Honorable mention All-Met goalkeeper Daniel Williams, a junior, returns to a Lake Braddock team that dropped only three games last season, two to Virginia AAA runner-up Langley and another to state champion West Springfield. The Bruins had four starters graduate, and sophomore midfielder Will McGihon joins the team after moving from Colorado. . . .
Midfielders Jonathan Garcia and Zourab Tsiskaridze will not play their senior seasons at McLean, instead opting to pursue professional opportunities. Garcia was a second-team All-Met a year ago. The two combined for 10 goals last season for the Highlanders; senior David Sullivan and sophomore Torey Beiro will replace them in the lineup. . . .
_____Player to Watch_____Weiler's One to Watch
Weiler, a first-team All-Met defender last season, leads a corps of talented juniors at Lake Braddock, last year's AAA Patriot District champion. He anchors a defense that yielded only 10 goals during a run to the Northern Region semifinals last season. Lake Braddock Coach Joe Soos said Weiler is "very determined, extremely disciplined and has a tremendous will to win."
_____Boys Soccer Story Lines_____Spartans Face Change
Offseason changes at West Springfield could shake up the AAA Northern Region hierarchy. Andy Saffron will coach the defending state champion Spartans after eight seasons as an assistant. West Springfield had five starters graduate and four starters did not return for other reasons. Senior second-team All-Met goalkeeper Matt Tengs returns from last year's team, which finished 19-1-1.
Handley and Potomac Falls are contenders for the AA Region II title. Handley is eyeing its seventh regional crown in 11 seasons despite losing 15 players from last year's region championship team. Potomac Falls missed the region tournament last season, but second-team All-Met forward Phil Kowalick returns after scoring 26 goals a year ago.
George Mason hopes to win a Virginia A championship in an odd-numbered year. In the six-year history of the Group A state championship, the Mustangs have won the title three times -- 2000, 2002 and 2004. All-Bull Run District midfielder Josiah Larson is now the Mustangs' goalkeeper. Midfielder Antonio Randrianasolo, a member of Madagascar's under-14 national team, recently moved here and is expected to boost the offense.
_____Looking Back, Looking Forward_____Looking Back, Looking Forward
Last Season's Champions
Virginia AAA Boys: West Springfield
Virginia AAA Girls: W.T. Woodson
Virginia AA Boys: Charlottesville
Virginia AA Girls: Potomac Falls
Virginia A Boys: George Mason
Virginia A Girls: George Mason
AAA Northern Region Boys: West Springfield
AAA Northern Region Girls: W.T. Woodson
AAA Northwestern Region Boys: Massaponax
AAA Northwestern Region Girls: Gar-Field
AA Region II Boys: Handley
AA Region II Girls: Potomac Falls
A Region B Boys: Clarke County
A Region B Girls: George Mason
This Season's Key Dates
District finals (Northern Region): May 20
District finals (Other regions): May 27-28
Regional finals: June 3-4
State quarterfinals: June 7
State semifinals and finals: June 10-11
Langley junior forward Neil Barlow was recently named to the Super Y League Olympic Development Program's under-17 select team. At Langley this season, he will join Bill Collier, a senior transfer from St. Albans, under first-year coach Michael Elfman. . . .
Coach Randy May takes over at Stone Bridge after leading West Springfield to three AAA state titles in the past four seasons. Midfielders Daniel Wade and James Kiechlin are expected to lead a team that finished 5-6-3 in the AA Dulles District last year. . . .
Midfielder Brian Pate and forward Joey Lyonnais return to Massaponax, the defending AAA Northwestern Region champion. Pate, an honorable mention All-Met midfielder last year, will kick for William & Mary's football team next season. . . .
Jefferson returns eight starters from last year's AAA Concorde District championship team. Will Beckman, a 6-foot-4, 200-pound freshman sweeper, joins the Colonials. . . .
W.T. Woodson's Michael Lahoud, a second-team All-Met last season, returns to the defending AAA Liberty District champion. The Wake Forest-bound forward scored in the Cavaliers' season-opening win over Herndon.
-- Rich Campbell