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Intensity carries Booster Reporter female Athlete of the Year

When it came to defense in lacrosse, basketball and soccer, few performers can match Loch Raven's Sammie Knapp, who uses her toughness and quickness to shut down an opponent's best offensive player.

The 2013 Female Northeast Booster Reporter Athlete of the Year earned All-State honors in soccer, All-County recognition in lacrosse and was the school's nominee for McCormick Unsung Heroes Awards in basketball.

A defensive mentality set her apart.

"I did all the dirty work no one else wanted to do," said Knapp, who co-captained all three teams. "I stuck with my man and I was always physical. Even if I didn't have any energy left, I tried to go 110 percent after the ball. It could change an outcome of a game."

Knapp will attend Mount St. Mary's University on a lacrosse scholarship and major in accounting. She chose the Emmitsburg school over an offer from Coastal Carolina University.

Knapp, who carried a 3.58 grade point average, strongly considered also playing soccer in college.

"I definitely think she could play Division I soccer at the next level," Loch Raven soccer coach Anthony Menegatti said. "She was one of the better marking backs in school history."

Knapp started for four years in soccer as a fullback and made the All-County team for the second consecutive years. She was also a Soccer Coaches Association of Maryland all-state selection for the second year in a row.

It was pretty tough for a offensive player to score when Knapp marked her.

"I compare her to like a Deion Sanders in football," Menegatti said about the NFL Hall of Fame defensive back who finished his illustrious career with the Baltimore Ravens. "She took care of one side of the field. When other people got beat, she would come over and help out.

"She was such a hard worker in practice," he added. "She had one speed: That was all-out, all the time."

On the lacrosse field, Knapp started four years as a midfielder.

She led the team draws (30) and ranked second in both goals (34) and ground balls (24) for the 10-6 Raiders.

Knapp probably played her best game of the season during the Class 2A-1A North Region final, helping her team to a 20-7 conquest over visiting Pikesville by totaling three goals, three assists and four ground balls.

"She did absolutely everything for us," Loch Raven girls lacrosse coach Tracy Hanley said. "She could play any position on the field and be one of the top players. She was our most versatile player and defensively, she was a beast."

Hanley valued Knapp's leadership skills as much as on-the-field contributions.

The 5-foot-5 Knapp served as co-captain for two seasons.

"She leads, motivates and encourages," Hanley said. "She does all of that, but her skills back it up on the field. She is not just someone asking or telling people to do something. She is showing them how to do it."

Knapp ran indoor track in the winter for two years before joining the varsity basketball team as a junior.

She blossomed as a senior, earning a starting role and leading the team in steals (averaged 4 per game). Knapp also ranked as the second-leading rebounder (6 per game).

"Sammie's job was to shut down that kid that was the other team's leading scorer or good ball handler," Loch Raven girls basketball coach Allyson Sieka said. "And I can't say enough positive things about her work ethic. She was incredible."

Knapp said she had to outwork everyone else one on the basketball court because of her limited experience.

"It was hard in basketball not to be one of the best," she said. "By far, I tried the hardest in basketball than in soccer and lacrosse because I knew I had to run that much faster and try that much more."

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