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Junior varsity athletes shine during spring season

BaseballMarathonCharles Johnson (football, defensive end)Michael TurnerSunrise Assisted Living IncorporatedHurricane Sandy (2012)

For some young athletes, a chance to play JV sports is the opportunity of a lifetime. To wear a uniform emblazoned with the school name, to be a part of a team, to play in front of family and classmates, and to forge bonds that last long after graduation.

For others, JV sports are just a temporary layover on the journey to much bigger athletic endeavors down the road. But regardless of whether JV sports represents a pinnacle or a launching point, the efforts of these young athletes should be recognized and applauded.

To that end, we asked the coaches and athletics and activities managers at all the local schools to tell us about their spring season, and this is what we heard back.

Girls lacrosse

Atholton finished 3-8 overall, being led most of the season by team MVP Sami Belsky. Belsky showcased consistency on attack that really went a long way. "She had the ability to always come away with the ball and take it to goal, either resulting in a goal or forcing the goalie to make a big save," coach Taylor Stetka said.

Other star players were starting goalie Yasi Brewer, who kept the team in games with her big saves, and defenders Alanna Schrecengost and Dani Gelb. Those two played almost every minute of every game and were great at causing turnovers.

Among the season highlights was an extremely close game against Centennial. No matter what the circumstances, Stetka knew she was going to get a strong effort from her team.

"The girls (always) showed up and did their best … they always hustled and did as I asked," she said. "It was a fun season."

Centennial put together a .500 record (5-5) in county play and had some strong games along the way. Among the highlights was a 12-9 victory over Atholton and a close 13-10 loss to River Hill. Both games showcased the team's determination and will to win, particularly the victory over the Raiders. "Our girls played very unselfishly and won as a team," coach Brittany Coughlan said.

Freshman attack Samantha Courtemanche led the Eagles in draw controls (36) and scoring (32 goals, 50 points). "She was a huge offensive presence for our team and stepped up in crucial situations," Coughlan said.

Freshman midfielder Reece Western was also a key, adept at causing turnovers and collecting loose balls. "She was key to our transitions and offensive success," Coughlan said.

For the second straight year, Glenelg finished 9-2 in county play and 10-2 overall. A balance of freshmen and sophomores helped lead the way to a finish near the top of the county. "Overall, I felt this year was a success even though we lost our last two games of the year to Marriotts Ridge and Mt. Hebron," coach Chris Beil said. "I am very proud of our girls."

The loss to Mt. Hebron was an extremely close contest, with the Gladiators coming back from being down 8-2 to lose by just one goal, 9-8. The team's victory over Howard was also a highlight, with a goal in the closing seconds of regulation forcing overtime and setting up the eventual victory. Defender Rachel Johnson was especially strong in that game against the Lions.

Sami Smit led Glenelg in scoring with 24 goals, while Kayla Tatum chipped in with 17. Anna McAuliffe did a really good job on the draw, getting the ball in the right spots so that teammates Monica Chassion and Sam Pearce could secure possession.

Freshman Maisy Haney led the team in assists with 14 and anchored the attack alongside Mia Astran. The defense was led by Amanda Caporletti, Stephanie Forester, Emma Houck and Johnson. Goalie Sara Brock was also strong, posting two shutouts.

Marriotts Ridge put together a 9-0 record in county play this spring, while finishing 9-1 overall. There were great games scattered throughout, but Coach Stephanie Fox says headlining the list was a dominating effort against River Hill midway through the season. "All their hard work had paid off, they came out strong, their midfield transitions were amazing and they just all synced up," Fox said.

The team's only loss came against non-county foe McDonogh, 10-5. But even in defeat, Fox says it was an impressive effort. "The score of this game doesn't portray how close it truly was," she said. "The team fought hard until the very end … it was a tough loss, but a great match-up for them."

