Bishop Ireton enters the season ranked No. 1. (Photo by Doug Kapustin/For The Washington Post)

A season ago, Glenelg Country School moved up to the Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland’s A Conference to compete with many of the top private school programs in the state.

“No one probably thought,” Coach Brian Reese said, “we’d be in the top half of the conference.”

But the Dragons finished tied for third in the 2017 regular season before losing to perennial national power McDonogh in the league tournament semifinals. Already with a standout win to start this campaign, Glenelg Country aims for similar success.

The Dragons earned a 10-9 victory over Notre Dame Prep — U.S. Lacrosse Magazine had the team ranked No. 5 in its preseason standings — last week, overcoming a 5-0 deficit and then scoring the game-winner while playing shorthanded.

While Reese lamented the effort against Notre Dame Prep wasn’t the Dragons’ best, he was pleased with his players’ grit. Glenelg Country has 13 players at least verbally committed to play Division I college lacrosse, including five to Maryland, where his wife, Cathy, heads the defending NCAA national champion program.

“Was a really great example of our toughness, our never-say-die attitude,” Reese said. “Just kind of believing in each other and digging out one goal at a time.”

Glenelg Country’s early-season upset exemplifies the competitiveness across the region to start the year. Bishop Ireton, Glenelg, Marriotts Ridge, St. Stephen’s St. Agnes and Good Counsel were all slotted in the U.S. Lacrosse Magazine preseason national rankings, while other schools around the area are capable of threatening their spots at the top of the regional standings.

Here are the first rankings of the 2018 girls’ lacrosse season.

Note: All records are from last season.

1. Bishop Ireton (19-5) Last year’s final ranking: 2

The Cardinals are last year’s Washington Catholic Athletic Conference and Virginia Independent Schools Athletic Association champions.

2. Glenelg (20-0) LR: 1

The two-time defending Maryland 3A/2A winners are again one of the top teams in Howard County.

3. Marriotts Ridge (12-4) LR: 4

The Mustangs, after falling to Glenelg in last year’s Maryland 3A/2A South region final, start their season Friday against Howard.

4. St. Stephen’s/St. Agnes (27-2) LR: 3

The Saints, who graduated 2017 All-Met Player of the Year Zoe Belodeau, will open the regular season Tuesday against Northview.

5. Glenelg Country (15-5) LR: 8

The Dragons will look to junior midfielder Shay Ahearn as an anchor on offense and defense.

6. Good Counsel (14-6) LR: 6

The Falcons, who lost their season opener, 10-9, to Notre Dame Prep, have 13 seniors signed to play lacrosse in college.

7. Georgetown Visitation (12-6) LR: 7

The Independent School League AA runner-up a year ago is again a threat to St. Stephen’s/St. Agnes’ league supremacy.

8. Holton-Arms (11-8) LR: NR

The Panthers have highlight wins over Severna Park and W.T. Woodson in their 4-0 start.

9. Severna Park (17-3) LR: 5

Junior midfielder Alex Miller, a first-team All-Met selection as a sophomore, will hope to lead the Falcons back to the Maryland 4A/3A state final.

10. Langley (21-1) LR: 10

The Saxons have opened the season with 18 goals a game in wins over Stone Bridge and Robinson.

Bubble: Herndon (4-7), Riverside (19-1), South River (10-6)