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Feb. 2, 2016 — The national preseason Top 10

Hey! What’s going on here? Have we entered a parallel universe or something?

After 16 years, we’re finally going to make a national scholastic girls’ lacrosse Top 10 that will run every Tuesday from late March (when most of the country has started) until play finishes in the New England states this June.

The Top 10 isn’t a computer-based listing, nor is it a poll result. It’s a survey of the top teams based upon past and current form, defense, and strength of schedule. The Top 10 is going to change over the course of the season depending on who plays whom over the course of the season.

Despite the fact that Florida begins its season next week, we’ll only start the regular Top 10s when most of the nation begins play. Which means, like in the field hockey Top 10, many states will have a head start.

Here goes:

1. Owings Mills McDonogh (Md.) 21-0

The Eagles got pushed to within an inch of their lives in last year’s IAAM Flight “A” final and the pressure will mount as the team’s record win streak (now at 133) continues. During the offseason, Andie Aldave and Brindi Griffin played on a U.S. team that finished second in the U-19 World Cup, which is sure to fuel their competitive fire. Interestingly enough, four of the Eagles’ toughest games will be played on Mondays

2. Mount Sinai (N.Y.) 20-1

The Mustangs are the defending NYSPHSAA Class B champions, and actually had perhaps a greater strength of schedule than most public-school state champions last year. Only loss was to South Huntington St. Anthony (N.Y.), but team pulled together in a late-season four-overtime win over Cold Spring Harbor (N.Y.)

3. Manchester (Md.) Valley 19-0

The school is only seven years old, having been carved out of the North Carroll School District in 2009, but last year had its finest hour with an undefeated girls’ lacrosse state champion. The Mustangs will have consecutive games against Sykesville Century (Md.) and Towson Notre Dame Prep (Md.) in early April

4. Alexandria St. Stephen’s/St. Agnes (Va.) 28-1

The Saints were doing extremely well until running into Bishop Ireton in the VISAA championship. Head coach Kathy Jenkins is just 10 wins shy of 700 for her career. Last year’s resume included wins over teams from eight states and the District of Columbia

5. Rosemont Agnes Irwin (Pa.) 26-1

The Owls, current PAISAA champions, had an impressive 2015 with wins over Moorestown (N.J.), Vero Beach (Fla.), and Glen Mills Garnet Valley (Pa.)

6. Sykesville Century (Md.) 17-3

Though 11 seniors have graduated, the expectations will remain high for the Knights, who have won four MPSSAA titles in the last seven seasons

7. Summit Oak Knoll (N.J.) 23-2

The defending NJSIAA Tournament of Champions trophy holder, the Royals came into their own last year, beating Moorestown (N.J.) in the semifinals, and Summit (N.J.) in the championship.

8. West Islip (N.Y.) 19-3

The Lions are the defending New York Class A champions, having defeated a good Suffern (N.Y.) team by a goal in the state final

9. Alexandria Bishop Ireton (Va.) 20-3

The Cardinals have to replace Charlotte Sofield, who has graduated. However, this is a team with great skills as well as ambition. In its second game of the year on March 17th, Ireton will take on Hill Academy, the superprep team from Vaughan, Ontario. Ireton will also take on McDonogh, Baltimore Bryn Mawr (Md.), Brighton (N.Y.), and Rosemont Agnes Irwin (Pa.) in an extremely tough schedule

10. Westwood (Mass.) 24-1

The Wolverines fell one rung short of the MIAA title in overtime to Longmeadow (Mass.), but are primed and ready to make another run at state honors

And bear in mind: Darien (Conn.) 20-3, Vero Beach (Fla.) 20-3, Milton (Ga.) 18-4, Olney Good Counsel (Md.) 19-2, Baltimore Roland Park (Md.) 12-6, Severn Archbishop Spalding (Md.) 15-5, Severna Park (Md.) 16-3, Longmeadow (Mass.) 22-3, Harvard Bromfield Academy (Mass.) 18-2-1, Summit (N.J.) 20-5, Manhasset (N.Y.) 18-1, Garden City (N.Y.) 16-2, Shrub Oak Lakeland/Cortland Manor Walter Panas (N.Y.) 14-4-1, Houston St. John’s (Tex.) 21-0

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