Player of the Year: Lauren Kickham, Mount Hebron
The two-time Howard County Player of the Year, Kickham led the Vikings to a second straight perfect season. Capped off by county and state titles, the Vikings stayed No. 1 all season and finished 19-0. She was the center of all of the Vikings' accomplishments. A highly-skilled and physically strong player, she could do it all. She not only led by her impressive statistics, but her work ethic and leadership skills were equally notable. With her in the lineup, the Vikings won four straight state and county titles and went 71-5. Their state final victory over No. 13 Glenelg was their 50th straight win. Twice a regional All-American, Kickham led the Vikings in goals (67) and was second in assists (29), total points (96) and ground balls (116). And she did this while wearing a brace on her left knee much of the season after spraining her anterior cruciate ligament. Kickham's skills and size (5 feet 11) made her difficult to stop, but she remained an unselfish player. "She combines everything you would want in a player," said Vikings coach Chris Robinson. "She ... made everyone else around her better. She improved each year ... and each year she was in the lineup, our team improved." The Duke-bound Kickham scored a team-high five goals in the Vikings' 16-4 victory over Glenelg in the Class 3A-2A-1A state final.
A four-time All-Howard County player, Kickham owns the school career record for ground balls (451) and is second all-time with 194 goals. She also has the single-season ground ball record (141) and the single-game ground ball mark (15).
Coach of the Year: Courtney Vaughn, Liberty
Vaughn and her players worked hard to reach new heights, striving for "respect" and earning a berth among the area's elite teams.
After winning the Carroll County championship and going to the state final for the first time ever, Vaughn call this "her best team, hands down."
A heartbreaking triple-overtime loss to No. 3 Severna Park in the state Class 4A-3A final did nothing to diminish the Lions season. They finished 16-3 with the final No. 6 ranking.
In her 13 years at the helm, after coaching her rookie season at Owings Mills, Vaughn has led the Lions to a 154-43 record and 10 Carroll County titles.
Michelle Allen, Liberty
Until this year, Allen had been known primarily as a soccer player, but she chose to focus on lacrosse last summer and enjoyed a breakout season this spring. Allen assumed a lead role in Liberty's high-powered offense, ringing up 54 goals as well as a team-leading 45 assists. She converted 53 percent of her shots, including nine of 12 free positions. Allen leaves as the Lions' all-time leader in assists and is second in points. A second-team All-Metro pick last year, Allen scored two goals and had an assist for the No. 6 Lions in their first trip to the state Class 4A-3A title game, a 5-4 triple-overtime loss to Severna Park. Bound for Cornell, Allen was chosen a first-team Mid-Atlantic regional All-American.
Kelly Coppedge, St. Mary's
A second-team All-Metro selection last year, Coppedge provided much of the leadership for the No. 8 Saints, who played one of the area's toughest schedules and finished 11-5. The midfielder played both ends of the field with the same intensity. A key to the Saints' transition game, she scored most of her 31 goals on the run. With her speed, strength and strong stick skills, she was tough to stop in transition. One of her biggest games came in the 9-8 upset of Severna Park in which she scored three goals. A strong finisher, she also had a keen eye for her open teammates, getting 11 assists. Next year, Coppedge will play for six-time defending national champion Maryland.
Kristy Dirks, Annapolis
The heart of a talented team, Dirks matched her already exceptional offensive skills with equally strong defense. A repeat first-team player, Dirks scored a team-high 69 goals and had 30 assists to become the second-leading point-getter in Anne Arundel County. She came up with one of the area's most dominant single-game efforts in her seven-goal, two-assist performance in the No. 5 Panthers' come-from-behind 11-10 win over Broadneck in the regional semifinals. Defensively, Dirks turned it up this season. Often called upon to mark the opposition's best attacker, she could force turnovers and spark the Panthers on transition. Dirks was a first-team Chesapeake regional All-American.
Meredith Goodell, Bryn Mawr
At 6-feet tall, Goodell knew how to use her height and exploited it best on the crease. She could catch high pases, deceive goalies and score seemingly with ease. In the Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland A Conference final, Goodell scored the first two goals to start the No. 2 Mawrtians (20-1) rolling to a 13-6 victory over No. 4 Roland Park. Goodell, who is headed for Brown, found the net 50 times this season and also contributed 15 assists. Her long reach also came in handy on the draw and she controlled 40 of them. A member of last fall's U.S. World Championship Under-19 team, Goodell was chosen a first-team Mid-Atlantic regional All-American.
