Freshman sweeper Brittany Wartman scored on an outstanding direct free kick from about 35 yards out to help beat Reservoir and end the skid. Over the final five games, Hebron went 3-1-1 while scoring 12 goals and letting in only three.
Captains included keeper Anna Pallozzi, forward/midfielders Karoline Melan, Harper Drake and Isabelle Cox and defender Olivia Williams. Freshmen Audrey Eldridge and Kaylee Toth were also key contributors. Wartman and sophomores Anna Siedlecki and Olivia Williams anchored the defense with assistance from freshmen Karyssa Miller, Laura Radov, Alyssa Matanin, Morgan Cargiulo and sophomore Kseniya Zubilova.
Melan (forward), Laura Benson (midfielder) and Kendall Grove (forward) led the scoring for the Vikings. The forwards were joined up top by Drake and freshmen Jordan Stevens and Grace Kelly. Freshmen Sorana Larson and Benson controlled the midfield along with sophomores Cox and Megan Konig and freshmen Megan Benoit, Alex Sender and Carmen Bodziak.
"Although at times we started as many as eight freshmen, the girls played with great chemistry, energy and consistency each time we went out," said coach Robert Gibbons. "Defensively we were a tough team to beat and we generated a lot of chances up top, outshooting our opponents 16-6 on average for the season. Most of the time, as indicated by our record, we were able to finish enough to be successful."
For the seventh straight season, Reservoir was led by coaches John and George Hermina. This season, however, may have been one of the pair's best.
"Our team this year was amongst the most technically talented teams that we have ever coached," said George Hermina. "Kayla Pindell and Holland Burkett had great speed and extraordinary foot skills. Christina Gray anchored the midfield and moved the ball forward, while Mary Dudzinski and Dana Gillum managed to give our team a perfect defensive shape."
Fullback Sophia Elky not only defended well, but also participated in attacks and scored goals. Freshmen Miriam Hermina and Maria Janush led the team in assists, and the two are expected to play a significant role in the team's success next year.
"The Gators' season began with a drought of goals, but after the first couple of games, it began to rain," coach John Hermina said. "The Gators went on to score 18 goals (combined) in four of the games."
Pamela Arrazola scored two goals against Glenelg to give the team a 3-2 victory, and Alexis Limon scored several of her teams' goals throughout the season.
Perhaps the biggest surprise of the season was wing-midfielder Morgan Strahl. The Gators' two goalkeepers were injured with three games remaining on the year. Strahl stepped up into the keeper role. With her newly-revealed goalkeeping skills, Strahl helped her team win 5-0 against Marriott's Ridge, and she helped produce a tie against Wilde Lake after overtime play.
Wilde Lake finished 3-5-2 in county, building on last season's team.
"Last year, I had to rebuild the team due to having so many sophomores the year prior," second-year coach Kristyn Neubauer said. "This year most of those players returned and it was refreshing to know that, with their experience and some new freshmen talent, we had a solid chance of beating the odds and keeping up with even the toughest teams in the county."
Sophomore Alyssa Bialek received the team's Unsung Hero award this season after playing just about every position on the field. She was in goal against some of the toughest teams in the county and only allowed three goals in four games. She was also utilized as a forward and defender, scoring two goals in a single game while playing in a defensive position.
Antanazia Britt put eight goals in the net this season, including four in a single game. Neubauer called freshman Londyn Tyler "one of the biggest surprises for us" and classmate Amy Radcliffe scored four goals over the last three games. Sophomore defender Elizabeth Amare was also a contributor.
"Aside from all of the exciting and nail-biting games, the memories I cherish the most were all those days of practices," Neubauer said. "Having the girls for at least two hours every day was a challenge, but it was always something I looked forward to. … The girls bonded with each other and their joint efforts made for a very successful season."
Atholton finished in a three-way tie with Marriotts Ridge and River Hill for the top record in the county with a 12-2 mark.
Defensively, libero Madison Lim was at the center of the defense for the Raiders (14-2 overall). Outside hitter Angela Nguyen led the offense in kills and setter Olivia Na controlled the pace, while also serving 54 aces on the season.
Coach Rick Ewart called Lim the "heart" of the defense, Nguyen the "soul" of the team and Na the "brains" of the offensive unit.
First-time players Chelsea Mitchell and McKayla Lyons were aggressive at the middle hitter position, while freshman Catherina Park was stellar defensively. Freshman Julia Skibniewska transitioned seamlessly into playing outside hitter. Defensive specialist Becky Chen and blocker Michele Keumeni (.929 serve percentage) were crucial to the team's success.