Chase Conley, Centennial junior. Conley was the leader of an Eagles defensive unit that only allowed one opponent to score double-digit goals in 17 games. The junior is a physical player who always seemed to be in the right place at the right time to cause a turnover or scoop up a ground ball.
He wasn't often tasked to matchup with the opposition's top player, leaving him available to slide and use his insttincts, which kick-started Centennial's transition game. He could often be seen clearing the defensive zone.
"Chase's instincts make him a great takeaway defender, he provided a real spark in defense to offense transition," coach Nick Kellinger said.
Conley finished the season with 90 ground balls and created 62 turnovers.
Connor Dubois, Mt. Hebron junior. Undoubtedly the Vikings' leader on defense, Dubois was always matched up with the opposing team's biggest scoring threat. He isn't the tallest defender in the county, but his strength and lacrosse savvy allowed him to lead Mt. Hebron's defensive unit in takeaways, ground balls and assists.
"Connor is our coach on the field. He is able to dominate his individual matchup, and at the same time create turnovers and generate offense for us," coach Mike McCarthy said.
Dubois, a second-team selection last season, collected 83 ground balls and had 51 caused turnovers to go along with four assists.
Drew Dziwulski, Glenelg senior. The name Dziwulski has been around the Gladiators' program for quite some time and Drew has spent the last four years upholding that tradition of standout players, serving as a consistent contributor since his freshman season.
A tough defender who outworks his opponents with a constant motor, his grit will be on display in the fall when he attends the United States Naval Academy.
"He's the hardest working kid I have ever coached," coach Josh Hatmaker. "(He) has a great stick, and is great at starting transition and getting the ball up and out of the defensive zone."
Dziwulski finished his final season with 85 ground balls and 43 caused turnovers on a defense that held county opponents to 4.14 goals per game. He also scored three goals and added an assist.
Landry Marshall, Glenelg junior. A two-year starter, the junior cemented himself as the Gladiators' defensive leader. Marshall's incredibly quick hands and instincts make him one of the top goalies in the county. He is the quarterback of the county's stingiest defense.
"Landry has upped his game and is now on the same level as some of the great keepers we have had here at Glenelg," coach Josh Hatmaker said. "He has an unbelievable work ethic and studies film constantly to understand what shooters are looking for."
Marshall had a stellar overall season, saving 177 of 276 shots (64.1 percent) in 19 games. But against county opponents, he stepped his game up to another level — stopping 157 of 201 shots (78.1 percent).
Bryan Ruygrok, Centennial senior. Known as 'Rock' around the Eagles program, Ruygrok was more like a stonewall. The McDaniel College-bound goalie was at his best when the game was on the line. In a 3A-2A East regional semifinal contest against Mt. Hebron, Ruygrok stopped two point-blank shots on the doorstep inside the final three minutes to help Centennial advance to the championship game.
"He's a complete goaltender who can put a team on his back," coach Nick Kellinger said. "Rock is a game-changer. He's always at his best in the biggest moments."
The senior finished with 142 saves and a save percentage of 62.0 — allowing just 5.1 goals per game.