Sophomore Katie Wardle led the Mustangs with 21 goals and 14 assists. Fellow sophomore Sarah Lee was right behind her with 20 goals and 13 assists. The Marriotts Ridge defense really benefitted from the arrival of freshmen Kelly Colegrove and Leah Zadjura, who had great footwork and instincts that made a big difference.

Mt. Hebron completed another successful season, going 9-1 in county play and 10-1 overall. The team started with eight straight wins, including a couple close victories over Glenelg and Howard, to set the tone for the season.

"I felt that the girls were real students of the game and were eager to learn," coach Jeannette Ireland said. "They worked hard and showed real improvement in their skills as well as understanding of the game. They played solid team defense and did a nice job on their offensive execution."

On the season, Mt. Hebron scored 161 goals as a team, while allowing just 45. The team's captains were Cammy Case and Harper Drake.

The theme for the River Hill program this year was "Family" with a focus on fundamentals. The results were terrific, with the team producing an 8-4 overall record. "After our first game it was clear to the coaches that we had a young, fast and talented group of athletes," coach Bianca Francoeur said. "We incorporated a lifting regimen into our practices and, with the help from our highly experienced varsity coaching staff, we achieved our best season."

The team was led by returning sophomores Annie Clark (D), Maggie Connors (A), Morgan Craney (D), Halley Seybold (M), Cara Brown (G), Dana Stevens (M), Olivia Mott (D), Lexie Hayward (A), Delaney Malone (D) and Evana Dipetro (A). Freshmen Clare Napoli, Natalie Ryan, Paige Caprara, Emmy Thornton, Cara Gerardi, Allison Seibert, Maliha Ashraf and Bailey Heneghan helped out on attack, while Bridgette Frankhauser, Kelsey Li, Michaela Minnick, Sydney Poindexter (G) and Silvia Kim (G) contributed defensively.

Wilde Lake may have managed only a 2-6 record this spring, but there was never a lack of effort or hustle. "These ladies were proud to be wearing Wilde Lake on their shirts, even when they were losing," coach Samantha McElvaney said. "They had poise when the game was rough … And, as a team, they were victorious."

Sophomores Kike Lawoyin (A) and Faith Taylor (M) were the team's leading scorers. Taylor Tobias, a sophomore, was named the team's breakthrough player after leading the defense in goals, interceptions and caused turnovers.

A back-and-forth game against Reservoir, which the Wildecats won in the closing seconds, was among the season's memorable moments. Freshman Taylor Baird played goalie for the first time and made several big stops, helping get the team into a tie game in the final minute. Then, with time running down, Tobias intercepted a pass and fired an eight-meter shot to win the game.

Softball

Atholton went beyond fundamentals this season, with a focus on hitting, defensive versatility and learning to compete. On its way to a 7-10 record, the Raiders improved from a scoreless first outing to an average of 10 runs per game, including a five-game winning streak. "We won because our team was focused and ready for battle. Once we started doing well, it boosted our confidence," said team captain Dannielle Markovitz.

The players wanted to hit at every practice — as a result, the team netted a .376 batting average.

Team MVP Caitlyn Burmester was extremely valuable, something the team realized when she went out with an injury. Her first two games back, she went 4-5, while knocking in five runs. Burmester, a varsity basketball player, led the Raiders in fielding percentage from her first base position with just one error. She also led the team with a .684 batting average.

Players filled in on defense whenever needed, often excelling at new positions. Ceara Mercilliott and Stacey Bloom stretched for throws at first, while Bloom and Dana Dissinger donned the catcher's gear for the first time ever.

The team's Most Improved Player, newcomer Amirah Pitt-Bey, grabbed headlines in two games by making plays at second and in right field. She also hit the benchmark of .300 with the bat.

One fielding goal was to catch every pop fly within reach, and captain Kay Prince, the team's vocal leader, accomplished that feat. Meanwhile, the versatile Dissinger and speedy centerfielder Jaylyn Chandler also excelled.

