Bayani, Marley Diligent, Lily Manos, Kiki Sweeney, Catherine Murphy and Mady Sweeney.

9. La Jolla (Calif.)
Last season: 14-5

Nine starters are back for the 2019 CIF San Diego Open Division runner-up Vikings, including junior midfielder Stella Wineman (Ohio State), junior goalie Ari Conboy, attackers Terra Evans and Royce Epperson and sophomore defender Hailey Dommers. La Jolla should benefit from a cohesive unit as the schedule brings challenges from Texas and Ohio.

10. Jesuit (Ore.)
Last season: 16-5

The Crusaders remain the team to beat in Oregon after upsetting three-time defending champion Lake Oswego in the state final. Their title defense begins March 16 as Jesuit opens against Beaverton, but the big test against Lake Oswego is set for April 6.

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