Head coach: Pam Wernersbach; 19th season
Last year’s record: 6-4 PAC Liberty, 9-4 PAC, 12-7 overall, PAC semifinalist, District 1 playoff qualifier
Athletes to watch: Cori Bieber, Sr., attack; Katrina Clark, Sr., defense; Elli Ferraro, Sr., goalie; Delaney Fox, Sr., attack; Hailey Gruber, Sr., attack; Bailey Leatherman, Sr., midfield; Emma Moyer, Sr., defense; Isabella Slupski, Sr., defense; Alina Friz, Jr., attack; Hannah Adamski, So., midfield.
Outlook: Boyertown returns a solid core from last year’s squad that made the PAC and District 1 postseason. The Bears did graduate two All-Area second team players in Emma Beidler and Ali Pioli but return honorable mentions Alina Friz and Hannah Adamski.
“The girls are working hard to create their team dynamic,” said coach Pam Wernersbach. “They are committed to making themselves and each other better every day. We know that success will come but will not be easy with the difficult opponents we will face. The focus is on growth one day at a time for us.” The Bears can again be a top-half team in the Liberty and should again be in postseason contention.
Head Coach: Claudia LaMarca, 1st season
Assistants: Mckenna Edwards, Brett Bearrows, Alex Drury
Last year’s record: 12-8 overall, Mid-Atlantic Prep League co-champions, PAISAA semifinals
Athletes to watch: Sam Cifra, Sr., GK; Annabella Schafer, Sr., mid.; Kimaura Schindler, Sr., def.; Katie Torr, So.; Taylor Bigbie, So.; Lilly Hebert, Fr.
Outlook: Claudia LaMarca enters to lead Hill after serving as Souderton head coach the past three seasons following her playing career at Division I Monmouth. She inherits a senior group led by returning All-Area first team goalie Sam Cifra (Virginia Tech), first team midfielder Annabella Schaefer (Maryland) and defender Kimaura Schindler (Xavier).
“We have a strong 6th form class leading the way with a ton of talented players being able to impact the game in a bunch of different ways,” said LaMarca. “Excited for the strength of our schedule, and to continue to grow together as a program.”
Head coach: Laurie Markle, 20th season
Last year’s record: 6-4 PAC Liberty, 9-4 PAC, 17-6 overall, PAC champion, District 1 quarterfinals
Athletes to watch: Megan Sanelli, Sr., mid.; Michelle Zhai, Sr., mid.; Natalie Drake, Sr., G; Lily DeWan, Jr., mid; Elise DeWan, Sr., def.
Outlook: Methacton made waves last year when it upset then-unbeaten Owen J. Roberts for the PAC championship, the program’s first title. It went on to be one win away from qualifying for the PIAA tournament, concluding a 17-6 campaign. The Warriors graduated a sizable 16-player class, but have a few front-line players returning in All-Area first team midfielder Megan Sanelli (St. Joseph’s) and second team midfielder Michelle Zhai (Columbia). Natalie Drake (Bloomsburg) will step into goal to quickly fill the void left by All-American goalie Mackenzie Clark (Cornell).
“Overall we have a nice core of players back from our team last year but replacing the heart and soul of 16 seniors is tough,” said coach Laurie Markle. “We have some young and untested areas of our team but we have a lot of potential. We will be very competitive in our league.”
The Warriors will be a part of the pack battling behind Owen J. Roberts with rightful expectations of reaching the PAC and District 1 playoffs.
Owen J. Roberts
Coach: David Schlesinger, 5th season
Last year’s record: 10-0 PAC Liberty, 13-0 PAC, 23-3, PAC runner-up, District 1 and PIAA quarterfinalist
Athletes to watch: Gabbi Koury, Sr., mid; Alexa Vogelman, Sr., mid; Colby Wasson, Sr., def.; Rachel Sbei, Sr., def.; Avery Wentzel, Sr., def.; Cailin Harrington, Sr., def.; Ava Clemson, Sr., attack; Blakely Doyle, Sr., attack; Kalli Mullen, Sr., attack; Korrigan Sweeney, Jr., GK; Sierra Milano, Jr., attack; Ava Christoforou, Jr., def.; Brooke Cano, Jr., attack; Morgan Karas, Jr., Attack; Emery Horn, Jr., attack; Pippi Waldman, So., attack; Natalie Chin, So., midfield; Laina Grimm, So., midfield; Ashly White, So., defense; Keira Clemson, Fr., attack.