The Unsung Hero was Rebecca Silver, who faced physical adversity but never faltered as field general behind the plate, at shortstop or as a hitter. The freshman worked well with the pitchers, including Jenny Mathews, who stifled many opposing batters with changes in speed and elevation.

Dissinger, a switch hitter, added slapping from the left-hand side to her repertoire, which propelled her to a .705 on-base percentage and a .500 batting average. The freshman also hit her first home run. Mercilliott, slugging from the third spot in the lineup, provided the offensive spark all season with her timely power.

Markovitz was called up to varsity for the playoffs.

"Every JV game is practice for varsity and for life," said coach Patti Mascone.

Centennial went through the entire season without being shutout on its way to putting together a 9-9 overall record. There were only 11 players on the roster, so the hard work and resiliency to injury of each individual was especially important.

Five freshmen started for the Eagles, including at major positions like first base, third, catcher and pitcher. Freshman Emily Davis was named offensive MVP and freshman Jordan Ciraolo was named defensive MVP.

Sophomore Brita Hawtof was a captain and field leader from her shortstop position, while sophomore Abbey Strott was also a captain and named the team's unsung hero.

With great team unity, Glenelg produced a really strong year with a 15-3 overall record. The team's only losses came against Howard twice and Marriotts Ridge once. In the team's other game against the Mustangs, the Gladiators earned a comeback victory. "(The girls) showed character and resilience," coach Andy Shearer said.

The team's captains were Breanne Smith, Gabby Mistichelli and Katherine Joseph. Smith finished with 52 hits and a team-high 44 runs, while also posting an average of .634 at the plate. Joseph (43 runs) and Mistichelli also hit over .500 on the season.

Paige Hoeflich finished with a team-high batting average of .750 on the strength of 54 hits. Other key players included Gina Netreba, Harly Fitterer and Jesse Thompson.

Howard completed an undefeated county season (17-0) and finished 17-1 overall. It was the JV program's fourth straight year going undefeated against league competition. The only loss came against Chesapeake early in the season.

Getting to that 17-0 mark against county foes took some close victories, including coming back against River Hill with two outs in the bottom of the seventh.

There were 12 freshmen on the roster, which bodes well for the future. "The youth on this team will only make us that much stronger for next year hopefully," coach Jennifer O'Neill said.

Kayla Devin, one of the team's captains and starter at shortstop, was pulled up to varsity for the playoffs. She led the team in hits (36), doubles (9), RBIs (29), runs (42) and batting average (.600).

Other standouts included Jamie Bahrijczuk (.452 average, 2 triples, home run), Rachel Oliver (.434 average, 20 RBIs, 18 runs, five doubles), Lydia Maruschak (.512 average, 18 RBIs, 17 runs) and Reilly Taylor (.529 average, 15 RBIs, 15 runs). Nicole Schneider and Torie Gettier also finished with batting averages above .500.

Schneider, Gettier and Bahrijczuk served as the team's pitchers.

Offense was the theme for Mt. Hebron, which finished the season 16-2 overall (15-2 in county). As a team, the Vikings averaged over 14 runs and 11 hits per game, while compiling a batting average of .365.

Sophomore catcher Caroline Smith led the team in most batting categories with a .517 batting average, 31 hits, 31 RBIs and 30 runs scored. She was followed by sophomores Emily Purnell (29 hits, 20 RBIs, 35 runs, .475 average), Anna Pallozzi (20 hits, 16 runs, .370 average) and Kamden Lloyd (22 runs, 16 hits, .365 average and no strikeouts in 63 plate appearances). Freshmen Emily Turner (14 runs and .452 average) and Rachel Veslany (22 runs and .344 average) also contributed big years.

Kelsey Albert, a sophomore, was an outstanding leadoff batter by leading the team with 35 walks, 30 runs scored and 17 stolen bases.

