Last year’s record: 8-5-5 (Lost in D1 first round)
Head coach: Kristin Simpson (1st season returning, 152-99-24 career record)
Captains: Emma Fitzgerald, Sr. D; Mia Bilotti, Sr. Mid; Carly Jones, Sr. D; Jenna Schweizer, Sr. Mid/F.
Other players to watch: Svetlana Piasecki, Soph. Mid; Ella Heckman, Soph. Mid; Ava Freitas, Jr. Mid/D; Avery Fogerty, Soph. Mid/F; Maddie Young, Jr. Mid; Grace Galbreath, Jr. Mid; Clara Kostro, Fr. GK.
Outlook: What’s old is new again for the Panthers, with Kristen Simpson returning after leading the program to 152 wins before taking a four-year respite. The Panthers are strong and experienced in the back and have a lot of talented youngsters vying for roles up top. If the Black-and-Orange find some scoring punch and get a hold of their team identity quickly, they’ll be in the thick of the NEC Dunn title chase.
Last year’s record: 1-13-4 (Did not qualify for MIAA playoffs)
Head coach: Steve Flaherty (7th season, 56-35-9)
Captains: Keira Morgan, Sr. Mid; McKenna Leaman, Sr. GK; Taylor Carafa, Jr. Mid.
Other players to watch: Lauren Woods, Sr. D; Samantha Dormer, Sr. Mid; Carmela Rodriguez, Jr. F; Celia Neilson, Soph. F; Carlie Salvo, Jr. Mid; Callie Reed, Soph. F/Mid.
Outlook: The Crusaders weren’t as bad as their win total indicated a year ago, but scoring just 11 goals cost them points. Look for the addition of attacking mid Samantha Dormer from Marblehead to change Fenwick’s offensive fortunes, as she’s a weapon on set pieces. Carmela Rodriguez and Celia Neilson are other emerging offensive threats and the Crusaders should be solid on D per usual. There are only six seniors, but Flaherty sees a promising young squad that’s hoping to make some noise.
Last year’s record: 12-5-3 (Lost in D2 Round of 16)
Head coach: Jimmy Hinchion (25th season, 383-80-37)
Captains: Reese Holland, Sr. D; Molly Godfried, Sr. Mid; Krysta Zamejtis, Sr. F; Skylar Laws, Sr. D.
Other players to watch: Georgia Prouty, Jr. Mid; Maddie Dembowski, Jr. GK; Brook Wynott, Jr. F; Lila Doucette, Soph. F; Liv St. Pierre, Soph. Mid; Addi McCarty, So. D; Lily Delafano, Soph. D.
Outlook: The Falcons return almost 30 goals from a year ago, led by recent Boston University commit Georgia Prouty’s 17. Sophomores Liv St. Pierre (an NEC all-star) and Lila Doucette also proved they could score as freshmen, so Danvers’ offense should be among the area’s best. In back, captain Reese Holland leads the crew. Danvers has a small senior class (5) by its standards, but returns 11 varsity players (5 starters). After being knocked off by Masco in 2022, the Falcons goal is to return to the top of the NEC.
Last year’s record: 11-7-2 (CAC Large champions, lost in D3 first round)
Head coach: Kelly Barrio (12th season, 129-69-17)
Captain: Carrie Martinez, Sr. Mid.
Other players to watch: Caitlin McNeill, Sr. D; Forrest Gauron, Sr. D; Carly Thayer, Sr. D; Kaitlin Hawes, Sr. Mid; Brenna Zahine, Sr. Mid; Samantha Harrison, Sr. F; Emma Huggins, Jr. GK.
Outlook: The Hawks have an excellent leader and distributor in Carrie Martinez and a lot of senior experience on the back line. They’ll need to play confident soccer as they’re now members of the Cape Ann League, one of the deepest and most challenging in the state for this sport. Essex Tech has the depth and determination to surprise some teams and should be in the mix for a state playoff berth.
Last year’s record: 13-6-0 (CAL Baker champs, lost in D4 Round of 8)
Head coach: Nancy Waddell (9th season, 89-34-20)
Captains: Stewart Bernard, Sr. GK; Leah Coffey, Sr. D; Lily Mark, Jr. Mid.
Other players to watch: Claire Veenema, Sr. D; Tessa Hunt, Jr. F; Annie Moynihan, Jr. Mid; Maddy Wood, Jr. D; Evia Bernard, Soph. D; Georgia Wilson, Jr. Mid; Sadie Gamber, Jr. Mid; Savanna Gauron, Soph. F/Mid.
Outlook: The Generals return one of the most dangerous trios in the CAL: Baker MVP Lily Mark (three hat tricks, 15 goals), Annie Moynihan (18 points) and Tessa Hunt (14 goals). With Leah Coffey and Stewart Bernard (7 1/2 shutouts) anchoring the back, H-W figures to be among the best in D4 once again. Building depth and consistency are a focus.
