Nike/LM West Girls' Preseason Top 10
The Nike/Lacrosse Magazine National High School Top 25, Regional Top 10 and Players to Watch were released in the March edition. The first in-season West report will drop March 15.
West Girls' Top 10
1. St. Ignatius (Calif.), 17-3
The Wildcats went undefeated in-state last year and should be the team to beat again. St. Ignatius will be loaded with several Division I caliber players, including All-Americans Catriona Barry (Duke), Emma Knaus (Stanford) and Kyra Pelton (Stanford).
2. Novato (Calif.), 22-3
Marin County Athletic League Player of the Year Jensen Neff (Stanford) returns to lead the Hornets, as they seek to defend their first North Coast Section Division I championship. Novato had several sophomores and freshmen playing last year who should come back even stronger this season.
3. La Costa Canyon (Calif.), 20-3
La Costa Canyon (Calif.) won its fourth straight section title last year when it avenged a regular-season loss to rival Torrey Pines (Calif.) in the San Diego Section Open Division championship. The Mavericks lost seven seniors but several underclassmen contributors return, including goalkeeper Jenna Soenksen and midfielder Madison Lambert.
4. Colorado Academy (Colo.), 16-3
The Mustangs are ready to defend their 2015 state title after graduating just three seniors. Among the top returners are junior goalkeeper Bridget Sutter, the 2015 Colorado player of the year, and defender Anna Gallagher (Marquette).
5. San Ramon Valley (Calif.), 18-2
The Wolves lost just three starters to graduation and should be ready for another dominant year with a ton of experience back. They ended last season with a loss to No. 2 Novato in the playoffs.
6. Cherry Creek (Colo.), 16-3
The Bruins return seven starters from their 2015 state runner-up squad, led by senior Holly Sutherland and junior Eliza Radochonski. Cherry Creek seeks to continue its string of state finals, having appeared in every title game since the CHSAA sanctioned lacrosse in 1998. They've won nine championships in the last 16 years.
7. Issaquah (Wash.), 13-0
The Eagles won their second consecutive Washington state championship last year to extend their winning streak to 28 games, including a win over 2014 Oregon state champion Lake Oswego. They lose two All-State players but return some solid players to their lineup.
8. Monte Vista, Danville (Calif.), 20-3
The Mustangs ended the 2015 season with a double-overtime loss to Amador Valley (Calif.), but never lost a game by more than three goals. This year, they are led by senior attacker Amanda Outcalt (UC Davis), who scored 80 goals last year, and senior midfielder/defender Kira Weiss.
9. West Linn (Ore.), 15-1
The defending state champion Lions are expected to contend for the title once again. They return state Player of the Year Natalie Byrne (USC), who scored six goals in the 2015 state final, and all-state goalie Annalyssa Sassara.
10. Lake Oswego (Ore.), 14-4
The Lakers were runners up to West Linn last year, failing to defend their 2014 title, but the two teams likely will be neck-and-neck again this season. Lake Oswego returns eight starters, including senior midfielder Avery Hawes and junior midfielder Lauren Gilbert and goalkeeper Riley Hertford.
GIRLS' PLAYERS TO WATCH
Catriona Barry, St. Ignatius (Calif.), Jr., midfielder (Duke)
Sophia Donovan, Menlo (Calif.), Jr., midfield (USC)
Marina Mayo, Park City (Utah), Sr., midfielder (Fresno State)
Jensen Neff, Novato (Calif.), Sr., midfielder (Stanford)
Kathleen Roe, Regis Jesuit (Colo.), Sr., midfielder (Notre Dame)
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