Junior center midfielder Abby Allen scored a school-record 27 goals last year, along with 11 assists, in helping to lead Biddeford to its first state title since 1990. Derek Davis/Staff Photographer

1. Biddeford: The defending Class A state champs graduated some of their top players, but have seven starters returning and some talented freshmen coming in. Junior center midfielder Abby Allen scored a school-record 27 goals last year, to go with 11 assists. She’s joined in the midfield by senior Megan Mourmouras, who provides leadership. Scoring will come from senior Brooklyn Goff (14 goals last year), junior Carley Lovejoy (transfer from Kennebunk) and sophomores Jill McSorley and Jayme Walton. The defense has  experience, led by senior Cori Cote and junior Maddy Dineen. If the Tigers can develop a goalie, they’ll be tough to beat.

2. Gorham: The Rams return five starters from last year’s 11-win team and loom as one of the top teams in the SMAA. They have experience at every level of the field. Senior center midfielder Faith Dillon and junior right wing/midfielder Lydia Gaudreau were both second-team all-SMAA picks last year. Leading goal scorer Molly Murray, a junior left wing, returns up front as does junior Molly Rathbun. Defensively, seniors Kacie Walton and Lauren Green lead the way. This is a solid, well-balanced team that could go deep into the playoffs.

3. Scarborough: The Red Storm have a lot of good young players in the program – 16 sophomores and 17 freshmen – and if they develop, this could be an interesting team to watch. Scarborough has a strong returning goalie in senior Abby Roy and experience across the field. Senior Carrie Timpson and junior Bella Turner will provide a lot of the scoring. Senior Julia Booth-Howe is a force in the midfield and senior Hannah Dobecki is one of the top defensive players in the SMAA. She recently accepted a scholarship to Southern New Hampshire University. If the young players catch on, watch out.

4. Westbrook: Yes, the Blazes lost a lot from last year’s regional finalist, including their head coach. But they have six seniors who can carry the younger players until they adjust to the varsity game. Seniors Mary Keef and Morgan LeBeau, both midfielders/forwards, are as good as any players in the SMAA. Ariana St. Clair runs the defense, Kaitlyn Talbot is a big scorer, Ella Morris is a strong defender and Katie Champagne is great in the transition game. Junior Aria Brunner takes over in goal. If the Blazes can continue to play well defensively, they should contend again.

York Coach Nora Happny has a strong nucleus returning from last year’s team, which won Class B South for the sixth consecutive year. Shawn Patrick Ouellette/Staff Photographer

5. York: The six-time defending Class B regional champs show no signs of slowing down. Second-year coach Nora Happny has a strong nucleus returning from last year’s team that lost 3-2 to Gardiner in the state title game and says she has a strong incoming freshmen group. Senior center/midfielder Bailey Oliver was the leading scorer last year with 14 goals. The Wildcats will be strong in the midfield with juniors Christina Dargie and Gemma Hopkins and senior Sophia Ruland. Sophomore Sage Works will move back to defense to work in front of senior Kate Nowell in goal.

6. Mt. Ararat: The Eagles lost only two seniors from a team that won nine games and advanced to the Class A North quarterfinals. The returners are led by senior center forward Wyley Fitzpatrick (leading scorer for the last three years) and senior center midfielder Holly Temple (assist leader the last two years).  They’re a great combination, but the Eagles have more with juniors Hannah Huston (midfield), Brynn Charron (forward) and Annie Wilkins (back) bringing skill and experience. Senior right wing Brea Holtet and junior back Gracie Morrell are strong players as well.

7. Cheverus: Theresa Hendrix moves over from Westbrook, where she led the Blazes to a regional title and runner-up finish the last two years. She inherits a Stags team that has some experience and a talented crew of freshmen coming in. Senior Hannah Woodford returns in goal, providing experience at that pivotal position. Junior Lucia Pompeo, a forward/midfielder, could be one of the better players in the SMAA. Junior Madisyn Durgin heads up the midfield and is very strong in the transition game. Three freshmen – forward Taylor Tory, midfielder Bella Cloutier and defender MingGe Daley – will factor in as well.

8. Freeport: The Falcons graduated some top talent, including Miss Maine Field Hockey finalist Alexa Koenig. But they have a good nucleus returning and could make it back to the regional finals again. Freeport will be strong defensively, led by senior Rachel Harmon, and midfielders Amelia Farrin and Rianna Tomm. It’s up front that the Falcons have to make strides. Juniors Hannah Groves and Ally Randall are capable scorers but they’ll need some help from younger players stepping into the lineup.

9. Thornton Academy: The Trojans were strong defensively last year and will certainly be the same this fall. They return two starters to the defense, seniors Jaigan Boudreau (second-team all-SMAA choice) and Alexis Stone. Madison Vachon takes over in goal after being the back-up last year. The offense, which struggled at times last year, has senior Olivia Lambert returning and could be boosted by the addition of junior Paige DeGeorge, a midfielder who transferred from Cheverus. The Trojans will have three freshmen on the roster as well and all could contribute from the start.

10. Lake Region: The Lakers have lost to York in the regional semifinals each of the last two seasons. They certainly have the ability to get at least that far again this year. Veterans Kaitlyn Plummer (forward), Delaney Meserve (forward/midfield), Julia Murch (midfield) and Emerson Dinsmore (back) will provide a lot of senior leadership and direction. Junior Alli Vogel is tough on defense and junior Chantale Symonds could be among the team’s top scorers. Sophomores Sadie Tirrell and Abby Elsaesser are ready to contribute as well.

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