Outlook: There’s no other way to call it: this is the season Owen J. Roberts has been building toward for more than five years. The build coincides with the formation of NXT Black 2023 team, coached by OJR head coach David Schlesinger, that features eight OJR Class of 2023 members, all of whom are now Division I lacrosse commits. Two-time Mercury All-Area Player of the Year Gabbi Koury (Florida) and Alexa Vogelman (Syracuse), both two-time All-Americans, lead the list, alongside Colby Wasson (Xavier), Rachel Sbei (Furman), Avery Wentzel (Duquesne), Cailin Harrington (Villanova), Ava Clemson (Butler) and Blakely Doyle (Liberty). The Wildcats have a ton of pedigree, but carry some baggage from last year after postseason shortcomings that saw them upset in the PAC final by Methacton and dropping district and PIAA quarterfinals.
“With a senior-laden team coming off consecutive undefeated regular seasons, OJR is preparing to advance further in District 1 and PIAA playoffs this year as well as reclaim the PAC Championship,” said coach Schlesinger.
Early-season wins over Garnet Valley, the team that ousted them in 2022, and defending District 1 and PIAA champion Conestoga shot OJR up to No. 1 in the phillylacrosse.com rankings. The ceiling is sky high for the Wildcats – and so are the expectations.
Coach: Rachel Zurheide, 2nd year.
Last year’s record: 3-7 PAC Liberty, 7-7 PAC, 7-11 overall
Athletes to watch: Emily Brock, Sr., def.; Grace Bruno, Sr., def.; Lauren McMahon, Sr., def.; Giana Scaliti, Sr., mid; Leah Pfieffer, Jr., attack; Holli Nuss, Fr., attack
Outlook: A nine-player class graduated from last year’s Vikings but the returning talent, which features five college commits including All-Area honorable mention defender Emily Brock (UMass-Lowell), is out to get Perk Valley trending in the right direction.
“Our returning varsity players have done a great job setting the tone and leading our talented newcomers over the past few weeks,” said coach Rachel Zurheide. “We are focused on building our team chemistry and rebuilding after last season.” Despite a 1-3 start in the early going, PV has put up at least 10 goals every game which bodes well as the season progresses.
Head coach: Aamina Thornton, 15th season
Last year’s record: 9-1 PAC Frontier, 11-3 PAC, 12-9 overall, PAC Frontier champion, PAC and District 1 qualifier
Athletes to watch: Jaime Michaud, Sr., attack; Kira Trafford, Sr., mid.; Danielle Eliasson, So. def.; Ava Demutis, So., def.; Erin Reedy, So., attack; Audrey Burke, Fr., attack.
Outlook: Phoenixville emerged as the best in the Frontier last year and was the division’s lone qualifier to the PAC Final Four. The Phantoms graduated a sizable class that will have them going young in 2023 aside from returning All-Area first team senior attack Jaime Michaud.
“The team’s greatest strength thus far is their resiliency and never giving up,” said head coach Aamina Thornton. “They are a rather young team experience-wise and this is where we struggle a bit. However, every day we are working together as a team to improve as an individual and as a team.”
Head Coach: Nicole Meehan, 2nd season
Last year’s record: n/a
Athletes to watch: Bella Barringer, Sr., G; Lauren Patnode, Jr., attack; Caroline Mellon, So., mid.; Taylor Fields, So., attack.
Outlook: Nicole Meehan (nee Miller) returns for her second year as Perkiomen coach. She’s an Owen J. Roberts graduate who was a two-time All-PSAC first team player at East Stroudsburg before spending five years as Shippensburg University head coach. The Panthers reached the Penn-Jersey League championship game last year; this time ‘bringing home the championship’ being the plan.
“We have ramped up our schedule in that we are playing more competitive teams than we’ve ever played,” said Meehan.
Pope John Paul II
Head Coach: Erik Fritzinger, 2nd season
Last year’s record: 3-8 PAC Frontier, 4-10 PAC, 7-12 overall, District 1-2A playoff qualifier
Athletes to watch: Jill Cobaugh, Jr., mid.; Ava Zepp, Jr., attack; Maura Collins, Sr., def.
Outlook: Junior All-Area honorable mentions Jill Cobaugh (University of Tampa commit) and Ava Zepp will be looked upon to lead the scoring for a PJP team looking to climb the Frontier Division standings.
“We are looking to continue to compete in every game and build on the foundation from last year to earn a spot in the PAC playoffs and districts,” said coach Erik Fritzinger.
Head coach: Elizabeth Watson, 1st year
Last year’s record: 4-6 PAC Frontier, 5-8 PAC, 5-12 overall
Athletes to watch: Dominique Parkinson, Sr., def.; Lily Guerrette, Sr., GK; Christine Hires, So., mid.; Cecilia Burg, Sr., mid.; Hannah Kumpf, Jr., attack; Taylor Fiorini, Jr., attack.
Outlook: Elizabeth Watson has stepped in as head coach in place of Kirstin Urie, who has shifted to an assistant role after 11 seasons as head coach. The Falcons have a pair of returning All-Area players in sophomore Christine Hires and Cecilia Burg in what they hope will improve on last year’s five-win campaign.
