The last thing its opponents want to hear is this: Northwestern, which has not lost a regular season Colonial League girls soccer game since 2011, has its top three scorers back.
William and Mary recruit Sarah Segan, the 2013 Morning Call Player of the Year who already has 101 career goals, teams up with fellow Morning Call first-teamer Sabrina Mertz (27 goals) to give the Tigers a solid scoring punch in two parts of the field. Figure in Angela Motolese (18 goals), and Northwestern will again be very difficult to figure out on its quest to win a 10th Colonial title in coach Kelly Bleam's 17 seasons.
But as has been the case for several seasons, the competition will come at Northwestern from several directions.
Despite heavy graduation losses, Bangor has a powerful scoring punch in Melissa Guydish and Danielle King. Behind Muhlenberg recruit Makenzie O'Brien (35 goals) and Annelise DePaulo, Moravian Academy is an up-and-coming threat.
Olivia Simone and Notre Dame of Green Pond won some big games down the stretch last season, while Saucon Valley, Salisbury and Southern Lehigh all have potential to win in October.
New coaches in the league this year include Chris Willman at Palisades and Michael Missmer at Pen Argyl.
Coach: Ken Wilson (15th season)
Key players: sr. F Melissa Guydish (25 goals, 2nd team CL), jr. M Danielle King (17 goals, 2nd team CL), sr. M Emma Daly, jr. D Allison Phillips.
Outlook: Guydish and King can score, but the Slaters lost eight starters to graduation. "We are looking at filling in those positions and hopefully our new players will be able to learn quickly and be competitive," Wilson said.
Coach: Trajano Bastidas (9th season)
Key players: sr. Christina Cawley, sr. Amber Weaver, sr. Krys Roberts.
Outlook: "Our goal is to compete with every team," Bastidas said. "We have had an excellent pre-season thus far. Now it's just a matter of putting our players in the right spots. We will be ready to play in the season opener."
MORAVIAN ACADEMY (13-5-1)
Coach: Lauren Calabrese (3rd season, 19-13-2)
Key players: sr. F Makenzie O'Brien (1st team CL, 35 goals), sr. M Annelise DePaulo (13 goals), jr. M Ashley Ender (2nd team CL, 18 goals), jr M Sarah Burcaw.
Outlook: The Lions moved closer to the top CL teams a year ago. Can they continue? It is possible, with O'Brien, a Muhlenberg recruit, and DePaulo, a Scranton commit. "Although we graduated a few key seniors this past year, the team returns a talented group of dedicated players," Calabrese said. "If we can establish consistent performance in both practice and game settings, I am confident that the team will be a formidable force in the league and district."
NORTHERN LEHIGH (2-13)
Coach: Jason Reinhard (4th season, 8-42-1)