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BOYERTOWN

Coach: Bill Goddard, 13th season

Last year's record: 11-0-2 PAC-10, 19-3-2 overall; PIAA quarterfinalist

Players to watch: Seniors Olivia Frazier, fwd.; Kasey Sheahan, mid.; Darian Ruyak, def.; Megan Criswell, mid.; Leah Eble, def. Juniors Sarafina Valenti, GK; Maria Garofolo, mid.; Taylor Sassaman, mid.

Outlook: In many ways 2014 is a new beginning for Boyertown after the Bears broke through by making their first PIAA Tournament appearance a year ago with a senior-filled lineup. Goalkeeper Sarafina Valenti and midfielder Maria Garofolo, both All-Area first team choices in 2013, return for what is an otherwise new defensive unit. "We're trying to put together a whole new back four, which is a challenge,' coach Bill Goddard said. Even with new personnel, the Bears are routinely a difficult team to break down and a promising preseason keeps Boyertown in the mix for another PAC-10 title. "Our goals are the same every year: we want to win our league, get into districts and potentially states and do better than we did the year before.' That's a tall order, but not an impossible one.

 

DANIEL BOONE

Coach: John Pantone, 4th season

Last year's record: 4-6 Berks, 7-10-1 overall

Players to watch: Seniors Karissa Zechman, def.; Shelby Vanderslice, fwd. Juniors Taylor Carroll, mid.; Sammy Settle, mid.; Jill Braunsberg, mid.; Alayna Roesener, def.; Kayleigh Kardos, fwd. Sophomores Gianna Walker, def.; Megan Breidigan, def.; Makenzie Witzel, mid.; Miranda Majewski, def.

Outlook: The Blazers are heavy in juniors and sophomores but aren't short on experience after last season when the team finished third in Berks I. Defense has been the name of the game for Boone, according to coach John Pantone. If the team can find some more goals than in past seasons the Blazers have their sights set on spots in the Berks and District 3 playoffs. "We will need to improve our offense and score more goals. I think we have the players to do just that. However, we have a challenging schedule this year so that will be a tough road to travel. I believe in our players and think (making the playoffs) could be possible this season,' Pantone said.

 

HILL SCHOOL

Coach: Shannon Summers, 2nd season

Last year's record: 4-10-1 overall

Players to watch: Seniors Julia Hernan, GK; Courtney Logar, def. Junior Grace Gvodas, mid. Sophomore Cayla Davis, mid./def. Freshmen Bree Tyson, fwd./mid.; Caroline Soderman, mid.

Outlook: Last year was a largely transitional period for the Hill girls team and first-year coach Shannon Summers. The year prior, in 2012, the Blues were the PAISAA champions. With many players returning and some continuity, Summers believes her team is primed to get back to its winning ways. "This year the girls have set a goal of redemption,' she said. "Last season was a huge development season with a new coach and a new style. We were also plagued with season-ending injuries. With a healthy roster and some really talented young players, The Hill has an excellent opportunity and is ready to bring it. Winning MAPLs is always in the back of our mind and returning to the state playoffs.'

 

METHACTON

Coach: Bret Smith, 12th season

Last year's record: 5-8 PAC-10, 5-11-1 overall

Players to watch: Seniors Kyra Dubost, def.; Jenny Martin, fwd.; Jess McNally, def.; Taylor Rambo, mid.; Hannah Walsh, GK. Juniors Cay McNichol, def. Sophomore Angela Ramsden, mid.; Freshmen Lexi Laconi, mid.; Lee Eubank, fwd.

Outlook: Of the always-competitive Liberty Division, Methacton returns the most of its core from the previous season. "We've got a lot of experience returning this season with most of our seniors in their third or fourth year as a varsity starter. I've been really impressed with the overall work ethic of this team. I think they've worked as hard or harder this summer as any team I've ever coached,' coach Bret Smith said. With experience and work ethic, Smith hopes it leads to a higher goal total. "We want to be able to compete for a spot in the PAC-10 and District 1 playoffs but we will need to score a lot more goals than we have in the past few seasons, so that has definitely been a focus.'

