1 Windham: Clearly the favorite after winning the 2013 Class A title and returning an excess of talent led by All-Staters Cassie Symonds and Jenna Soucy. Symonds was the Telegram and Gatorade Player of the Year. Soucy scored 23 goals. Coach Deb Lebel also has All-Western A defender Jordan Sargent, and seniors Alana Dube, Hannah Maskell, Melissa Morton and Elizabeth Mycoch.
2 Thornton: It took Windham two overtimes to knock off Thornton in the Western final a year ago and the Golden Trojans (14-2-1 in 2013) and Coach Chris Kohl also return multiple top-flight players among their 14 returners. Seniors Haley DeGraca (14 goals) and Tori Daigle (12 goals, 11 assists) are proven scorers. Center back Katie Senechal and junior goalie Lexi Nason are proven commodities. Add in a strong midfield headlined by Katherine Gillespie, a three-year starter, and athletic Katie McCrum, and Thornton will be very tough to beat.
3 Scarborough: After going to three straight state title games from 2010-12 (winning in 2010 and 2012), the Red Storm hardly slipped last year – going 11-1-2 in the regular season and reaching the Western semifinal – and are still clearly one of the big three in the SMAA. Ashley Gleason and Sam Sparda are the two stalwarts in the middle of the field, with Sparda moving to defense. Senior Katherine Kirk (seven goals, eight assists) brings high-level speed and diverse skills to the outside of the field. The Red Storm graduated 12 players.
4 Cape Elizabeth: The defending Class B champ graduated five starters but has the talent to defend. Two forwards – Telegram All-State returner Kathryn Clark and Kate Breed – are both top-level scorers who approach the game just differently enough to provide alternative opportunities. Junior captain Montana Braxton is a high-level club player with what Coach Craig Fannan called “box-to-box” abilities. Junior defender Sarah Aceto will look to take control of the back line, one area where in-season improvement is expected.
5 Falmouth: After allowing nine goals in 2013’s 12-3-1 season that included a trip to the Western A semifinals (loss to Thornton), it should be defense that will again be the team’s strength with sophomore goalie Adelaide Cooke, and junior defenders Emma England, Hannah Donovan and Marcy Kittredge. Falmouth again will play a Western Maine Conference Class B schedule and junior middie Tyler Spence is among that league’s top players. Senior Georgia Babikian is targeted to be a scorer.
6 Greely: The Rangers’ core is intact despite the graduation of 10 players, including four regulars, from last year’s team that advanced to the Western B final, losing to Cape Elizabeth. In all-around player Jocelyn Mitiguay and versatile Izzy Hutnak, Coach Josh Muscadin has two junior forwards who have proven they can provide double-digit goals. The key might be how many others step forward to provide balance. Sophomore Ellie Schad is one likely candidate.
7 Mt. Ararat: The Eagles were one win and one goal from the state title game, falling to Bangor in overtime of the Eastern A final. That was with six starting freshmen, including All-Eastern A forward Anna Manuel. Torri Pelletier is coming off a 12-goal, six-assist season, senior back Libby Ouellette was All-Eastern A a year ago and Katie Labbay is another top senior.
8 Deering: The Rams went 11-4-1 in 2013, losing in the Western A quarterfinals. Along with Marshwood, Portland, Gorham and 2013 surprise Biddeford, Deering is a team capable of grabbing a top-four playoff spot. Senior Courtney Brett brings dependable and intelligent defending. Top returning scorer Simone Lauture (11 goals) is working with strong playmakers in senior Meaghan Wells and junior Cora Melcher.
9 Camden Hills: An Eastern quarterfinal departure was a disappointment and possibly a learning experience for a young team that went 11-1-2 in the regular season. Coach Meredith Messer returns proven scorers in KVAC first-teamers Emma Gutheinz (15 goals) and sophomore Charlotte Messer (eight goals, nine assists). Rachel Pease is a senior three-year keeper. Two other seniors who didn’t play last year could be pivotal. Hannah Wincklhofer missed the year with injury while Catherine Abaldo transferred in and will start on defense.
10 Waynflete: Defending Class C champs again will be sharpened by a Western Maine Conference schedule. That might result in a lower seed for the tourney but the Flyers have the talent to repeat, starting with four-year keeper Juliana Harwood and top returning scorer Arianna Giguere (9 goals as junior). Marijke Rowse and Isabel Canning anchor a tough defense.