Last year’s record: 4-10
Coach: Joel Jean-Pierre (first year)
Surface: Artificial turf
Strengths: The Townies have experience in the midfield and attacking positions
Concerns: Overall, Charlestown lacks experience and has not gotten the solid preseason practice that first-year coach Jean-Pierre would have liked.
Outlook: With three returning starters that are juniors and another promising junior midfielder, Jackeline Morales, who did not play last season, Charlestown could be a force to reckon with next year. But this year will be a work in progress. Especially since this is the second year in a row that it has a new coach.
“It’s going to be a rebuilding year,” Jean-Pierre said. “I’m trying to get them up to speed and get ready for game time. I’m worried, but if I get them all together I think we can really put something together with some of the experience that we have.
“I’m looking on the positive side, looking to improve from how they did last year. I’m trying to get the girls excited about playing the sport, to not be too concerned about their skills but play freely. Come out and have fun and be positive.”
Junior midfielder Jacky Garcia
Junior forward Janiel Gordon
Junior defender Ailine Barbosa
Last year's record: 10-3-2
Coach: Jason Joseph (fourth year)
Surface: Artificial turf
Strengths: With a slew of four-year players on this year’s squad, the Tigers could be the team to beat. Their midfield will be strong.
Concerns: Goalies and forwards will be a liability.
Outlook: Senior midfielder Yonetta Harris, senior defender Misgana Alemu, senior defender Erdivania Correia, and senior defender Vanessa Gay have played for Joseph for four years now and will be the heart of this team.
“I'm excited for this senior class as this will be their fourth year in my system,” Joseph said. “This should bode well for coming together quickly and on the same page. There is also a group of sophomore who have been with me for three years now and it’s time for them to step up. Obviously, everyone needs to contribute, but we will go as far as those senior and sophomore groups take us.”
But the team graduated its starting goalie and leading scorer from last season.
“I am concerned about who will take control of the goalkeeper position,” Joseph said. “I am equally concerned about how we are going to generate goals this year. Those are two areas that we are going to have to spend some extra time on in practice. I think the midfield will be our strength this year as most of it will return intact.”
Senior midfielder Yonetta Harris
Senior defender Misgana Alemu
Senior defender Erdivania Correia
Senior defender Vanessa Gay
Senior defender Jocelyn Ribeiro
Junior midfielder Irgisola Budo
Sophomore midfielder Vanessa Nedd
Last year’s record: 1-12
Coach: Lauren Bard (first year)
Surface: Artificial turf
Strengths: The Eagles have a handful of returning seniors and a bunch of intelligent and energetic players who love to play.
Concerns: The team is undersized and lacks depth.
Outlook: English is another team that has struggled to retain coaches year to year. But Bard hopes having six seniors will make up for that. The team also will be playing back at home now that its field has finally been refurbished.
“We're excited to have a brand new home field,” Bard said. “We're also looking forward to building a strong squad that will include players from the Margarita Muñiz Academy and the help of volunteer coach Caitlin Barrett, assistant director of coach training and excellence at Up2Us.”
Senior Cesaltina Barros
Senior Miriam Cardoso
Senior Kristina Colon
Senior Mindy Lara
Senior Carla Rodriguez
Senior Daniell White
Junior Renald Darline Beliziare
Last year's record: 5-8-2
Coaches: Allison Cohn and Jenna White
Surface: Artificial turf
Strengths: Eager to get back on the field this fall, Dorchester has a great sense of community and teamwork.
Concerns: The team is young, as it graduated some of its strongest players. There is only one returning starter.
Outlook: Freshman defender Diamond Foster-Tony and freshman midfielder Shanice Smalling-Bob should spark the Bears this season.
Dorchester also will be playing at a renovated venue, as Roberts Field, located in front of Dorchester High, was redone over the summer.
“We are so excited to be able to practice and play games using the new facilities,” Cohn said.
Junior forward Kaylin Thomas.
Last year’s record: 14-4-1
Coach: Richard La Cara (13th year)
Surface: Artificial turf
Strengths: The Jets boast strong defense and goalkeeping, as well as young talent.
Concerns: East Boston had some key players transfer and will rely on skilled but raw freshmen.
Outlook: The defending city champions relied on defense last year. This year they will be led by three-year captain Hannah Lunetta and Pamela Sepulveda at the back and Brittany Brancato in net.
“They control the field for us, which is unusual for defense,” La Cara said. "Brittany can singlehandedly win a game for us with some of the key saves that she makes.
