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2002 All-Metro Field Hockey Team

Sun Staff

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Player of the Year: Sarah Tracey, Hereford

The Baltimore County Player of the Year had a knack for escaping just about any predicament with possession of the ball.

Her unmatched stick skills enabled the No. 5 Bulls' center midfielder to maintain control even when she drew a crowd -- which was most of the time.

Tracey rarely made the move defenders anticipated. The senior would twist or turn to the opposite side or pull backward, whatever it took to get away.

"Sarah can have one girl on her or five girls on her and she can get out of it," Hereford coach Tammy Mundie said. "I remember one play in the county [championship] game -- there were six girls that were tackling her at the same time and she beat every one."

A second-team All-Metro player last season, Tracey set the pace for the Baltimore County champions and ignited their transition.

Along with her finesse game, Tracey also had a powerful drive, which made her a vital part of the Bulls' offensive penalty corners. She scored several of her six goals on corner plays and also had 12 assists.

A Futures veteran, Tracey played for Team Maryland at the U.S. Field Hockey Association's Hockey Festival Thanksgiving weekend in Indio, Calif. Although she plans to play field hockey in college, she remains undecided about where.


Coach of the Year: Erin Soulen, South Carroll

The Cavaliers' sixth-year coach found many ways to motivate her team this season, sparking perhaps the area's most impressive turnaround. After going 6-5-2 a year ago, the No. 3 Cavaliers finished 15-0-1 and c l a i m e d their first state title since 1991.

Soulen played on that 1991 team and she never missed an opportunity to remind her players that she had a state title jacket. She even wore it on the bus to the state semifinals.

As much as the jacket inspired the Cavaliers, so did the success they enjoyed as they built to their big finish, a 2-1 upset of then-No. 1 Fallston in the state Class 3A final.

Soulen stressed a team approach to the game and the players bought into it, making everyone a key to the title drive.

"I want to get the most I can out of each individual on my team," said Soulen. "When you get everything you can out of them, it raises their level of play, boosts their confidence and builds their self-esteem. That motivates them and makes them work hard, so they have no regrets."

There certainly were no regrets to a season in which the Cavaliers also won their first Central Maryland Conference championship and defeated Carroll County rival Westminster for the first time in 22 years.


First Team

Katie Atkins, Roland Park

The junior midfielder enjoyed a breakthrough season, orchestrating much of the Reds' game from her center link position. Her ability to control the transition game was a key factor as the No. 6 Reds emerged from a midseason slump to tie St. Paul's, 0-0, for a share of the Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference championship.

Speedy and aggressive with good stick skills, Atkins excelled at zigzagging out of traffic and distributing the ball to her teammates on the forward line. Usually her efforts led to a shot several passes down the line, but Atkins also contributed a pair of goals.

Mandy Bathras, Chesapeake-Anne Arundel

A second-team All-Metro pick last season, Bathras earned Anne Arundel County Player of the Year honors as a defensiveminded center midfielder.

Comfortable with dropping back on the defensive end bringing the ball out and making the key decisions on transition, the senior stood out as a distributor, almost always sending her pinpoint passes right to a teammate's stick.

A Futures veteran who played for Team Maryland at the Hockey Festival and plans to play in college, Bathras showed versatility on corners -- defending the stroke line at one end and taking the shots at the other. Four of her seven goals came on corners.

Claire Edelen, St. Paul's

With a blend of blazing speed and intricate stickwork, the senior set the pace for perhaps the fastest forward line in the area. With what Gators coach Annie Smallwood called a "magic stick," Edelen excelled at carrying the ball for long distances and making the initial pass into the circle.

In addition to her setup ability, Edelen also could finish, ending up second in scoring for the two-time IAAM A Conference co-champs, who outscored the opposition 14-2 during the tournament.

The Team Marylander and Futures veteran also contributed eight assists for the No. 2 Gators.

Lisa Engel, North Carroll

The Carroll County Player of the Year carried her team at times with her ability to create scoring opportunities and finish. She led the Carroll County champs with 14 goals and five assists.

Her exceptional speed of ten gave her an edge over the opposition and she used it to set up goals, including the game-winner in a 1-0 victory over state Class 4A finalist Westminster. Engel's terrific stick skills complemented her speed, enabling her to stand out at the challenging left wing position.

The senior, who plans to play hockey in college, scored the team's lone goal in its 2-1 loss in the region final to Class 3A state champ South Carroll.

Liz Fries, South Carroll

A precocious midfielder, Fries began playing field hockey as a fourth-grader in Massachusetts. That experience was evident as the No. 3 Cavaliers' drive to the state Class 3A title and an unbeaten season spun around the sophomore's considerable talents.

Fries, a Futures veteran who plays for the Washington Wolves club team, led Carroll County in scoring with 13 goals and eight assists. She never missed a penalty stroke and nailed the most critical one in the 2-1 regional final victory over North Carroll.

As strong a finisher as she was, Fries proved even more valuable for her transition skills. She set up much of the offense with her work off the ball.

Emily Goldman, Mount Hebron

A second-team All-Metro defender last season, Goldman moved up to the midfield and quickly grew into a more assertive role as a transition catalyst, earning Howard County Player of the Year honors. The Futures veteran worked hard to boost her fitness level, which combined with her stick skills and game sense to make her a vital two-way player. Critical on offensive and defensive corners, Goldman contributed seven goals and two assists as the No. 12 Vikings went unbeaten in Howard County.