Pitching was also a strength, as Lloyd carried most of the load after sophomore Paige Mallin was sidelined with a knee injury. Lloyd finished with 12 wins, a 2.65 ERA and struck out almost one-third of the batters she faced. Freshman Abri Segal also contributed with four wins and a 2.58 ERA.

Behind the pitchers, the defense included strong efforts in the infield from Pallozzi, Purnell, Veslany, Alley Conde and Casey Kindall. Albert led the outfield from her center field position.

Highlights from the season included a near comeback against Glenelg after being down seven runs, along with a comeback victory in extra innings against Centennial, 9-6. "These ladies showed the kind of heart, drive and enthusiasm they have for the game," coach Bob Gibbons said in regards to the team's never-give-up attitude.

After winning only one game in 2012, Oakland Mills improved to win four games this spring. "We have a group of athletic girls who are new to the game but very eager to learn," coach Tim McCoy said.

Tekelle Evans, in only her second year of pitching, had a great season both in the circle and at the plate. De'Asia Winder was a star at shortstop, but also filled in at third and catcher when needed. Victoria Lee had a standout year in centerfield, while also filling in at third, short and first. Freshmen Emily Yarn and Ijoema Okeke also had great seasons.

Yarn played every position including pitcher, while Okeke is a budding talent at catcher. Gena Jones (third base) had two home runs and Kiara Cornelius shows great promise as a first baseman.

In the second to last game of the season, against Hammond, the Scorpions played a flawless game with no mental errors to reach its goal of four wins. "I am very proud of all the players who worked so hard to become good players," McCoy said. "The future looks bright."

Baseball

The Atholton JV baseball team, coached by Dave Appleby, finished the season with a 9-7-1 overall record. The Raiders' MVP was Jordan Patterson, who was 1-0 with two saves on the pitcher's mound, and batted .303 while also playing shortstop. Three other outstanding Atholton players were Will Holtzman (.302 average), Ryan Hess (.373 average, 17 RBIs) and Josh Pickens (.377 average, 18 RBIs).

Howard had a memorable spring, playing to a stellar 16-1 record.

Reid Walsh led the offense, batting .621 (18 for 29) with 14 runs scored and a .711 on-base percentage. Outfielder Kevin Murray was the team's table setter, scoring 29 runs while batting .422 (23 for 52) with 21 RBIs, 5 doubles, 14 walks and 12 stolen bases in 14 attempts.

Jimmy Cain was undefeated on the mound at 5-0, with 34 strikeouts in 31 innings, and was also a big run producer, batting .431 (22 for 51) with 22 RBIs, 16 runs, three doubles and three triples

First baseman Patrick O'Malley batted .426 with 15 runs, 14 RBIs and three doubles, while shortstop Josh Olivier drove in 18 runs on 14 hits, was 10 for 10 on stolen base attempts, and scored 14 runs.

Outfielder Devin Rowell batted .364 and did not make a fielding error all season.

Logan Courtright was one of the Lions' top pitchers, finishing the spring with a 2.38 ERA and 17 strikeouts in 17 innings. Ryan Young did not allow a run in five innings of work (five strikeouts).

Second baseman Casey Crawford batted .388 with 12 RBIs and 14 runs and also did not allow an earned run in seven innings pitched.

James Faulkner (0.84 ERA, 8.1 IP, 8 K), Austin Aguilera (1.68 ERA, 8.1 IP, 4 K) and Mark O'Neill (3-0, 8 K, CGSO) all contributed to give the Lions' a dominant pitching staff.

Catcher Keenan Fischer caught eight runners stealing, and was 5-for-5 himself on stolen base attempts. In limited at bats, Daniel Goldberg batted .364 with 4 RBIs.

In the third game of the season, Howard pulled out a 9-7 win over Glenelg in the eighth.

"Both teams played a very even game and it was a very exciting game to be a part of," coach Steve Siani said.

One day after losing their only game of the season to Hammond, Howard came back to beat Wilde Lake, 4-3, with two runs in the sixth.

