No. 2 Georgetown Prep won the IAC regular season title a year ago and returns a talented corps of seniors that includes do-everything midfielder Bobby Gribbin (Penn State) and defensemen Henry Williams (Notre Dame) and Jeff Hale (High Point).
Second-team All-Met attackman Connor Gallegos and honorable mention pick Nick Weeden, a midfielder, lead No. 3 Episcopal, which is off to a 6-0 start this season.
Gonzaga begins 2011 at No. 4 coming off its first WCAC title in more than a decade. The Eagles boast a potent offense highlighted by midfielders David Planning (Ohio State) and Connor Reed and attackmen Kyle Bruun (St. Joseph’s) and Sean Whitcomb. Whitcomb scored the game-winner in overtime in last season’s WCAC championship game. They already have six victories this season thanks to three wins at the Jesuit Lacrosse Classic in Houston last weekend.
A year after rallying past Georgetown Prep for the IAC tournament title, Landon begins the season ranked No. 5. Senior Patrick Keena, a 2010 All-Met second-team pick, paces the Bears’ attack. First-team All-Met goalie Will Joyce graduated, and his brother Alex Joyce — a Georgetown commit — takes over between the pipes this season.
St. Stephen’s/St. Agnes grabs the No. 6 spot despite the departure of three All-Met honorees off last season’s squad. Honorable mention All-Met pick Peter Milley, a Georgetown signee, and North Carolina commit Brent Armstrong ensure the Saints have plenty of returning talent.
No. 7 Severna Park graduated All-Met Player of the Year Connor Hunt and seven other starters off last season’s undefeated Maryland 4A/3A championship team, but the Falcons’ bid for a sixth state title should get a boost from a group of 23 seniors, including UMBC-bound midfielder Avery Littlejohn.
No. 8 Bullis won 15 games in a breakout 2010 campaign, including victories against Gonzaga and St. Stephen’s/St. Agnes. With a defense anchored by Johns Hopkins signee John Kelly, the Bulldogs should be in position to push the IAC’s best this season.
Two-time defending Virginia state champion Langley comes in at No. 9 and remains the team to beat in Northern Virginia. Despite losing All-Met defender Thomas Robinson (Loyola, Md.) and nine other seniors, the Saxons return talented attackers Jack Sandusky and Sean Ahearn as well as a reliable tandem in net in junior Andrew Spivey and senior Ryan Long.
Rounding out the list, No. 10 DeMatha has lost a pair of non-conference games already this season but WCAC wins against St. Mary’s Ryken and Bishop Ireton are proof that senior attackman Ryan Belka and the Stags, who lost the league’s title game to Gonzaga in overtime a year ago, will challenge for the top again.