 

OWEN J. ROBERTS

Coach: Joe Margusity, 18th season

Last year's record: 6-6-1 PAC-10, 10-9-1 overall

Players to watch: Seniors Mia Bertolami, mid.; Anna Stuart, mid.; Katie Dempsey, mid.; Emily Keck, mid. Juniors Emilie Kupsov, mid.; Hannah Glass, fwd.; Liz Bealer, fwd.; Sarah Hume, def.

Outlook: The Wildcats missed the PAC-10 playoffs for the first time in 2013. There's a good chance that won't become a trend thanks to a solid returning group that will be bolstered by a pair of senior additions in Mia Bertolami and Anna Stuart, who join the OJR team for the first time after exclusively playing club soccer their first three years, and a talented freshmen class. Relying on a cast of new high school students — 10 freshmen are on varsity — does present an unknown for coach Joe Margusity. "I think this will be one of my more intricate coaching jobs as to combine the talent of the freshman and all the rigors of coming to high school and the difficulty of navigating a high school season as a freshman,' he said. "The goals are always the same at Owen J. Realistically, if our upperclassmen remain healthy and our freshman settle in we should compete for a PAC-10 championship and a deep run in districts.'

 

PERKIOMEN VALLEY

Coach: Kim Paulus, 11th season

Last year's record: 3-10 PAC-10, 4-12-1 overall

Players to watch: Seniors Erin Tinneny, GK; Tresa Franz, mid. Sophomores Erin Paquette, def./mid.; Samantha Penny, mid.; Hannah Thomas, fwd.

Outlook: The Vikings are undergoing a rebuild after graduating 11 seniors (seven starters) in the offseason. Coach Kim Paulus hopes a new blend of players can help the team improve on a four-win season. "We're rebuilding but there's a lot of talent in the younger grades and a group of seniors that's hard working that I think can guide the entire team,' Paulus said. Leading the team will be goalkeeper Erin Tinneny, a Philadelphia University recruit, who returns to her natural position and follows a long line of standout PV goalkeepers.

 

PERKIOMEN SCHOOL

Coach: Justine Segear, 5th season

Last year's record: 5-4-1 overall, Tri-County League champions

Players to watch: Seniors Isabella San Miguel, def.; Eliza Kuehner, fwd.; Pauline Reck, mid. Sophomore Helana Tang, def.

Outlook: Two things going for Perkiomen School are entering the season as the titleholders in the Tri-County League and having a group of seniors, namely Isabella San Miguel and Eliza Kuehner, returning to lead the way. The rest of the roster still must take shape, but the target for the Panthers is to make it two in a row in the TCL. "Our goals are to defend our league title, play quality soccer, learn new things and have fun,' coach Justin Segear said.

 

PHOENIXVILLE

Coach: Tim Raub, 2nd season

Last year's record: 8-4-1 PAC-10, 11-8-1 overall, District 1-AA finalist

Players to watch: Seniors Lauren Benner, fwd.; Cecilia Knaub, mid.; Lahela Worley, def.; Katie Fritsche, mid.; Steph Schellberg, def. Juniors Sarah Weston, def.; Lainey Michaud, GK. Sophomores Kaitlyn Casiano, mid.; Sophia Kopko, def.; Dakota Graham, mid.; Julia Brown, mid.

Outlook: Coming off an appearance in the District 1-AA final, Phoenixville would have been a favorite to return to that spot with the likes of All-Area first teamers Lauren Benner and Cecilia Knaub returning. While that can't happen — the Phantoms were elevated to Class AAA in the offseason — Phoenixville still can be favored to reach the PAC-10 playoffs and potentially win the Frontier Division. Regardless of expectations, the Phantoms just want to be better. "(Our goals are) simply to improve on last season,' coach Tim Raub said. "Our goal is to play well enough to compete for the division title and from there earn a spot in the PAC-10 final for the first time in school history.' In a more wide-open PAC-10 than many years, the prospect shouldn't be ruled out.

 

POPE JOHN PAUL II

Coach: Stewart Sherk, 1st season

Last year's record: 6-7 PAC-10, 8-8 overall

Players to watch: Seniors Lauren Dao, mid.; Talia Marano, mid.; Bridget Rauh, mid., Courtney Thompson, mid. Juniors Katherine Roth, def.; Reiley Cotter, def.