“We are going to miss sophomore forward superstar Mariah Roberts and senior midfielder Marta Chacon, a captain, who both moved outside the city. We have to have people step up and take control of those positions. Ruth Rivas, Vanessa Mejia, Emily Herrera, and Mykala Jordan are expected to take their game to the next level.”
La Cara said he and his players look forward to defending their crown.
“I want them to have fun and by winning, that breeds having fun,” he said. “If we do the best we can, we can make it to the playoffs. I don’t know what to expect, so we’ll give it our best shot.
“We understand that we will have a bull's-eye on us this year after winning the title last year. We are loading up on outside competition with games against North Quincy, Randolph, and Everett. It should be interesting for us. We can see our improvement from last year against some of these same teams."
Senior defender Hannah Lunetta
Senior midfielder Monique Souza
Senior midfielder Nicole Lopez
Junior midfielder Mykala Jordan
Junior defender Theresa Buenrostro
Junior midfielder Emily Herrera
Junior midfielder Ruth Rivas
Junior midfielder Manuela Lopera
Junior goalkeeper Brittany Brancato.
Sophomore forward Jasmine Nijjar
Sophomore defender Pamela Sepulveda
Sophomore forward Vanessa Figueroa
Last year’s record: 6-6-2
Coach: Bridget Driscoll (second year)
Strengths: Brighton is strong through the center of the field (goalie, stopper, center midfielders, and strikers) with some speed on the outside.
Concerns: Along with losing other strong players to graduation, Brighton lost its top goal scorer, Emma Lama, and starting sweeper, Love Awah.
Outlook: Driscoll is optimistic despite the fact that she has big shoes to fill with the losses of Lama and Awah.
“It seems like our returning players have polished their skills over the offseason and came to preseason in better shape than last year,” Driscoll said. “They are a great group of girls who are dedicated, smart, and most importantly eager to learn and improve. We have a solid returning group of players and are excited to add more student-athletes to the roster.”
Sophomore forward Helina Gurmessa
Sophomore forward/midfielder Juliana Santos
Senior defender Maybel Lopez
Junior defender Stuti Arora
Sophomore midfielder Vasilla Ganopolous
Junior goalie/forward Stephanie Fernandes
Senior midfielder/forward Yaritza Landaverde
Sophomore forward/midfielder Pricilla Mendez
Senior midfielder Iyanuoluwa Adebanjo
Senior midfielder Christy Cruz
Senior midfielder Briana Alves Gomes
Senior midfielder Jalitza Perez
Last year’s record: 9-5-2
Coach: Marc J. Loiselle (second year)
Strengths: The Knights have excellent touch and control, overall team speed, and soccer smarts. They are also much more experienced than last year, as they boasted the most freshman starters among MIAA tournament teams.
Concerns: South Boston’s numbers are down a bit this year after some players moved to other schools or graduated.
Outlook: Three-sport captain Daitannah Smith sets the tone for a hard-nosed team that qualified for the state tournament last year.
“My athletes are fearless and hard-working -- they will do whatever is needed to be competitive and have a great time,” Loiselle said. “I anticipate a lot of fun, excitement, laughter, and joy with a little bit of aggressive competitive spirit mixed in to accentuate a wonderful spirited season. Success comes from hard work and dedication to learning combined with the love and respect our teammates have for each other."
Senior captain Daitannah Smith
Senior center back Nga "Vanessa" Nguyes
Sophomore forward/defender Claudia Garay
Sophomore forward/midfielder Suraia Silverie
Sophomore midfielder Jamie Villanueva
BOSTON LATIN ACADEMY
Last year’s record: 12-5-2
Coach: Kara Stafford (first year)
Strengths: Latin Academy features a large number of seniors and experienced returning players.
Concerns: Stafford worries about working on getting all her players, regardless of position, into both an attacking and defending mind-set.
Outlook: The junior varsity coach the previous four years, Stafford steps into the lead role this year and is excited to coach many of the players again.
“The team is going to be focused on improving communication and connected play between lines, as well as speed and accuracy of play,” she said. “We have strong on-field leaders in defense, midfield, and forward.
“Everyone is going to be pushing themselves to improve, and hopefully this will pay off with a successful city championship and MIAA tournament.”
Defender Jillian Eweka
Defender Gabriela Cartagena
Defender Monica Browning
Midfielder Paola Villatoro
Midfielder Christina Kelly
Midfielder Fatma Hussein
Midfielder Ashley Janvier
Forward Morgan Wheeler
Forward Molly McCourt
Last year's record: 7-5-1
Coach: Adelina Dasilva (33d season)
Surface: Artificial turf
Strengths: Madison Park has a will to win and team spirit that can’t be matched. The core players are strong in the classroom, too.