"We had been playing catch-up the entire time," Siani said. "Daniel Goldberg stepped up with a massive game: 3-3, RBI, run."

Casey Crawford then tossed two scoreless innings to earn the win.

In a showdown with fellow county power Marriotts Ridge (11-1-1), Howard won, 13-3.

"Both teams knew the winner of the game would probably end up as the unofficial 'JV Champ'," Siani said. "The field at Howard had taken on like an inch of rain the three days before the game. The players, and myself, skipped our regular pregame routine and worked on the field for 90 minutes in hopes of getting the field playable. Both teams took a quick infield/outfield and we got started a few minutes late. It was very wet, but it ended up satisfactory to play on. There were nine errors between the two teams, but Jimmy Cain and Casey Crawford combined for a one-hitter."

In the last game of the season, Siani sent sophomore Mark O'Neill to the mound against Long Reach.

"After battling an arm injury all winter and spring, we sent (Mark) to take the hill for the finale. Mark responded with his best start in two seasons on JV," Siani said.

O'Neill pitched a six-inning complete game, two-hit shutout, on just 62 pitches. Freshman catcher Jacen Martin highlighted his season by throwing out a base-runner attempting to steal third early in the game. Martin also scored a run and had an RBI. Casey Crawford was 3-for-3 with 3 RBIs and a run.

"I was very pleased that everyone on the team was able to contribute towards our success this year when their number was called," Siani said. "The guys pushed each other in practice to get better each day, and had a lot of fun doing it.That hard work translated into a very solid season. I hope this momentum carries them into a solid summer season, and I am already looking forward to next March 1."

Mt. Hebron built for future success with a 9-7 campaign.

Shortstop Joey Trapuzzano batted .568 with five doubles and five triples. Second baseman Zack Stewart batted .353 with two doubles, and first baseman Michael Carbonetti hit .419 with five doubles and a triple.

"We had a very young team (only five sophomores) with a lot of prior experience," coach Todd DeCrispino said. "The sophomores worked well in helping groom the freshmen into mature players. Every player on the team was able to get into several games throughout the season. This was a very coachable team. Really good kids."

Reservoir finished an even 8-8 this spring.

"We worked hard to rebuild after all six returning sophomore starters made varsity," coach Zachary Nunn said. "We had a lot of guys step up to the challenge and work hard to improve our game. Thomas Dewsberry pitched very well for us this year and kept us in a lot of ball games. Catcher Mark Reynolds and shortstop Branden Chu helped solidify our defense and lead our team to some big wins."

River Hill also finished right at .500, playing to a 9-8 county record (9-9 overall).

Sophomore Kyle Breitenother led the team in average (.542), on-base percentage (.609), RBIs (30), hits (32), and extra base hits (13). He was also second on the team with 26 runs.

As a pitcher, Breitenother finished 4-4 with two saves, 33 strikeouts and 17 walks.

Freshman Jake Howland led the team in total bases (140), stolen bases (33 on 37 tries) and runs (28). He also batted .484 on 31 hits with 19 RBIs. Sophomore Brian Glenn batted .393 (24 hits) with a .443 on-base percentage, drove in 24 runs and scored 13.

"Howland hit leadoff for the majority of the season and created havoc for opposing pitchers on the base paths," coach Kevin Matsunaga said. "Breitenother drove in runs consistently ... Glenn protected Breitenother in the lineup."

After getting off to a rough start (2-7), River Hill bounced back to win seven of its last nine, including four in a row to end the season. The team batting average was .369. In a wild game at Centennial, River Hill scored 11 runs in the top of the sixth on its way to a 17-15 win.

Boys lacrosse

Success this season for Atholton went well beyond on-the-field accomplishments. During the spring, several players worked in soup kitchens, visited New York to support Hurricane Sandy relief efforts and tutored children at Grassroots.