Outlook: After achieving a first by qualifying for the District 1-AA playoffs last year, the Golden Panthers have their sights set on more firsts this season. Stewart Sherk takes over as head coach, replacing Mark Beck, after serving as PJP JV coach for the past three seasons. Sherk, who expects his team to be ' defensive-minded and possession-oriented,' likes the senior-led midfield that PJP will field and believes another first could be on the horizon — a first PAC-10 playoff berth. "We definitely want to be in the mix for the PAC-10 Final Four,' Sherk said. "You always want to win your division. Our team goal is to make the PAC-10 Final Four.'

 

POTTSGROVE

Coach: Stephen Mellor, 4th season

Last year's record: 2-10-1 PAC-10, 3-14-1 overall

Players to watch: Senior Brianna West, fwd. Junior Molly McGeehan, def. Sophomores Dalia Abbas, mid.; Madison Thierry, mid.

Outlook: The Falcons graduated nine seniors, including striker Jaid Mark, who is continuing her soccer career at Philadelphia University. The wins haven't been plentiful in the last few years for Pottsgrove, but coach Stephen Mellor is hopeful his Falcons can play a spoiler role and be a surprise in 2014. "The girls are extremely hard workers,' he said. "We hope to be competitive in every game and pull some upsets to finish in the top 2 of our division to make the PAC-10 Final Four.'

 

POTTSTOWN

Coach: Gary Mock, 5th season

Last year's record: 0-13 PAC-10, 0-16-1 overall

Players to watch: Seniors Jenna Endy, mid.; Kiersten Cruz, mid.; Eliana Arroyo-Dech, def. Junior Alaina James, GK. Sophomore Sara Levengood, def. Freshman Paige Swartz, fwd.

Outlook: It takes one. That is the Trojans' primary goal this season in the program's fifth year of existence: to get its first PAC-10 win. Coach Gary Mock believes there is leadership in his senior group that can carry Pottstown to that goal. "With the support of a strong senior class, we hope we have the seasoned leadership to drive us to be competitive in the PAC-10 this season. We are still searching for our first PAC-10 win and our objective is to accomplish that goal this year,' Mock said.

 

SPRING-FORD

Coach: Tim Leyland, 1st season

Last year's record: 11-1-1 PAC-10, 24-3-1 overall, PAC-10 champion, PIAA Class AAA finalist

Players to watch: Senior Jenna Griggs, GK. Juniors Gabby Vagnozzi, fwd.; Laura Suero, def.; Taylor Newhart, def.; Bri Cirino, mid.

Outlook: Nearly half of the Rams' starting lineup of their historic team that reached the state final is back, namely juniors Gabby Vagnozzi and Laura Suero. Spring-Ford does have gaps to fill though, considering the graduations of Division I talents Megan Giannopoulos, Aley Kate McKinley and Sammy Stipa. The Rams also must make due in light of a less expected departure after coach Sheldon Chamberlain accepted a position at West Chester University during preseason, leaving the team to top assistant Tim Leyland. Spring-Ford was a program on the rise prior to last year when it caught lightning in a bottle. The talent is there to ensure 2013 was no fluke with early indications that the Rams will be firmly in the conversation for a second straight PAC-10 championship.

 

UPPER PERKIOMEN

Coach: Mike Freed, 6th season

Last year's record: 10-3 PAC-10, 14-7 overall, District 1-AA semifinalist

Players to watch: Seniors Shae Duka, mid.; Aubrey Gibbs, def.; Olivia Vogel, def.; Jess Spano, fwd. Junior Morgan Rynn, def. Sophomore MacKenzie Gebhardt, mid.

Outlook: It's hard not to focus on who isn't there for Upper Perkiomen. That would be Kayla Smith, the All-Area Player of the Year whose record-setting season resulted in 28 goals and 10 assists. Though Smith, now at Indiana University, may be irreplaceable, there are more than a handful of players who indicate the Indians aren't in rebuilding mode after having the best regular season of any Frontier Division team ever in the PAC-10 and reaching the District 1-AA semifinals. "The team's strength definitely lies in the midfield, where they feature a pair of all-league players in Shae Duka and Mackenzie Gebhardt,' coach Mike Freed said. That duo will be the primary supply line to forward Jess Spano. "How quickly new players settle into unfamiliar roles and positions will go a long way toward determining how well the team does this season, especially during the early part of the schedule,' Freed said. The Tribe's goals are to reach the PAC-10 playoffs and return to districts, which appear promising at season's beginning.