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DREW A. KELLEY , CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHER
Huntington Beach starts the girls soccer season ranked No. 1 in the O.C. top 10. The team is led by, from left, Darcy Weiser, Olivia Covert, Jenna Nighswonger, Yvonne Martinez, Rachel Harris, Sarah Steinhaus and Sawyer Koelsch.

Girls soccer preview: O.C. top 10

STAFF WRITER

OCVarsity’s girls soccer preview for the 2015-16 season.

O.C. TOP 10

1. Huntington Beach: After finishing atop the Sunset League standings for the first time last season, the Oilers welcome back six all-league starters. Darcy Weiser, Sawyer Koelsch and Yvonne Martinez are possibly the top attacking trio in the county. Huntington Beach did not lose a single match in regulation last year.

2. Mater Dei: The defending CIF champions return a pair of All-County and All-CIF playmakers in Olivia Ware and Lauren Markwith. The Trinity League is loaded yet again, but that duo is a major reason the Monarchs are so highly regarded again this season.

3. Aliso Niguel: After sitting atop the county rankings for a good portion of last season, the Wolverines’ season ended in the second round of the playoffs. Expect Coach Randy Dodge’s troupe to be in the mix when postseason play gets going this season. Myranda Baca, Maddie Desiano and Remy Mathews are all back for Aliso.

4. Santa Margarita: The Eagles’ possession-based attack will continue to frustrate opponents with Natalie Kennedy and Machaela George headlining a deep midfield. Because it graduated its entire back line, Santa Margarita’s defense will be under the microscope, but it should only get better with game match experience.

5. Laguna Hills: Despite flying under the radar much of last season, the Hawks were a penalty shootout away from winning the Division 1 title. Sophomore forward Mia Roth and senior midfielder Michelle Caballero are All-CIF returners who hope to match last year’s success.

6. Edison: If the Chargers can find a consistent goal-scoring threat, they will be one of the county’s elite teams. Sixteen players return from last season’s squad that finished second in the Sunset League. Among them is goalkeeper Zoe Clevely, who has spent time with the U.S. U17 national team.

7. Foothill: The defending Crestview League champs graduated a lot of talent from last year’s team, but bring back one of the county’s brightest young stars in Abby Greubel. A natural playmaker, the Knights’ do-it-all sophomore will have the team back in contention this season.

8. Canyon: Playmaking sisters Penelope and Iliana Hocking had an instant impact as freshmen and look to build on that. With one of the most reliable center backs in Taylor Rasmussen leading their back line, the Comanches will be in the thick of the Crestview League race.

9. Rosary: Is this the best Rosary team in school history? Coach Sean Melendez believes this group can be. Rosary boasts a trio of Division 1-bound center midfielders in Roisin Allaeddinni, Olivia LaCasto and Mackenzie Hansen. Goalkeeper Emma Toohey is entering her fourth year as a varsity starter.

10. Northwood: The Timberwolves have bolstered their preseason schedule with hopes it will make them stronger for the playoffs. Senior forwards Danielle Solaru and Chinyere Chambers are lightning fast and will give opposing defenses fits with their pace. Northwood’s roster is loaded with technically sound players, making it one of Division 2’s top squads.

2015-16 girls soccer preview:

Girls soccer preview: Mater Dei gears up for another run at title

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Contact the writer: kconnolly@ocregister.com


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