Player of the Year: Corey Donohoe, North Harford
The bigger the stage, the bigger Donohoe's game.
Against top Harford County rival Fallston, the senior attacker scored a goal in the final second of regulation to tie the game and then scored the game-winner with four seconds left in double overtime.
In the Class 3A-2A state final, Donohoe scored five goals on No. 1 Mount Hebron in a game that ended in a heartbreaking 7-6 loss for the Hawks. No other team has come that close to threatening the Vikings during their 11-year run as state champions.
The Harford County Player of the Year, Donohoe scored 83 goals and had 44 assists to lead the No. 7 Hawks to a 17-2 finish and the first state championship appearance in the program's history. She finished her career with 193 goals and 119 assists.
A strong 5-foot-9 explosive player, Donohoe also showed off exceptional stick skills. She could catch anything and could spot even the tiniest openings in the arc. Adept at getting position on the crease, she showed deceptive quickness with her feet and with her stick, baiting defenders and faking out goalies.
"She was our go-to player," Hawks coach Tara Buecker said. "The girls knew she could find the back of the net. Even when she was face-guarded, she would find a way to get it done."
Smart and unselfish with the ball, Donohoe drew a lot of double teams, but she had a keen eye for her open teammates. She also played a big role on the draw, winning 72, and was strong at re-defending.
"She's just tough to contain," Mount Hebron coach Brooke Kuhl-McClelland said after the championship game. "She's got great skills ... and she's just all over the field. She's their playmaker. She sets the tone. She's the pilot of that offense. When the ball's in her stick, she's dangerous."
Donohoe will play next year at North Carolina.
Coach of the Year: Renie Sotiropoulos, Severn
In her 12th season as Admirals head coach, Sotiropoulos turned a midseason sinking ship into a title contender.
The Admirals started off 5-6, but they won nine of their last 11, including a tournament semifinal upset of then-No. 2 McDonogh, which had gone unbeaten through the Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland A Conference regular season. In the title game, the Admirals gave No. 3 John Carroll a fight before falling 10-9 in overtime.
"It was very rewarding, especially that run down the stretch and the way the kids just rallied. They all seemed to respond and they had a lot of tough talking-tos, because they weren't playing up to their potential," said Sotiropoulos, who has a 131-55-10 career record at Severn.
Unranked in preseason, the No. 6 Admirals, who finished 14-8, needed some convincing about that potential. A lot of players had graduated, both goalies were freshmen and chemistry had yet to develop.
Sotiropoulos - and the assistant coaches she gives a large dose of credit to, Tony Werner, Tara Bourdelaise and Kim McNemar - overhauled an offense that had worked the year before but wasn't working for this group. They incorporated a motion offense that freed the players to be more creative and they thrived on that freedom.
Casey Ancarrow, John Carroll
A savvy junior attacker who loved to manipulate defenders on the crease, Ancarrow enjoyed a breakout season in helping the No. 3 Patriots to the Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland A Conference championship. Her skills and game smarts were on full display in the title game, as she scored five goals in the 10-9 win over No. 6 Severn.
Ancarrow, who finished second on her team in scoring with 40 goals and 28 assists, had a flair for beating defenders around the crease. She thrived on pulling her defender just a little too high and then ducking back under for perfect position on the crease. Her quick first step, superb stick skills and unselfishness made her a threat to score or assist every time she had the ball, even when she was face-guarded.
Allyson Carey, John Carroll
The athletic junior midfielder provided a little bit of everything for the IAAM A Conference champions. She led the No. 3 Patriots in scoring with 53 goals and 19 assists, but that was just the beginning of her talent and contribution. A strong defender who caused a lot of turnovers, it was nearly impossible to take the ball away from her because of her quick stick and her quick feet.
Exceptional at reading the defense and finding the slightest holes, she was always patient on attack. She worked perfectly in tandem with teammate Casey Ancarrow to exploit defenses, especially around the crease, where the two worked their own style of bait-and-switch. Carey will play for the U.S. Under-19 team at the world championships in Ontario, Canada in August.