A highlight of the spring was hosting the annual Norman Flecker Tournament, which not only recognizes Flecker — a former Atholton player who lost his life serving our country — but all fallen Howard County servicemen and women.

The Raiders also visited the Sunrise Assisted Living Facility and brought laughter and joy to the residents.

"Nothing makes a coach more proud than to have his players demonstrate outstanding citizenship and character off the field," coach Wendell Thomas said.

On the field, Atholton went 6-7 overall and 5-6 in the county. Jason Pazulski had an incredible .810 faceoff percentage — winning 76 out of 92 draws. Michael Turner was the team's top defender, while Darren Kasoff was strong in the goal. Nick Sabella (21 goals, 7 assists) and Jordan Maddox (18 goals, 16 assists) were leaders on offense.

"As in the past, we fielded a large squad with 42 players and several games we managed to get everyone in," Thomas said. "Our biggest game was a come-from-behind loss to Mt. Hebron. We were six goals down at halftime and came back to tie the game at 8-8 with two minutes left before eventually falling to defeat, 10-8."

Howard was one of the most improved squads last season, going 13-1 overall with the only loss coming to undefeated Glenelg. This season, the Lions continued to solidify their program with a perfect 14-0 mark.

Sophomore captain Ryan Land was a catalyst in the midfield — finishing with 21 goals and 25 assists while accumulating a .720 faceoff win percentage. Eric Schroeder led the way on attack with 66 goals and 34 assists.

Freshman attack Tristan Kelehan got his high school career off to a strong start, accounting for 36 goals and 23 assists. Sophomore midfielder Owen Gerus scooped up 68 ground balls to go along with 19 goals and 13 assists.

Howard was not only an offensive machine, however, as the defense was just as stellar. The Lions allowed three goals per contest while scoring 14 points each outing.

Sophomore goalie Justin Overstreet had a save percentage of .710, boasting six shutouts with the help of sophomore defenders Michael Patton, Brian Kutler and Griffen Robinette; and freshmen Josh Vetter, Vanden Vale and Nick Kundrat.

Marriotts Ridge (10-4) had another strong season, finishing in the top half of the county. Key players on offense included Matt Kennedy (36 goals, 5 assists), Troy Hensh (28 goals, 7 assists), Josh Koller (13 goals, 14 assists) and Raffi Mannarelli (20 goals, 6 assists, won 72 percent of faceoffs).

The Mustangs defense was led by freshmen Bladen Miller and Casey Allwein, along with sophomore Brandon Lowe.

"We were a very young team this year with several underclassman being moved up to varsity," coach Dan Sageman said. "I am very proud how much the players improved by season's end. Two of our losses were by just one goal."

Mt. Hebron built its season on defense with players like Will Hamman, Shahine Manassterli and Peter Kump.

The Vikings went 8-2 in county play and 10-2 overall. Matt Murphy and Brian Demek came up big on the offensive end, and depth at the midfield was key with Stefan Chavis, Conner Maloney and Brady Burman-Magday.

Head coach Steve Beninghove cited a come-from-behind win over River Hill as a highlight of the season.

"What will make this a standout year for me was not having a goalie, and Nick Suri stepping in to be one of the best in the county," Benninghove said.

Oakland Mills continued to improve its record for the fourth straight season with key wins against Long Reach and Hammond.

The highlight of the season came in a victory against Centennial, the program's first ever win over the Eagles on the JV level and it came at the Norman Flecker Memorial Tournament hosted by Atholton. A heated overtime battle with Wilde Lake under the lights, which ended in a 5-4 loss, was another bright spot.

Three sophomores moved up to varsity at the beginning of the year and another four players made the transition midway through the season, leaving the Scorpions with a few holes to fill.

Oakland Mills was led by Austin Hughes, who tallied 20 goals and five assists in only nine games before moving up. He was named Most Valuable Player on the JV.