Goldman, who played for the Capitol Pegasus club team at the Hockey Festival, has verbally committed to play field hockey at Lafayette.

Lauren Maranto, Severna Park

On one of the youngest Falcons teams ever, Maranto stabilized a stingy defense at center back. The junior quarterbacked a unit that posted 11 shutouts and allowed just five goals, enabling the Falcons to breeze through Anne Arundel competition to their 24th county title.

Maranto proved difficult to get past and once she had the ball, she could jump-start the Falcons' attack in many ways. Her pinpoint short passes, accurate drives and smooth dodges combined with her ability to read the field made her a key transition cog.

The Futures veteran joined her Falcons teammates on the Spark team that went to the Hockey Festival.

Hayley Mershon, Towson

A second-team All-Metro pick last season, the senior back anchored a defense that notched 13 shutouts and allowed just two goals during the regular season and seven goals total.

Mershon controlled the transition game with her stick skills and ability to anticipate the opposition's next move. The Team Marylander, who plans to play in college, proved terrif ic at blocking passes and using her powerful hits to keep the No. 1 and state Class 2A runner-up Generals attacking.

Those hits also made Mershon a threat to score, especially on corners where she converted six of her seven goals. She also contributed five assists.

Jenna Rogers, Severn

In her first season as a starter, Rogers emerged as a poised and patient stopper for the No. 8 Admirals, who allowed just five goals during the regular season.

Rogers, a Futures veteran, was tough to beat, holding her ground at center back and luring attack players into her trap. Then, she'd use her long reach and quick stick to spring and take the ball. Her keen field sense and strong oneon- one skills helped her convert those turnovers into instant offense.

With Rogers as the anchor, the Admirals posted 12 shutouts and gave up 10 goals total in the tough IAAM A Conference.

Jocelyn Paul, Towson

The setup artist for the state Class 2A runner-up, Paul came up big in the biggest games.

Leading the No. 1 Generals with 12 goals and seven assists, the senior right wing scored both goals in the 2-0 regional championship win over Hereford, a penalty stroke in the shootout state semifinal win over Centennial and an assist in the 2-1 state title game loss to Bethesda-Chevy Chase.

At 5 feet 10", the Team Marylander had an exceptionally long reach that, combined with her speed and deft stick, enabled her to dodge multiple defenders and move the ball smoothly down the side setting up her crosses into the circle.

Lauren Sheets, Garrison Forest

The vocal leader of the No. 7 Grizzlies' defense, the junior always seemed to be thinking a couple steps ahead o f the competition. A complete player, comfortable defending the goal line or challenging an opponent for the ball, Sheets led a unit that helped the Grizzlies go 13 games without a loss.

Garrison coach Traci Davis called her center back the "point guard of the defense," because of her ability to organize the defense and change the pace of the game with her ball-control skills.

A gold medalist at the 2002 Junior Olympics, Sheets has five years of Futures experience and plays for the Capitol Pegasus club team.

Caitlin Swift, Archbishop Spalding

Excelling at the toughest position on the forward line, Swift brought speed and finesse to the left wing. But that was just for starters.

In addition to her abilty to create scoring opportunities for herself and her teammates, the junior could finish. She ended the season among the leading scorers in the IAAM A Conference with 16 goals and eight assists.

What made the Futures veteran so dangerous was that she could score in so many ways -- whether maneuvering the ball down the wing on the break, weaving through traffic in the circle or setting up on the post.

Abby Treworgy, South Carroll

To say the Cavaliers' senior goalie excelled under pressure might be an understatement.

Twice in the Cavaliers' last three games, she saved their drive to the state title and their unbeaten record. In the regional final against North Carroll, Treworgy made a diving save against a penalty stroke with 1:46 left. In the 2-1 overtime title victory against Fallston, Treworgy saved three shots in the second overtime.

The Futures veteran who plans to play in college finished with an 86.6 save percentage and nine shutouts. She allowed just six goals and saved all four penalty strokes she faced -- three in the playoffs.

Margaret Yellott, Bryn Mawr

Everything the No. 9 Mawrtians did this season revolved around their veteran center midfielder. On a rebuilding team, the senior stepped right into that pivotal position without missing a beat.

Yellott made an easy transition from playing on the forward line as a junior. Having also played back during her Mawrtians career, the Futures veteran showed off a versatility that enabled her to dominate the middle.

She contributed whatever the Mawrtians needed -- a big block, a transition spark or a goal. Yellott finished with six goals and four assists.

Kim Ziegler, Fallston

The Cougars' left inner had a knack for scoring crucial goals. Among the junior's game-winners were an overtime goal against Roland Park and one in the state semifinal victory over Richard Montgomery. She also converted her penalty stroke in the regional final shootout win over Severna Park.

Ziegler finished with eight goals and seven assists, as the No. 4 Cougars won their 15th Harford County title. Her forte was setting up her teammates, sending a lot of shots off goalies' pads that ended up in the cage a shot or two later.

A second-team All-Metro pick last season who has Futures experience, Ziegler plays for the Elkton Strikers club team.