Caroline Cochran, St. Mary's
Last season, Cochran benefited from a strong senior class around her. This year, the junior midfielder had to step up and carry much more of the load. She proved up to the task. She led the No. 13 Saints, who had 16 one-goal decisions in 22 games, with 54 goals and 18 assists, helping a rebuilding team remain competitive in the IAAM A Conference.
Frustrated by face-guarding early on, Cochran learned how to shake sticky defenders by possessing the ball in the defensive end and sparking the transition game. A superb midfield defender, she had 26 caused turnovers and won 63 ground balls. Willing to do whatever she had to, Cochran became a more complete player this season. Her skills, tenacity and relentlessness made her a force at both ends of the field.
Jackie Doherty, Mount Hebron
A repeat first-team selection, Doherty continued to excel on the defensive end after moving to a midfield position, providing a critical transition link as the No. 1 Vikings ran their winning streak to a national-record-tying 103 games and won their 11th straight state title.
Doherty could provide whatever the Vikings needed in any given instance. She had 45 goals, 12 assists, 55 ground balls and 31 draw controls. An intimidating force anywhere on the field, Doherty combined a physical presence with quick feet and a true defender's mentality to fuel a constant determination to keep the ball away from the goal. The Howard County Player of the Year will play next season at Notre Dame.
Bria Eulitt, Mount Hebron
The only returning line defender for the No. 1 Vikings, the Richmond-bound Eulitt ran the show with exceptional poise, skill and smarts. Fleet of foot and quick in small spaces, she was rarely beaten, as her unit allowed only 3.5 goals per game. Only West Genesee, N.Y., a 14-6 winner over the Vikings, scored more than seven goals against them.
In the second half of the 3A-2A state title game against No. 7 North Harford, Eulitt marked Player of the Year Corey Donohoe, who had scored four times in the first half. She held Donohoe to just one free-position goal - a key performance in the Vikings' 7-6 victory. Exceptional one-on-one but even more valuable on the slides, Eulitt will play for the U.S. Under-19 team at the world championships in Ontario, Canada in August.
Julie Gardner, Severna Park
The Anne Arundel County Player of the Year slipped through defenses with ease to lead the No. 2 Falcons to a 20-0 season and the Class 4A-3A state championship. Her field presence proved much bigger than her slight frame. The junior midfielder scored four goals in the state final, a 13-9 victory over Dulaney, to boost her season statistics to 50 goals and 15 assists.
She created openings for herself with a quick change of direction that often left defenders still heading the wrong way. In addition to her offensive prowess, Gardner contributed in the midfield with draw controls and ground balls as well as on defense, where she showed off the body-positioning of a seasoned line defender.
Johanna Gibson, North Harford
The backbone of the No. 7 Hawks' defense, Gibson finished her career with one of her most impressive performances, holding Mount Hebron's Jacqueline Giles without a goal in the Class 3A-2A state championship game.
Able to handle any defensive assignment, Gibson excelled one-on-one late in the season when she frequently was asked to mark the opposition's top player. Her communication and anticipation also made her an invaluable part of the team defense. With great body positioning and controlled checking, Gibson rarely fouled. She had 45 caused turnovers and 44 ground balls this season and finished her career with 89 caused turnovers and 171 ground balls. She will play next year at Loyola.
Karri Ellen Johnson, Broadneck
The Bruins' leading scorer excelled with a combination of strength, speed, finesse and uncanny field sense. Tough to contain, she scored in every game.
Easily able to transition from offense to defense, the junior midfielder stood out on both ends of the field. In addition to scoring 45 goals and dishing out 21 assists, she led the team in caused turnovers with 19. A left-handed player with a strong right hand, Johnson also proved critical to the No. 8 Bruins' possession game with her ability to win the draws. In the Anne Arundel County championship game, she scored four goals in a 12-8 loss to No. 2 Severna Park. Johnson was selected to play for the U.S. Under-19 team that will play for the world championship in August in Ontario, Canada.
