Severn School head girls lacrosse coach Kathy Rudkin calls the Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland (IAAM) arguably the best girls lacrosse league in the nation.
Severna Park and Broadneck have also won their lion’s share of county and state titles over the last decade, so it’s no surprise why college recruiters come to the mecca of girls lacrosse to fill their rosters each year.
Rudkin, who has been Severn’s head coach since 2019, is optimistic that her nine seniors will add leadership and consistency to her squad that competes in the IAAM’s A Division.
“The season’s team is one I’m super excited about,” Rudkin said. “The senior class is near and dear to my heart as they’re the first class I’ve known since they were freshmen. We return 12 players who received significant minutes for us last year, and I’m also excited about our young players who are coming in with tons of potential.”
Severn’s record last season was 7-8 as the team beat notable programs St. Mary’s, Garrison Forest, Roland Park, Mount de Sales, Gerstell Academy and John Carroll. One player from last year’s team who will be missed is attacker Ryan Dineen, who is playing at the University of Denver.
The noteworthy players coming back for the Admirals are goalie Cameron Christie (committed to Duke), midfielder Zoee Stencil (Virginia Tech), midfielder Erin Hooper (Notre Dame), defender Kacey Hopkins (Akron), Emma Ripley (Rochester Institute of Technology) and Sage Whiteside (Dickinson).
“We aim to revenge some of those close losses this year and develop our depth,” Rudkin said. “We’ll play with a chip on our shoulder this year, and we’re a team on the rise.”
Games to circle on the calendar are March 28 against Archbishop Spalding and April 14 against St. Mary’s.
Archbishop Spalding girls lacrosse head coach Tara Shea is also electrified about her squad this spring as she brings back several key players from last year’s team that went to the quarterfinals of the IAAM’s A Division.
“We believe we can compete for the championship,” Shea said. “We have speed, quickness and we’re smart.”
The Cavaliers lost midfielder Bella Saviano, who is starting at Yale, but return a host of starters and their senior goalie, Colleen Berardino, who has committed to Temple.
Other key players for the Cavaliers include midfielder Ally Keith (Cincinnati), defender Maddie Wrenn (Clemson), and midfielders Gabby Green (Florida) and Lily Mullen (Cornell). Other notable returnees are sophomore midfielder Maeve Cavanaugh and junior midfielder Claire McGuire.
Key games for the Cavaliers are March 28 against Severn and April 12 versus Severna Park.
Severna Park has a new coach in Ann Houghton and is coming off a season where they reached the state finals, only to lose to Marriott’s Ridge, 11-10, in a hard-fought game. The Falcons also beat Broadneck twice and were county champions.
“We have a positive, strong and hardworking group of returning players, and we added some depth in every area,” Houghton said. “They are a dynamic and athletic team and have been putting in a ton of work in the offseason.”
Returning key players on attack for the Falcons include four-year starter Charlotte Diez (committed to Villanova) and fellow senior Stella Bordone (Lafayette).
At midfield, the Falcons have Alyssa Gore-Chung (Navy), who according to Houghton, has an elite set of skills, as well as seniors Regan McDonnell (Salisbury), Karli Kirchenheiter (Louisville), Sophia Miller (San Diego State) and Maddy Goger (Columbia).
“These players will combine for a powerhouse midfield,” Houghton said.
On defense, the Falcons have seniors Olivia Tramontana (San Diego State) and Lilly Spilker (Penn State). Spilker is hoping for an injury-free season as she has battled injuries over her high school career.
In the cage are seniors Ada Mutch and junior Allison Schiavone.
“Our strength of schedule is more difficult this year, but playing harder games are what force us to learn and adapt,” Houghton said. “These games will also help us when it comes time for playoffs.”
Key games to watch are against Archbishop Spalding on April 12 and Broadneck on April 28.
Winners of two consecutive 4A championships, the Broadneck Bruins return many key starters from their squad that went 17-3 last year.
“We return seven starters, but we lost many seniors from last year, so we need to find our identity,” said Broadneck girls lacrosse head coach Katy Kelley. “We return our midfield of Lexi Dupcak (committed to Maryland), Mary Moore (Villanova) and Lilly Kelley (James Madison). Our midfield is one of our strengths and is a good combination of teamwork, speed and stickwork.”
The Bruins outscored their five state playoff opponents 84-25, and that high-octane offense started with Dupcak controlling the draws with vital help from Moore and Kelley.
The Bruins’ attack is headed by Olivia Orso (Ohio State) and Lilly Trout (High Point).
Broadneck faces a gauntlet of tough games, including playing numerous Howard County teams in a tournament at Troy Park in April.
“We’re a hardworking, gritty team,” Katy Kelley said. “Our philosophy is to take one game at a time.”
One of the unique aspects of the Bruins lacrosse program is all of the coaches are Broadneck alumni.
“It’s great to have that culture of Bruin pride, and our athletes support other athletes,” Katy Kelley said. “Broadneck has great school spirit.”
Key games are the Troy Park tournament on April 8 and against Severna Park on April 28.
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