Kim Lawton, Severna Park
Lawton closed out her career by living every goalie's dream making the big saves in overtime to spark her team to the state crown. She saved four overtime shots, including two in sudden death, to keep the No. 3 Falcons (18-3) in the game en route to a 5-4 triple-overtime victory over Liberty. Lawton finished with nine saves, but the biggest one came with five seconds left in the second overtime when she blocked a free-position shot. In the state tournament, the Loyola-bound senior allowed only five goals.
Lawton, a two-sport keeper who also helped the Falcons win three state field hockey championships, faced 247 shots this season and saved 147 of them.
Courtney Lombard, Mount Hebron
The top line defender on the area's No. 1 team, Lombard excelled in one-on-one situations. A smart player who used her feet and body to force opponents outside, Lombard played a patient, controlled game. She never got thrown off balance by trying to make the fantastic stick check. Her quick feet and good body positioning were enough to contain her mark. She led a unit that allowed just 4.6 goals per game. Against Howard County competition, the Vikings allowed only 22 goals an average of 2.4 per game. Lombard, who has signed with James Madison, was third on the team with 35 takeaways and she also had 40 ground balls.
Meg Miller, Severna Park
One of only two three-time All-Metro picks on this year's team, Miller led the third-ranked Falcons to Anne Arundel County and state Class 4A-3A crowns. Last year's Anne Arundel County Player of the Year could simply do it all and she never showed that better than in the state final. In sudden-death overtime, Miller drew several defenders and fed open teammate Holly Noga for a 5-4 victory over Liberty. Miller contributed much more than 43 goals and 26 assists. An exceptionally versatile player, the senior defender came up with big goals, sparked transition and made critical defensive plays. Miller, who is bound for Duke, was selected a first-team Chesapeake regional All-American.
Sarah Oliphant, Annapolis
The versatile attacker continued to pile up impressive numbers in her junior year. She finished with 67 goals and 44 assists. Her 111 points not only led the Panthers but made her the leading scorer in Anne Arundel County this season. With a hard, accurate shot and a knack for finding her open teammates, she proved equally dangerous in transition or in settled situations.
She excelled at running the attack for the Panthers, who finished 15-2-1. The team's playmaker, controlling the ball behind the crease and setting up the plays, she tied teammate Acacia Walker as the Panthers' assist leaders. Oliphant was named an honorable mention Chesapeake regional All-American.
Polly Purcell, Mount Hebron
The most creative attack player around, Purcell thrived on trick shots, flashy passes and anything unexpected. But she never sacrificed effectiveness for excitement. A repeat first-team selection, Purcell ran the area's most potent offense. With 66 assists, she set a Vikings' single-season record, smashing the two-year-old mark of 54. She was second on the team with 56 goals and finished with a team-best 122 points. Purcell combined her exquisite stick skills with great vision and a quick first step to become a multiple threat on the crease. She was virtually impossible to get the ball away from one-on-one. Next year, Purcell will join a host of former Vikings at Boston University.
Jessica Roguski, Liberty
Player of the Year in Carroll County, Roguski was the driving force behind Liberty's first-ever run to the Class 4A-3A state final. In addition to her leadership and work ethic, Roguski contributed 57 goals to go along with 22 assists for the Carroll County champs. A skilled player with boundless determination, Roguski became Liberty's all-time leader in career goals with 184 and in points with 256. In addition to her scoring ability, Roguski was simply a presence in the midfield. She set a school single-season record with 133 draw controls and won 64 percent of the ground balls she contested for. A first-team Mid-Atlantic regional All-American, Roguski will play next year for Vanderbilt.
Theresa Sherry, Bryn Mawr
The Baltimore City/County Player of the Year, Sherry excelled at line defense, but her versatility made her an asset all over the field. The repeat All-Metro first-teamer had a knack for anticipating the opposition's every move. She could stop a player one-on-one or foil a fast break. In the midfield, she often set the Mawrtians' transition in motion with 72 ground balls and 10 takeaways. Sherry also contributed 18 goals and seven assists. Last fall, Sherry was named Player of the Match after leading the U.S. team to the World Under-19 Women's Lacrosse Championship Also an All-Metro soccer and basketball player, Sherry will play soccer and lacrosse next year at Princeton.
