For the second year in a row, the senior was widely considered the county's best guy on corner kicks — showcasing pinpoint accuracy. He ended up with a team-high seven assists on the season, tying him for the sixth highest total in the county, to go along with four goals.
Jack Jacobs, Atholton. A repeat first-team selection, Jacobs was one of the county's best on-ball defenders. Constantly man-marking the opposing team's best player, he consistently excelled for a Raiders team that won seven games this fall. "The truth is he's probably more of a central midfielder, but we asked him to be a central defender and he really grew into the role," coach Roch DeFrances said. "A captain for us the last two years, he really gave us amazing leadership."
Jacobs played a big role in Atholton registering three shutouts in a row during the middle of the season. He also pushed up offensively on several occasions to finish the year with two goals and three assists.
Eli Phillips, Oakland Mills. An every-game varsity player for all four years he was in high school, Phillips was also a captain the last two seasons for the Scorpions. On a backline that featured all new players in front of a first-year varsity goalie, he was the leader from day one this fall. "We don't even win half of our games without Eli's leadership and experience in our back four," Oakland Mills coach Don Shea said.
With him leading the way, Oakland Mills registered four shutouts this season. Phillips also pushed up to add three goals and two assists to help out the team's offense.
Kyle Saunderson, Reservoir. A "rock" defensively for the Gators, according to coach Reg Hahne, Saunderson took the leap this fall as a senior to become one of the county's best in the back. He was part of a Reservoir defense that recorded four shutouts and only allowed four teams to score multiple goals against them this year.
While he traditionally didn't push up into the offensive third, he did register an assist in a one-goal win over Mt. Hebron and a goal in a one-goal victory over Long Reach.
Zack Smythe, Wilde Lake. A repeat first-team selection, who has actually been an all-county player since his sophomore year, Smythe was one of the few bright spots this fall for a Wildecat team that won just one game overall. While Wilde Lake didn't score many goals, Smythe and the team's solid back four kept the Wildecats in the majority of its games. Only five times this fall did an opponent score more than two goals on Wilde Lake.
His ability to read plays and put himself in the right position has always been among his greatest strengths. Offensively, he chipped in with two goals and two assists. "Zach's a highly skilled player and really treasured playing soccer at the Lake," coach Jon Robinson said. "His skill set will be hard to replace."
Zack Haussler, Glenelg. The stats don't tell the whole story for Haussler, who allowed 23 goals this fall, but still was almost a unanimous first-team selection among the county's coaches. His athleticism and big frame made things difficult for opponents to score during run-of-play situations, with coach Andy Shearer pointing out that more than half of Haussler's goals against came off set pieces.
Haussler and the Glenelg defense held six opponents to one goal or less, including one stretch of four straight games — all victories — at the end of the season. In the team's 3-1 playoff win over Atholton, Haussler came through with seven saves.