The start of the field hockey season includes scrimmages, regular season matches and a plethora of tournaments this weekend, including Westfield’s Bulldog Invitational, Lake Braddock’s Blast ALS tournament and Marriotts Ridge’s Stick it to Cancer tournament.
Westfield opened with wins vs. Oakton and Centreville, extending its winning streak to 26 dating from last season. Good Counsel begins with tough matchups vs. Episcopal and Garrison Forest, while St. John’s starts its season against St. Stephen’s/St. Agnes.
1. Westfield (last season’s record: 24-0) Last ranked: 1
Starr Karl retired in December after a decorated coaching career. The Bulldogs return most of their stout defense, which only conceded one goal from Sept. 25 until their Virginia Class 6 state championship. Midfielder Casey Cho and forwards Kylie Weatherholtz and Katie Liskey also return.
2. Chesapeake (15-4) LR: 3
With all-county goalkeeper Eve Vickery and All-Met wing Rachel Fleig leading the way, the Maryland Class 3A defending champions look to capture the program’s third title.
3. St. John’s (15-1) LR: 2
After graduating 12 seniors, St. John’s will look to Clara Morrison and Ellen Palmiere, Washington Catholic Athletic Conference first-team and second-team offense selections respectively, to guide it toward its fourth consecutive WCAC championship.
4. Good Counsel (12-4) LR: 9
The Falcons will look to avenge their WCAC championship loss to St. John’s behind the leadership of seniors Kayla Rieu, Sydney Sweeney and Sophia Kurnot. They’ll have their first opportunity for revenge Nov. 10.
5. St. Stephen’s/St. Agnes (16-5) LR: 4
The Saints have 13 returning seniors, the largest class Dionna Jordan has had come back as coach.
6. South River (13-6) LR: 5
After winning back-to-back Maryland 4A championships, the Seahawks will go for the three-peat led by All-Met midfielder Darcy Clement and All-Met honorable mention defender McKenzie Jamison.
7. W.T. Woodson (15-6) LR: 7
The Cavaliers won their first regional championship in 10 years but came up short in the Virginia Class 6 state semifinal against eventual champion Westfield. They’ll look to break through to the state final with the help of first-team all-region defender Emma Hartzler and first-team all-district midfielder Bella Hite.
8. Glenelg (12-4) LR: 6
Last season, the Gladiators returned only four starters. This season, they’ll return 15 seniors to defend their Maryland 2A state title.
9. Spalding (10-6-1) LR: 8
Forward Margot Lawn, who paced the team last season with 19 goals, will need to carry the offensive load after the team graduated eight seniors, including all-county forward Jenna Garden.
10. Churchill (13-1) LR: NR
South River halted the Bulldogs’ undefeated season last year in the Maryland 4A semifinals, but leading goal scorer Alex Sperling is back, and the squad expects big contributions from midfielders Lucia Alem and Taylor Slaughter and defender Setare Aliakbar.
On the bubble: Severna Park, Marriotts Ridge, Broadneck