Concerns: Between graduation and academic ineligibility, Madison Park will struggle with depth at the start of the season.
Outlook: Madison Park is shooting for a second- or third-place finish in the league this year even though it is short on numbers in the early going.
“Even though right now it looks bleak, we don’t have numbers, but once we get going, I’m pretty sure we’ll be fighting to be in the first four places,” Dasilva said.
Senior midfielder Sedny Alves
Senior midfielder Andrea Lopes
Senior midfielder Sara DosSantos
Senior midfielder Dunia Andrade
Senior midfielder Najma Quinones
Senior defender Berlizia Brito
Last year's record:: 13-3-1
Coaches: Kerry Haczyk and Christine Kennedy (second year)
Surface: Artificial turf
Strengths: The Titans have a cohesive team that works well together. They also have a lot of returning players on both offense and defense.
Concerns: The offense wasn’t as strong as the defense last year, and that will once again be a concern for New Mission. Despite the returning players, there are a slew of new ones, too.
Outlook: Last year was the first season that New Mission and Boston Community Leadership Academy combined teams and attended school under one roof. Despite that transition, the team still finished with the second-best record in the city behind East Boston.
“Last year we didn’t know how it would go combining two schools,” Haczyk said. “This year, all our players, they all know each other. That helps on the field. We know how we work and communicate. We have a lot of returning players, which is fantastic. Last year we had a strong defense but this year we’ll have a strong all-around offense and defense.
“I think we’ll have a pretty good season. Hopefully we’ll do as good as we did last year when we made it all the way to the city semifinals. This year want to make it at least to the semifinals if not finals.”
Senior defender Nikesha Amado
Senior defender Alison Davey
Senior defender Perla Lara
Senior forward Amarielis Morales
Senior midfielder Rodas Ghidei
Junior midfielder Juceila Barros
Sophomore midfielder Kaityln Kostigen
Last year's record: 5-9
Coach: Wade Wall (10th year)
Strengths: The team’s biggest strength will be its five returning seniors. Freshman midfielder/forward Eryka Sankoh will also provide a spark.
Concerns: Fielding a full practice and getting players to file paperwork in the preseason could haunt Snowden in the early part of the season.
Outlook: The combination of experience and youth will serve Snowden well this season. But first it has to get all the players eligible and on the field. With that said, Wall has been encouraged so far.
“We’re going to win most of our games,” Wall said. “I think we’re going to do pretty good this year from what I’ve seen so far. We have five returning seniors and good freshmen. And I have a good assistant. So that’s the good things I have going for me.”
Senior forward Bianca Glover
Senior defender Stephanie Morales
Senior midfielder Victoria Recinos
Senior midfielder Noelia Rodriguez
Senior defender Dahlaia Loaica
Sophomore midfielder/forward Yailen Pineda
Sophomore defender Connie Trong
Last year's record: 10-6
Coach: Edner Cayemite (23d year)
Strengths: The Raiders have a balanced team with a strong senior class that is looking to build off last year’s momentum. The team is also one of the largest in the city, with 24 players.
Concerns: Finding playing time for everyone will be a challenge for Cayemite.
Outlook: Last year, West Roxbury just barely missed a trip to the state tournament. With such a large team led by a strong senior class, the Raiders should be able to get over the hump this year.
“This year I think we have a very good team due to the fact that most of the seniors are back,” Cayemite said. “We only lost about three students. We have some new juniors and kids in practice and it appears we have the kids in the midfield that will be able to score for us.”
Senior forward/midfielderRuffin Kianna
Senior midfielder/forward Stewert Heather
Senior defender Ruffin Brianna
Senior Viruez Ashley
Senior keeper Vanessa Duran
Junior defender/midfielder McPherson Monique
Junior defender/midfielder Francois Roberte
Sophomore midfielder Quinones Alejandra
Sophomore midfielder/goalkeeper Casseus Jennifer
About Boston Public Schools Sports BlogMore »
- Justin A. Rice -- A metro Detroit native, Rice is a Michigan State University (Go Spartans!) and Northeastern University graduate. Rice lives in the South End with his dog and wife, who unfortunately attended the University of Michigan ... his wife, that is. He curates the BPS Sports Blog and is always looking to write about city athletes with great stories. Have an idea? He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @GlobeJustinRice or @BPSspts.
- Ryan Butler -- A Rhode Island native and avid Boston sports fan, Butler played basketball, baseball and football throughout his time in Barrington Public Schools. Now currently in his middler year at Northeastern University, he joins Boston.com as a correspondent for the site's BPS coverage. Have a story idea? Contact him at email@example.com. Follow him on his Twitter @butler_globe.