The defense was led by goalie Jesse Ketchum, who was a game-changer between the pipes. Ketchum was also moved up to play in the final six games on varsity — highlighted by a complete game against River Hill and a strong performance against Marriotts Ridge.

Other key contributors included faceoff specialist Matt Claxton (7 goals, 5 assists) before moving up and Jordan Snead, who earned the Coaches Award for scoring at key times and filling in at goalie towards the end of the year.

Long pole midfielder Kian Kelley-Chung provided speed and Antonio Rozier led the team in ground balls and takeaways to earn defensive MVP.

Kenneth Wash and Kholton Allen helped provide some much needed offense toward the end of the season, scoring four goals a piece.

Sixteen players from last year's JV team lettered on the varsity squad this season, helping to build a solid foundation for the 2014 season.

River Hill had its most successful season ever in 2013, finishing with an 8-3 county record and a 9-5 overall mark.

The biggest highlight of the Hawks' season was a hard-fought, 8-7, win over Marriotts Ridge, which capped a five-game winning streak. The young, freshman-dominated team discovered they could play with anyone, even in close losses to perennial powerhouses Fallston, Glenelg, C. Milton Wright and Mt. Hebron.

The offense was led by freshman attackman Jake Friedman (41 goals, 15 assists), whose goals total set a new school JV record. Friedman's success was bolstered by fantastic midfield play from sophomore captain Brady Brunett (15 goals, 4 assists) and freshman Danny Isaac (15 goals, 8 assists) — who were also tops on the team in ground balls.

The Hawks attack also received contributions from sophomore Andrew Malone (10 goals, 3 assists), and freshmen Ben Chodnicki (10 goals, 14 assists), Michael Kozel (8 goals) and Ryan Beitzel (8 goals).

Only playing one quarter before going down with an Achilles tendon injury, freshman Dan Schulman (2 goals, 1 assist) proved that he will be a force to reckon with in the future. Freshmen Sam Margolis and Travis Remson, along with sophomores Matt Jun and Shawn Kyung rounded out scoring for the River Hill midfield.

The defense once again proved to be the team's greatest asset, giving up a mere 3.8 goals against per game. Leading the way was sophomore captain Brian Decker (1 goal, 17 ground balls), who made the successful transition from defensive midfielder to close defense. Another midfielder convert, Johnny Moseman, also learned on the fly to become a top defender. Freshmen starters Tim French and Tyler Bond rounded out the unit.

Brandon Kim, Ryan Steinberg and Luke Turney proved to be threats at both ends of the field. Freshmen Wade Lewis and Griffin Brightbill, along with sophomore Alex Gorinson were bright spots coming off the bench.

Goalies Noah Thyberg (37 saves) and Spencer Gray (37 saves) combined to make a formidable duo.

The Wilde Lake squad consisted of mostly first-year players and finished 3-8 in the county and 3-9 overall, but the improvement was evident as the season progressed.

Ernie Fermin was the offensive leader with 16 goals and 89 ground balls. Other offensive contributors were Patrick Riley (6 goals, 5 assists), Stephen Finnegan (4 goals), Chris Johnson (4 goals, 2 assists), Amenu McGruder (8 goals) and Jerry Shi (2 goals, 2 assists).

The defense was led by captains Britte Oppong and Justin Allen — whose leadership was key in the team's efforts throughout the season.

First-year player Michael Casey was named the team's Defensive Player of the Year for his efforts in goal. He ended the season with 70 saves.

Freshmen Isiah Zamora and Jarrett Scott led the team in faceoff wins and showed drastic improvement throughout the season.

Head coach Chris Faries cites the highlight of the season as an overtime victory against Oakland Mills, 5-4.

"We were down 4-2 with three minutes left," Faries said. "Chris Johnson scored off of Ben Brigulio's assist then Ernie Fermin scored on Patrick Riley's assist with 30 seconds left in the game to take it to overtime. Patrick Riley scored the winning-goal with 29 seconds remaining. It was a team effort to get this win."

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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