Some teams become synonamous with excellence in a given sport. Mention Elizabeth Seton and local girls soccer afficionados immediately recognize it as the area standard for success.
Seton finished 11-2-1 last season, its worst record in the team's six-year history. Until Holy Cross upended the Roadrunners last October, 2-1, they had never lost a game.
A beneficiary of top-notch Bowie youth soccer feeder programs, Seton may not be as physically tough on defense as last season, but should make up any loss in muscle with increased speed and versatility.
Seton's top players are Kerry Breslin (fullback/halfback), Erin Colgan (fullback), Kristin Ickrath (halfback), Mary Jacobs (fullback), Bridget McGowan (fullback), Jill McLaughlin (utility) and goalies Debbie Belus and Michelle Springer.
This will be a rebuilding year for Holy Cross (7-2). The good news is that Coach Sandy Young has four freshmen who played on the Maryland state select team; the bad news is that the seasoning porcess could be painful this year as those talented freshmen and other undeclassmen learn the high school ropes.
Senior Kristian Finn, Cindy Herkle and Dana Harveywill provide the necessary stability, but the play of underclassmen Sharon Fegan, Lisa Marcinko, Ann Jacusczak and freshman Katie Torpey will be pivotal to the Tartans' title hopes.
Regina (0-10) should be better as Coach Dick Goetzinger regroups around talented returness like four-year starter Loretta Capitello (halfback), Julie Schell (outside wing), Katherine Lamon (outside wing), Anne Dempsey (center forward), and Kelly Ballenger (halfback). If the Raccoons can find more underclassmen help like freshman goalie Joanne Best, they will quickly improve. Getting better doeesn't necessarily mean contending for the title or even a winning season, but the Raccoons should win two or three games.
Sue Dredger resigned as LaReine's (4-6) coach earlier this summer, and the Royals have not found a replacement despite a stong nucleus led by four-year captain Paula Steinhilber at wing and last year's most valuable player Mary Kay Eskew, at centerhalfback.
Holy Names (6-5), likewise, returns a promising group of experienced performers in CIndy Deffinbaugh (forward), Liz Doyle (wing), Susie Steffes (goalie), and Lourdes Ramos (center halfback). Depth could be the biggest problem.