Nike/US Lacrosse South Girls' Preseason Top 10

PHOTO BY JOHN STROHSACKER

Milton senior goalie Bridget Deehan, a Notre Dame commit, is one of this year's five preseason players to watch.


The Nike/US Lacrosse National High School Girls' Preseason Top 25 was released on Feb. 21. The first in-season South report will drop Feb. 28.

1. Walton (Ga.), 17-5

The Raiders upset six-time defending champ Milton for their first GHSA 6A title last spring, and with a solid core of six starters back, they are hoping to defend their crown this season. All six returners are committed to play in college including attacker Riley Ewing and midfielder Lindsay Epstein, who are both headed to Ohio State.

2. Milton (Ga.), 19-3

The Eagles return seven starters from last year’s team, which suffered its first loss to a Georgia opponent since 2009 when it fell in the GHSA Class 6A state championship. Milton has to replace Jessi Masinko, who scored 74 goals and had 38 assists and 57 draw controls last year, but senior goalie Bridget Deehan is among the top returning players.

3. Bartram Trail (Fla.), 17-6

The Bears return eight starters from last year’s state championship team that upset 10-time defending state champ Vero Beach in the FHSAA finals. Bartram Trail will be challenged early with district games against Ponte Vedra and Creekside. Top returners include All-American attacker Mya Watson, sophomore attacker Karli Vockell and sophomore defender MJ Manherz.

4. Vero Beach (Fla.), 17-5

The Fighting Indians return 15 letterwinners from last year’s state runner-up team, including Meredith Moore, Maddie Ellis, Kaylee Coleman and goalie Lexie Patton, and added Martin County High School transfer Lily Linehan (Duke). With a deeper and more experienced lineup, Vero Beach is aiming to get back on top in Florida.

5. St. John’s (Texas), 20-2

The Mavericks have just four starters back from last year’s state championship team, leaving them with a young lineup; however, they have plenty of talent to make a run at a fifth consecutive title. Senior twins Kate and Carson Copeland will lead St. John’s this season.







6. Hutchison (Tenn.), 19-3

The Sting won their sixth consecutive state title last year and might be stronger this season with eight starters back, including six of their seven offensive players. Cousins Griffin Gearhardt and Elizabeth Farnsworth lead that offense. Gearhardt, a senior attacker, had 89 goals and 82 assists last year, while Farnsworth, a junior midfielder, had 100 goals and 54 assists.

7. Blessed Trinity (Ga.), 20-1

The Titans return six starters from last year’s Georgia A-5A state championship team, and despite losing 10 seniors, they hope to defend their title. A challenging schedule should prepare the team, which is led by Kaley Attaway, Sarah Flatt, Elise Hammelrath, Izzy Lopez, Mary Markwordt and Mackie McManes.

8. Charlotte Country Day (N.C.), 20-1-1

The Buccaneers return six starters -- part of large group of experienced, talented juniors and seniors from last year’s team, which won the NCISAA state title. The Bucs went unbeaten in North Carolina and their only loss was to Vero Beach. Top returners include Carter Williams, Jaclyn Perkins and Charlotte Pedlow. 

9. Cardinal Gibbons (N.C.), 22-0

The Crusaders won their first state championship last year, beating Lake Norman 18-14 in the NCHSAA final to cap off their first perfect season in school history. Nine starters are back from that team, including senior Jordan Lappin, who scored 84 goals and had 32 assists, and junior Elizabeth Wilson, who had 51 goals and 17 assists.

10. Lake Highland Prep (Fla.), 18-2

The Highlanders return eight starters from last year’s team that came up one win shy of a state semifinal berth. Five of the eight returning starters are seniors, giving LHP a good mix of veterans and young talent, which includes sophomore Emma Spraggins (Georgetown).

PLAYERS TO WATCH

  • Bridget Deehan
    Milton (Ga.), Sr., GK (Notre Dame)

  • Elizabeth Farnsworth
    Hutchinson School (Tenn.), Jr., M (Virginia)

  • Griffin Gearhardt
    Hutchison School (Tenn.), Sr., A (Vanderbilt)

  • Charlotte North
    Episcopal Dallas (Texas), Sr., M (Duke)

  • Caitlyn Wurzburger
    American Heritage-Delray (Fla.), Fr., A (Syracuse)

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