“Our team displays a winning attitude and adaptability, with a handful of athletes brand new to lacrosse, knowing they must learn and be coachable within multiple positions to maximize our success on the lacrosse field,” said Watson. “Our student-athletes demonstrate a wide varying array of skill, and we look to improve with persistent dedication, patience, and commitment to the sport of lacrosse.”
Head Coach: Brandy Scherer, 6th season
Last year’s record: 0-13 PAC Frontier, 1-13 PAC, 1-14 overall
Key returners: Taetum Robbins, Sr., mid; Daishawnia Dean, Sr., GK; Brynn McClune, Jr., def.; Imani Germany-Bird, Sr., D, Grayce Morton, Jr., Attack; Ebony Brown, So., def.; Brielle Davis, Sr., mid.; Jaelynne Vasquez, Sr, attack; Larayna Rosado, Jr., attack; Brooke Thomas, Jr., attack; Samantha Breinsinger, Sr., def/mid.
Outlook: Head coach Brandy Scherer sees her squad’s numbers rising and hopes the wins will follow. “As we continue to climb out of the low numbers created by COVID, we are hoping the experience we gained over the last few years catapults us forward,” Schrerer said. “The majority of our players have minimal varsity experience, but they are a resilient group that are up for a challenge. Our goal is always to focus on the small successes we accomplish each day.”
Head Coach: Kristi Holstein, 8th season
Last year’s record: 5-5 PAC Liberty, 7-6 PAC, 8-10 overall
Athletes to watch: Gianna DiBattista, Jr., mid.; Lindsay Evak, Jr., mid.; Ilyana Jones, Jr., G; Mia Mitchell, Sr., def.; Hailey Mozi, So., mid.; Madison Pierce, Sr., attack; Summer Smith, Sr., def/mid; Alexis Sowers, Jr., attack; Riley Czapor, So., attack; Kristina Cirino, So., attack; Morgan Evak, Fr., def/mid; Megan Ruckman, Fr., attack.
Outlook: Spring-Ford has a ‘wealth of experience and talent’, according to coach Kristi Holstein, thanks to eight returning starters, including All-Area second team choices Alexis Sowers and Mia Mitchell. That continuity should allow the Rams to be in the mix behind OJR in the Liberty and in pursuit of district playoff qualification.
“The team has been working hard in the offseason and we are excited to be back on the field,” said Holstein. “We are looking to fine tune some changes we made last year and to support one another on and off the field.”
Head Coach: Angie Yanocha, 18th season
Last year’s record: 7-3 PAC Liberty, 7-6 PAC, 9-9 overall
Athletes to watch: Julianna Callison, Sr., mid.; Ashley Evitts, Sr., mid.; Julia Newby, Sr., def.; Brooke Olsen, Sr., att.; Ella Menke, Sr., def.; Olivia Smith, Jr., att.; Sam Walmsley, Jr., mid.; Addie Eaton, Jr., def.; Elisa Dougherty, So., def.; Anaya Onwubuairi, So., G; Choloe Wardlow, Fr.; Mackenzie Davis, Fr.
Outlook: Upper Merion has upward momentum after tying for second place in the Frontier Division last season. The Vikings have five returning All-Area players, including second team midfielders Julianna Callison and Ashley Evitts.
“We are already beginning the season with good team chemistry as our roster returns the majority of its players,” said coach Angie Yanocha. She is encouraged by the squad’s depth that should be competing for postseason positions. “We expect to be competitive within our division and hope to regain the Frontier Division title from the 2021 season. We also missed district playoffs last year so getting to districts is also a top priority,” said Yanocha. “It’s a very hard-working group with a lot of potential all-around and more depth than what we’ve had in past seasons.”
Head Coach: Catie Sobotor, 5th season
Last year’s record: 7-3 PAC Frontier, 7-6 PAC, 13-6 overall, District 1-2A second round
Athletes to watch: Mary Kate Sitko, Sr.; Peyton Bettys, Sr.; Abby Davidheiser, Jr.; Maggie Milkowich, Jr.; Taylor Bieler, Jr.; Abby Orsini, Jr.; Mia Scneider, Jr.; Ava Senseny, Fr.; Giana Kozminski, Fr.
Outlook: Coach Catie Sobotor liked what she saw from a young squad in 2022 and sees a group capable of being atop the PAC Frontier and winning rounds in the district playoffs. Leading the lineup will be All-Area first team midfielder Mary Kate Sitko, one of only two returning first team choices from the Frontier.
“We are looking to build on what we were able to accomplish last season. Last year, we were an overall young team. This year, we have some returning players that we are looking to use what they learned last year and continue to develop and take on a bigger role this year,” said Sobotor. “Overall, I’m excited to see how we can continue to improve and work towards our goals this season.”