Groton-Dunstable Regional: The Crusaders were a force last year on the way to a Division 2 state title, but they lost a lot to graduation, and have big shoes to fill without dynamic forward Kyle Romich.
Lincoln-Sudbury Regional: The Warriors return just a single starter, junior Tyler Barnes, from last year’s impressive group, and coach Dave Hosford expects growing pains, but when the tourney arrives, his team is always in the hunt.
Needham: With the return of senior striker Mac Steeves, one of the state’s best players who opted not to play for his soccer academy team, coach Don Brock (in his 46th season) has a senior-laden squad that can’t be ignored as a Division 1 favorite.
Newton South: John Conte did wonders with the Lions in his first season on the bench, impressing area coaches who believe he’s turning the program around. And with a strong group of younger talent, Conte’s squad could surprise.
Jason Mastrodonato can be reached at email@example.com.