Even though Episcopal Academy had its 30-game winning streak snapped in a 2-2 draw with Central Bucks South, the two-time defending champion Churchwomen are still the team to beat in the Inter-Ac League until someone proves otherwise.
One big reason is All-Delco senior Corinne Zanolli. The Stanford commit scored 32 goals last season and opened the 2016 campaign with a pair of goals. Other key returnees are seniors Lexi Fischer (forward), Jenna Lotsis (forward) and Taylor Lucey (back); juniors Katie Crager (midfield) and Bridget Boyle (goalie) and sophomore Caroline Kelly (goalie).
Notre Dame and Agnes Irwin will have something to say in the Inter-Ac League, too.
All-Delco performers Quinn Maguire (Saint Joseph’s) and midfielder Mary Kate Neff (Princeton) head a strong cast of returnees for the Irish. Also back are senior forward Sara Boles (Fairfield), senior midfielder Cami Osborne (Georgetown), senior defender Ryan Loftus, junior midfielders Sara Jane Quigley (Syracuse) and Ava Leonhardt and junior forward Tia D’Angollel.
Along with Julianna Tornetta, senior midfielder Jax van der Veen (Georgetown) and juniors Ellie Kirkpatrick (midfield), Meredith Murphy (midfield) and Grace Weise (forward) are part of a strong group of veterans Monzo is counting on at Agnes Irwin.
Cardinal O’Hara coach Marie Murphy picked up win No. 100 of her career Friday and the Lions will be gunning for their second straight Cathlic League title and third in the last four years. All-Delco forward Mary Kate Gallen (Virginia), Hannah Nihill (Drexel, basketball), Emily Quintus (Rider), Elizabeth Tosto (Sacred Heart) and Molly Grady are the key returnees for O’Hara. Grady scored two goals in O’Hara’s 4-0 triumph over Bonner & Prendergast in the PCL final.
Speaking of the Pandas, All-Delco Riley Dolan (Delaware) is back along with senior defender Casey Rafferty and junior forward Carly Brosious. All-Delco Sam Swart is among eight starters back for first-year Archbishop Carroll coach Christina Elisio.
Haverford has great senior leadership and tons of speed, according to first-year coach Crista Taylor, but will that be enough to challenge Conestoga for supremacy in the Central League? We’ll see. Two of the key returnees are on defense in the form of seniors Francesca and Lea VanLuvender. Senior Laura Winters (forward) also is back, as are sophomores Megan Phillips (midfield) and Carly Gannon (forward).
Backs Molly Downing, Lily Fenstamacher and Julianna Ashbridge, and goalies Amelia Wellmon and Moriah Marr will try to help Interboro defend its Del Val League crown.
Finally, with the PIAA going from two classes to three, here is the breakdown for the Delco schools:
Class 3A: Cardinal O’Hara, Garnet Valley, Haverford, Ridley, Upper Darby.
Class 2A: Academy Park, Archbishop Carroll, Bonner & Predergast, Chichester, Interboro, Marple Newtown, Penncrest, Radnor, Springfield, Strath Haven, Sun Valley.
Class 1A: Sacred Heart, Delco Christian.
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