1. Cheverus: The Stags lost only two starters from last year’s quarterfinal team and loom as the team to beat in Class A South, with a deep, skilled lineup. They have two of the best players in the state in senior back Hannah Abbott (14 goals, bound for UMaine) and junior midfielder Sophia Pompeo (14 goals). Kat Kane is an excellent goalie; Bella Booth excels at midfield and freshman Lucia Pompeo will boost the offense. Seniors Anna Smith and Celia Migliaccio and freshman Paige DeGeorge lead the defense.

2. Massabesic: The defending Class A South champs are going to be among the top contenders again with only three starters gone from last year, including leading scorer Jackie Bearse, who suffered an injury in the lacrosse season that will keep her out this fall. The Mustangs are still loaded up front with Emma Rutledge, Logan Champlin and Kaylee St. Laurent. Morgan Pike is an excellent midfielder and sweeper Lydia Wasina is tough to beat defensively. Massabesic is skilled and has great balance.

3. Scarborough: The Red Storm may not have the marquee offensive players of the past, and 10 players graduated from last year, but this is a skilled, quick team that’s going to give a lot of teams trouble. It’s going to be a gritty team that puts pressure on everyone, led by senior forwards Lucy Malia and Cat Taylor and senior midfielder Rachel Paradis. Goalie Sam Carriero is starting her third season and brings a lot of experience and confidence.

4. Westbrook: The Blazes loom as a championship contender. They have some of the best individual talent in the SMAA with four-year starters midfielder Maddison LeBeau and back Camryn LaPierre, and junior forward Avery Tucker. Junior Kim Goddard is starting her third season in goal and is extremely athletic and communicative. Junior Abby Symbol and sophomore Mary Keef add to the Blazes’ midfield strength.

5. York: The Wildcats lost some of the region’s top players from last year’s Class B state title team, but they are still the team to beat in Class B South. Coach Barb Marois is one of the best at putting her players in the right position to win and she has some good ones. Seniors Sydney Bouchard and Natalie Panteleos will lead the offense and junior defender Emlyn Patry is exceptional. Jessa Smith will add to the offense and Katie Donovan and Cassie Reinertson will be strong defensively. Julia Carr and Julianna Kiklis both return in goal.

6. Biddeford: In an extremely balanced Class A South, the Tigers, with eight starters returning, could be a team that makes a big jump. Still young, they have some great talent, led by junior forward Paige Laverriere, junior goalie Taylor Wildes, junior midfielder Hailey Allen, sophomore midfielder Megan Mourmouras, senior midfielder Peyton McKeown, senior forward Sarrah Marcotte and freshman forward Abby Allen. Watch this team closely.

7. Thornton Academy: Do not overlook the Trojans. They graduated seven starters from last year’s team and must replace their entire defense. But this team can score goals and in bunches, led by seniors Taylor Ouellette (19 goals, three assists) and Claire Decker (2 goals, 4 assists) and junior Cat Henaire (16 goals, 10 assists). Two sophomores, Jaigan Boudreau and Grace Harbour, and senior Paige Boudreau (a transfer from Biddeford) will key the defense.

8. Kennebunk: The Rams make the move back to the SMAA and Class A South and should be a contender. Senior twins Britney Gregoire (19 goals, 10 assists) and Lindsey Gregoire are as talented as anyone. Senior Kylie DeFeo is very strong in the midfield, a key figure both offensively and defensively. Sophomore Alaina Schatzabel will help in the midfield and junior Christine Jarowicz, who missed last year with an injury, adds more punch offensively. This will be a fun team to watch.

9. Greely: The Rangers return their entire varsity roster from last year’s team that reached the prelims and look to go much deeper this year. Senior center midfielder Sydney Meredith-Pickett is one of the top players in the WMC. Junior Maddy Perfetti, a second-team WMC selection last year, and senior Ella Movick will be the top forwards, along with freshman Delia Knox. Isabelle Batchelder returns to lead the defense and improving junior Kylie Rogers is back in goal.

10. Boothbay Region: The Seahawks look to take a big step in Class C North. Senior forward Sydney Meader (24 goals, 7 assists) is one of the most dangerous scorers in the state and is aided by sophomore Chloe Anderson (8 goals, 7 assists). Senior Page Brown is a standout player in the midfield, joined there by freshman Courtney Meader. Freshman Kylie Brown looks to make an impact on the forward line.

– Mike Lowe