Last year’s record: 4-13-2 (Lost in D4 first round)
Head coach: Greg Chmura (3rd season, 11-24-4)
Captains: Izzy Wetter, Sr. Mid; Amelia Mooradd, Sr. Mid
Other players to watch: Lilly Harper, Jr. F; Lyla Greenleaf, Soph. Mid; Jade Wilcox, Soph. Mid; Julie Huber, Sr. Mid; Taylor Walsh, Sr. D; Elin Robert, Jr. GK.
Outlook: The Tigers have a wealth of experience and more depth than in the past few years, so a third straight trip to the Division 4 state playoffs looks to be in the cards. Izzy Wetter and Amelia Mooradd are both four-year varsity players and IHS has a few other three-year varsity contributors in the junior class. Keep an eye on senior Julie Huber, an exchange student from Norway who brings unique foot skills to the pitch.
Last year’s record: 9-5-5 (Lost in D2 first round)
Head coach: Lisa Wales (1st season)
Captains: Kate Burns, Sr. GK; Grace Mortensen, Sr. D; Talia Selby, Sr. D
Other players to watch: Sydney Ball, Soph. Mid; Sadie Halpern, Soph. Mid; Katie Pyne, Sr. Mid; Kate Twoomey, Sr. Mid; Ava Larco, Sr. Mid.
Outlook: The Magicians are a fundamentally sound bunch who’ve always been tough to score against. Lisa Wales plans to keep that identity and said she’s been impressed by her team’s work ethic. Quite a few goals were lost to graduation, but a number of talented underclassmen look ready to fill that void.
Last year’s record: 17-1-2 (NEC Dunn champions, lost in D2 Round of 8)
Head coach: Alison Lecesse (7th season, 86-12-10)
Captains: Lauren Boughner, Sr. F; Kara Lindonen, Sr. D; Abby Moore, Sr. Mid; Lily Podgurski, Sr. D.
Other players to watch: Riley Bovardi, Jr. D; Kayla Scannell, Sr. F; Sam Schena, Sr. Mid; Amanda Schneider, Jr. F; Nichole Schneider, Jr. D; Cate Shaffer, Soph. Mid; Teagan Skulley, Jr. D; Blythe McLean, Sr. Mid; Kate Colbert, Sr. Mid.
Outlook: The defending NEC Dunn champs again look like one of the state’s best teams in Division 2 with three returning starters on the backline, several in the midfield, and 27 goals returning between dynamic captain Lauren Boughner and junior scoring ace Amanda Schneider. Breaking in a new goalkeeper is the only real question mark for a team that has experience, talent and leadership at all three levels. The road to the NEC title runs through Boxford.
Last year’s record: 7-9-2 (Lost in D1 preliminary round)
Head coach: Andrew Douglass (3rd season, 14-15-6)
Captains: Logan Lomasney, Sr. D; Eva Joyce, Sr. GK; Ally Bettencourt, Jr. F; Connie Patturelli, Jr. Mid.
Other players to watch: Brooke Lomasney, Jr. Mid; Jess Steed, Jr. Mid; Madi Barrett, Jr. D; Stella D’Ambrosio, Sr. Mid; Gianna Sinibaldi, Sr, F; Ava Champigny, Jr. D.
Outlook: The Tanners have athletes at every level and an exceptionally competitive, solid backline that will keep them in every game. Offensive consistency was an issue a year ago, so Peabody needs to find ways to put the ball away against good teams. If they do, an NEC title and tourney run aren’t unrealistic goals.
Last year’s record: 22-2-1 (EIL, NEPSAC Class B champions)
Head coach: Doc Simpson (12th season, 167-22-10)
Captains: Catherine Watrous, Sr. F; Helena Crate, Sr. Mid; Lauren Collins, Sr. D; Hanna Jenkins, Sr. Mid.
Other players to watch: Arianna Schwinn-Clanton, Jr. Mid; Kayla Smynrios, Soph. F; Kathryn Gasiorowski, Jr. D; Maddie O’Connor, Jr. D; Lauren Tucker, Jr. D; Allie Donovan, Jr. F/Mid; Shauna O’Brien, Fr. F; Andi Ferry, Fr. F; Sydney Rech, Fr. F;
Outlook: All-American Maddie Landers (now at Boston College) and goalie Maggie Warner leave big holes to fill, but Pingree returns three double-digit goal scorers in Kayla Symrnios, Helena Crate and Allie Donovan and the area’s assist leader in Catherine Watrous (23). It’s a savvy, veteran group with an experienced backline that looks primed to contend for another New England title.
Last year’s record: 1-15-2 (Did not qualify for MIAA playoffs)
Head coach: Julian Brosi (1st season)
Captains: Sydney Agno, Jr. Wing; Sam Agno, Jr. Wing; Kate Heppner, Jr. GK
Other players to watch: Lily Navins, Soph. Mid; Julia Gauthier, Fr. Mid; Lizzy Reid, Soph. Mid; Kai Gillis, Soph. D.
