The Washington Post

For St. Stephen’s/st. Agnes, the mission is to reload and repeat in the ISL


Kathy Jenkins has dealt with young teams before. In 2022, the St. Stephen’s/st. Agnes coach had to replace 17 seniors from the previous season. Despite that, the Saints won the Independen­t School League AA championsh­ip.

She will be tasked with doing it again this season under similar circumstan­ces, with some preseason injuries compoundin­g the effects of graduation­s. The Saints have seven freshmen expected to see regular time, an unusually high number for Jenkins.

“They’re going to make mistakes . . . but these are athletic, great game sense, hard-working freshmen that have fit in with the older girls,” the coach said. “. . . We’re going to hit bumps on the road, but I’m pretty pleased with how they’ve done so far.”

That mentality — a mix of apprehensi­on and eagerness — pervades most programs in March. The Saints come in at No. 8 in the season-opening rankings. The team they beat in the ISL championsh­ip game last year, Stone Ridge, shows up several spots higher.

(Records from last year)

1. Spalding (12-4): The Cavaliers made it to the Interschol­astic Athletic Associatio­n of Maryland A conference quarterfin­als last season. Gabrielle Greene, a junior attacker/midfielder, could improve on her All-met honorable mention selection from a year ago.

2. Good Counsel (17-4): A win over Bishop Ireton gave the Falcons last season’s Washington Catholic Athletic Conference title. Junior midfielder and Northweste­rn commit Hannah Rudolph, who scored six goals in that game, returns after being named WCAC player of the year.

3. Stone Ridge (15-7): One goal separated the Gators from St. Stephen’s/st. Agnes in last season’s ISL AA championsh­ip game.

4. Glenelg Country (17-2): The Dragons lost the IAAM A conference championsh­ip game to St. Paul’s. Twins and Clemson commits Regan and Blair Byrne combined for 64 goals as juniors.

5. Glenelg (14-1): Midfielder Isa Torres and attack Lauren Lapointe, committed to Virginia Tech and Maryland, respective­ly, form the backbone of a team trying to improve off a loss in a Maryland 2A region final last year.

6. Visitation (16-6): The No. 2 seed in the ISL AA tournament lost to eventual champion St. Stephen’s/st. Agnes in the semifinal but still has an all-conference selection in junior midfielder Madison Rassas.

7. Paul VI (18-5): The Panthers, who lost in last year’s Virginia Independen­t Schools Athletic Associatio­n final, are 2-1 this season after three games in Florida.

8. St. Stephen’s/st. Agnes (20-5): Last year’s ISL AA champs began the season with a 14-7 victory at Yorktown on Tuesday.

9. Dominion (17-2): A win over Western Albemarle last year gave the Titans their third straight state title. Dominion lost All-met first team attacker Molly Battaglia and second-team midfielder Ashlyn Hickey, placing more pressure on second-team goalie Caelan Jones.

10. Marriotts Ridge (15-4): The Mustangs surged to an 11-10 win over Severna Park to claim last season’s Maryland 3A title and bring back All-met first team midfielder and University of Maryland commit Maisy Clevenger.

On the bubble: Bishop Ireton, Broadneck, Oakton, Severna Park, St. Mary’s, Yorktown.

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