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Archive for August 31, 2018

Aug. 31, 2018 — The national preseason Top 10

As today is the start of competition in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, this site releases the annual preseason national Top 10, based upon last year’s performances, individual players in the club pipeline, and returning players. Because of these and other variables, this is very much of a back-of-the-envelope (or in this case, a Post-It note) list.

This Top 10 goes weekly in mid-to-late September once everyone has gotten started. And because of some early-season tournaments and non-conference matches, there are going to be a lot of changes between this list and the first weekly Top 10.

1. Millersville Penn Manor (Pa.) 28-0

The defending PIAA Class AAA champions return a veteran group which includes attackers Gabby Bitts and Emma DeBerdine, but they also have a lot of excellence in other positions. Sophomore winger Jasmine Miller has outstanding quickness that reminds one of Jill (Witmer) Funk.

2. Voorhees Eastern (N.J.) 24-1-1

The Vikings graduated just four players from last year’s team that won its 19th consecutive NJSIAA Group IV title, plus they return leading scorer Kara Heck. A Sept. 15th match against Summit Oak Knoll (N.J.) will go a long way in gauging how good they are.

3. Millerstown Greenwood (Pa.) 21-5

Greenwood is a fine side led by the fine forward Paityn Wirth, and they showed immense skill and fight in winning last year’s Class A title in Pennsylvania.

4. Downingtown (Pa.) West 25-1

The Whippets go into this season feeling as if they have a score to settle, since they won their first 25 games only to run into a loaded Penn Manor side in the final. They will return quite a few of their starters from last year and have every motivation to get back to Whitehall for the final.

5. Shrub Oak Lakeland (N.Y.) 22-0

The Hornets are aiming for a 10th straight state championship, which would be an awesome achievement. A three-game swing in eight days against Bronxville, Scarsdale, and Mamaroneck will go a long way to testing their mettle. The team has 10 seniors and should once again contend for state honors.

6. Emmaus (Pa.) 26-1

After losing its chance for an unprecedented third straight state championship, the Hornets bring a team of speed and skill, plus an experienced goalkeeper and a future star in Annika Herbine.

7. Stafford Mountain View (Va.) 24-0

The defending VHSL 5A champs, they have always been under the radar when it comes to their play. However, the back-to-back champs graduate just five seniors and look to make another run at state honors.

8. Mount Joy Donegal (Pa.) 25-2

The Indians will remember last year, when they lost the state semifinal match with three seconds left on the clock. I think there is enough talent to help senior Mackenzie Allessie to make another run at the state championship, although Class AA is a Murderer’s Row of teams.

8.  Delmar (Del.) 18-0

The Wildcats have won two straight state championships, and do everything well when it comes to speed and skill, but they have an awful lot of grit. The team opens its season with two Maryland opponents in their first three matches; a must-see is the game against Edgewater South River (Md.).

10. Oley (Pa.) Valley 24-2

The Lynx were motoring along, building a 24-game winning streak, before running smack into Kingston Wyoming Seminary in the semifinals of the Class A championship. Sophia Gladieux is emerging as a team leader.

And bear in mind: San Diego Serra (Calif.) 26-0, Los Gatos (Calif.) 17-0-1, Louisville Assumption (Ky.) 20-7, Louisville Sacred Heart (Ky.) 19-8, Towson Notre Dame Prep (Md.) 18-0, Skowhegan (Maine) Area 17-1, Watertown (Mass.) 22-1, St. Louis Villa Duchesne (Mo.) 27-2, Summit Oak Knoll (N.J.) 25-0-1, The Lawrenceville (N.J.) School 17-4, Whitney Point (N.Y.) 21-1, Worthington Thomas Worthington (Ohio) 21-0, Hummelstown Lower Dauphin (Pa.) 14-6-1, Hershey (Pa.) 20-6, Newtown Square Episcopal Academy (Pa.) 17-4-1, Malvern Villa Maria (Pa.) 24-1, Villanova Academy of Notre Dame de Namur (Pa.) 17-2-3, Norfolk (Va.) Academy 25-0