Outlook: It’s a young group with three junior captains, but they’ve all got plenty of varsity experience in multiple sports for the Witches. Keeper Kate Heppner is one of the NEC’s best and was a league all-star a year ago. Salem has some speed up the wings and is quicker and more confident than it was last fall. Gaining experience and situational awareness is the main focuses.
Last year’s record: 9-7-2 (chose not to participate in MIAA playoffs)
Head coach: Darren Benedick (2nd season)
Captains: Kayla Esterlin, Sr. GK/Mid; Jessenia Rivera, Sr. D.
Players to watch: Jayden Staff, Soph. D; Breanna Cruz, Soph. D; Pretty Brenna Abila, 8th, F; Adalee Gaddis, Sr. F; Rose Fontana, 6th, Mid; Amelia Dolan, 8th, Mid; Aife Naik, 6th, Mid.
Outlook: Its the second year for coach Darren Benedick and the focus is on player development. The Navs graduated seven players but still have a large roster, including a number of middle schoolers who can develop into solid contributors. SACS has a good mix of both charter school and MIAA opponents and should be competitive with both.
Last year’s record: 11-6-3 (Lost in D3 Round of 16)
Head coach: Jaymie Caponigro (1st season)
Captains: Victoria Qaugrello, Sr. D; Jesse Ford, Sr. D
Other players to watch: Hannah Fogg, Sr. D; Sam Ward, Soph. D; Fiona Kenney, Soph. Mid; Lauren Burse, Soph. Mid.
Outlook: Big Blue alum Jaymie Caponigro takes over the program and knows just how challenging the NEC can be. Swampscott will retain its possession-oriented, defensive identity with some excellent backs in Victoria Quagrello and Jesse Ford leading the way. They graduated an All-State keeper in Lilian Gosselin and most of their top scorers, so young players will need to step up offensively. Expect a lot of close, low scoring games — and don’t be surprised if Swampscott wins its share of those.
Last year’s record: 5-11-2 (Did not qualify for MIAA playoffs)
Head coach: Katina Tibbetts (1st season)
Captains: Gabriella Bottari, Sr. Outside; Morgan Pennimpede, Sr. D/Mid; Abby Stauffer, Sr. Mid.
Other players to watch: Seville Tran-Harrison, Sr. D; Maggie Deckert, Jr. D; Skye Ciolino, Jr. Mid; Ave Coelho, Soph. Mid; Jordan Macchie, Jr. Mid; Taiya Mano, Jr. F; Ava Paone, Jr. F.
Outlook: The Fishermen have a renewed sense of spirit and purpose with alum Katina Tibbets taking over the program. She’s bringing a disciplined style that should match well with the experienced athletes Gloucester has at various levels on the pitch. The goal is to return to the postseason and if everything comes together, Gloucester could also vie for the NEC Lynch crown with Swampscott and Saugus looking like the chief competition.
Last year’s record: 9-8-4 (Lost in D4 Round of 8)
Head coach: Christo Manginis (2nd season)
Captains: Pippa Spingler, Sr. Wing; Mechi O’Neil, Sr. F; Mackay Brooks, Sr. D; Ella Arntsen, Jr. D.
Other players to watch: Charlotte Crocker, Jr. Mid; Libby Lawler, Jr. F/Mid; Madi Cook, Jr. GK; Harper Brooks, Soph. Mid/D; Grace Scarbroough, Soph. D.
Outlook: With 17 varsity players back from last year’s Elite Eight squad, the Hornets have CAL Baker and state title aspirations this fall. Mechi O’Neil should be one of the most dangerous attackers in the CAL and she’s surrounded by a number of creative passers and speedy wingers that could be troublesome for opposing defenses. It’s a veteran backline as well, so look for the Hornets to lean on their depth and experience to make another solid run.
Last year’s record: 2-16-0 (Did not qualify for MIAA playoffs)
Head coach: Garrett Stevens (1st season)
Captains: Bezzie Strong, Sr. Mid; Karlee Lorden, Sr. D; Trinity Elder, Sr. D.
Other players to watch: Alli Spencer, Jr. F/Mid; Zoey Parker, Jr. F/Mid; Allie George, Jr. GK; Ella Silver, Jr. Mid; Davilee Moseley, Soph. Mid; Brooke Cote, Soph. Mid; Gabby Lucido, Soph. Mid; Mari Penazola, Soph. Mid; Catie Dewan, Fr. F.
Outlook: The Vikings have had a great preseason, says first-year coach Garrett Stevens. The leadership group is an excellent blend of vocal captains and leading by example; their defensive play could help junior Allie George enjoy a breakout season in net. Rockport boasts a healthy combination of players from various grades and experience levels that are working hard to improve on last year’s win total.