Rachel Shuck, Broadneck
The Anne Arundel County Player of the Year, Shuck emerged as the centerpiece of an overachieving No. 7 Bruins team. A versatile player with defensive skills to match her offensive production, Shuck made a huge impact especially in close games. She scored seven goals and had two assists in a 12-11 win over Arundel; four goals and four assists to help beat Southern, 14-13; and three goals and two assists in an 11-10 upset of St. Mary's. Those victories helped the Bruins finish with a 12-4 record. Shuck, who will play next year at Loyola, scored 56 times and assisted on 39 other goals. She was chosen an honorable-mention Chesapeake regional All-American.
Kelsey Twist, Roland Park
After playing with the world champion U.S. Under-19 team last summer, Twist emerged as an overwhelming midfield presence. Defensively-minded, Twist was always relentlessly determined to get the ball back. She hounded opponents and if she missed the first check, she was often able to come from behind to force the turnover.
The central cog in transition for the IAAM A Conference runners-up and No. 4 Reds (12-2-2), the junior scarfed up 76 ground balls. This season, Twist also became a more solid attack player. She led the Reds in total points with 34 goals and 13 assists. Also an All-Metro field hockey player, Twist was named a first-team Mid-Atlantic regional All-American.
Acacia Walker, Annapolis
Crafty and highly-skilled, this repeat first-team selection often controlled the the game with her multi-talented play in the midfield. It started with her dominating efforts on draws and continued with her creativity in transition. Distributing was her specialty, but Walker also had one of the area's hardest and most accurate shots. The junior finished the season with 40 goals and 44 assists. Among her season highlights were the game-winner in the first meeting with Severna Park and a dominating midfield performance to rally the Panthers to a 9-9 season-opening tie at Roland Park. A veteran of the U.S. World Championship Under-19 team, Walker was a first-team Chesapeake regional All-American.
Miles Whitman, Bryn Mawr
A second-team All-Metro pick last year, Whitman is best known for her speed, but she became a more well-rounded midfielder this season. Speed and quickness enabled Whitman to blow by defenders on transition and make the quick step to blast past them in settled situations. She led a balanced Mawrtians attack in goals (56) and points (81). She also had 25 assists. She also became more of presence in the midfield, winning 104 ground balls and 43 draw controls as well as coming up with 15 takeaways. Her ability to win loose balls and hit the open players made her a lethal transition catalyst. A first-team Mid-Atlantic regional All-American, Whitman is headed for Yale.
Katie Zabel, Mount Hebron
Zabel moved from the midfield to line defense and enjoyed a breakout season. She used her speed, quickness and superior game sense to anticipate passes and loose balls. She led the Vikings with 49 takeaways and also had 87 ground balls. While honing her defensive skills, Zabel also maintained her midfield style, running the entire field. She played perhaps her best game in the 14-10 victory over No. 2 Bryn Mawr that solidified the Vikings' No. 1 status. In that game, the final of the Mount Hebron Tournament, Zabel held All-Metro Meredith Goodell scoreless and also scored two goals. Zabel, who will play next season at Brown, finished with six goals and three assists.
Nicki Barnes, Severna Park
Lindsay Biles, Severn
Brooke Dieringer, St. Mary's
Tara Hardiman, Bryn Mawr
Katie Jeschke, Mt. Hebron
Lauren Wittelsberger, Dulaney
Cary Chasney, N. Dame Prep
Jen Cielewich, Severna Park
Stephanie Curnoles, Parkville
Gail Decker, Mt. de Sales
Melissa McCarthy, Mt. Hebron
Becky Trumbo, Liberty
Jen Ahn, Bryn Mawr
Molly McLaughlin, Maryvale
Mary Beth Simmons, Annapolis
Courtney Thornton, St. Mary's
Amy Price, Bryn Mawr
Note: The All-Metro girls lacrosse teams were selected by Katherine Dunn after consultation with The Sun staff and area coaches.Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun