Field hockey Top 10: Spalding starts where it finished last fall – The Washington Post

Leslee Brady has coached Archbishop Spalding for the past 26 years, and she’s continually impressed by how the teenagers conduct themselves on and off the pitch. Last year was an extreme example: The Cavaliers’ field hockey team featured six freshmen and still won the Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland “A” championship by blanking rival Garrison Forest, 3-0.
Last year’s youth means Spalding’s roster is loaded with returning players, so the Cavaliers will look to repeat as the premier team in the D.C. area after they finished 2021 atop The Post’s Top 10.
But even within Anne Arundel County, the competition appears challenging, with Severna Park in good position to defend its Maryland 4A championship. Meanwhile, Broadneck didn’t allow a goal for four straight games down the stretch last season before its 1-0 loss to Severna Park in the state quarterfinals; the Bruins return five senior leaders.
Virginia’s only state champion from The Post’s coverage area, Yorktown, returns some of its best players, including midfielder Emily Stafford. Yorktown’s only loss last season came to Fairfax. Independence is poised to be another top team from the state.
Here are The Post’s first field hockey rankings of the season.
All records are from last season.
1. Archbishop Spalding (16-1)
The Cavaliers return Division I-bound seniors Ally Keith (Cincinnati lacrosse), Ruby de Frees (Penn) and junior Avery Ruckman (James Madison). They join sophomore newcomer Skylar Gilman, who played for the under-16 U.S. national team.
2. Severna Park (16-2)
Five seniors — Ava Drexler-Amey, Maddie Evans, Charlotte Kramer, Maggie Mullervy and Meredith Schepens — are back with the Falcons after their Maryland 4A championship game win over Churchill last fall. Fifth-year coach Shannon Garden also welcomes sophomore Kelsey Rowe, a 2022 gold medal junior Olympian, to the most successful public school field hockey program in Maryland history.
3. Yorktown (22-1)
Emily Stafford, the reigning All-Met Player of the Year, is back with the Patriots for her senior season alongside junior Alexis Williams and sophomore Laney Reiser. Stafford, a Penn commit, led Yorktown to the Virginia Class 6 championship a season ago.
4. St. John’s (15-0)
The Cadets didn’t surrender a goal in Washington Catholic Athletic Conference play last fall. They are projected to finish above Bishop Ireton and Good Counsel in one of the D.C. area’s toughest leagues.
5. Broadneck (12-5)
Maya Everett (Maryland commit), Lexi Dupcak (Maryland lacrosse), Arden Hunteman, Jess Kopernick (Stevens Institute of Technology) and Safiya Stimely (St. Mary’s College of Maryland) are among nine seniors returning to Coach Shannon Hanratty’s squad.
6. Churchill (16-2)
Seniors Grace Jennings and Lexie Levitt and junior Emma Datch are looking to lead the Bulldogs back to the Maryland 4A championship game.
7. Fairfax (24-1)
The Lions nearly pulled off an unbeaten season last year before they fell to Western Branch in the state semifinals. Eight seniors return, including midfielder/defender Halley Beaudoin.
8. Independence (21-2)
U.S. national under-16 team member Sammie Goin joins the Tigers this year, adding to a roster that also includes seniors Elle Patterson (committed to Delaware), Sophie Ermellini (William & Mary) and Carly van Benten (Providence).
9. Georgetown Visitation (12-2)
Senior Mary Williams returns as the Cubs look to defend their Independent School League title. As the No. 3 seed last year, Visitation shut out all three teams it faced in the postseason.
10. Crofton (9-4)
The seniors will be part of the first graduating class in school history, and this program is looking to put itself atop Anne Arundel County, led by junior Kylie Corcoran, senior Emma Beyer and sophomore Ryleigh Osborne.
On the bubble: Arundel, South River, Paul VI, Whitman, Potomac School, Ireton


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