Jordy Kirr, Bryn Mawr
Kirr's season came to an early end the last week of April when she broke her right collarbone diving for a ball headed out of bounds. That incident alone shows the relentlessness the senior played with all season. Stellar on the attacking end as a finisher and a feeder, Kirr willingly handled any role for the No. 9 Mawrtians.
Poised and confident, the Baltimore City Player of the Year was exceptional around the crease. In 14 games, she scored 25 goals and had 19 assists. Few made better choices with their shots, as she scored on 58 percent of her attempts. Almost fully recovered from her injury, the Georgetown-bound Kirr will play for the U.S. Under-19 team at the world championships this August in Ontario, Canada.
Kim Kolarik, South River
In her second season as a starter, Kolarik emerged as a more confident keeper, taking control not only of the nets, but of the area all around the crease. Aggressive and comfortable out of the crease, the sophomore played with poise and effectiveness well beyond her age, growing into a leadership role for the Seahawks.
Kolarik allowed 108 goals, but she faced 280 shots. She had an impressive 6.8 goals-against average and a .610 save percentage. She wasn't afraid to come out against the shooters to cut down their angles. She also became an extra defensive player, picking off passes, scooping up ground balls and causing turnovers. Her accurate clears jump-started the Seahawks' transition game.
Josie Owen, Severn
The junior midfielder emerged as a leader who contributed to every facet of the game, as the sixth-ranked Admirals picked up steam late in the season and reached the IAAM A Conference final. Owen made spectacular plays but was content to handle the mundane chores around the midfield, too.
She scored 41 goals and had 31 assists, but she also excelled in ball control. She won 82 ground balls and her ability to control 72 draws, many in the last half of the season, was critical to the Admirals' 9-1 stretch that put them into the title game. On defense, Owen created a lot of turnovers and broke up plays, giving the Admirals a lot more chances to strike in transition. In August, Owen will play for the U.S. at the Under-19 world championships in Ontario, Canada.
Caroline Spearman, McDonogh
One of the area's most versatile players, Spearman spent three years as a defender, then made a smooth transition into the midfield as a senior. She jumped into the thick of everything this spring, emerging as a transition catalyst and a big scorer.
Whenever and wherever the No. 4 Eagles needed a big play, Spearman seemed to come up with one, as McDonogh went undefeated through the IAAM A Conference regular season and reached the tournament semifinals. She finished second on the team in points with 26 goals and 12 assists, but she continued to show off her defensive instincts and skills by causing turnovers and winning 66 ground balls. The Baltimore County Player of the Year is headed for Duke.
Jenny Steadman, Century
The two-time Carroll County Player of the Year set a new county standard for career scoring with 259 goals and 388 points, breaking the old records of 249 and 379 set by Liberty's Becky Trumbo in 2002. Steadman, a repeat first-team selection, holds school single-game, season and career records for goals and points.
This season, the senior helped the No. 5 Knights win their third Class 2A-1A state title in four years. She scored seven goals in the 15-5 title-game win over Pikesville to bring her season scoring totals to 94 goals and 37 assists. Although she contributed all over the field as a midfielder, she was most exceptional when maneuvering in the 8-meter arc, fearless and relentless against the pressure. Next year, she will play at Penn State.
Name, School, Class, Position
Kirstyn Atkinson McDonogh Senior Attack
Jacqueline Giles Mt. Hebron Senior Attack
Mary Heneberry Dulaney Senior Attack
Sarah Parks Centennial Junior Attack
Kristy Black Glenelg Junior Mid.
Allie Emala Bryn Mawr Senior Mid.
Emily Franke Towson Senior Mid.
Jill Rekart Mt. Hebron Senior Mid.
Katie Schwarzmann Century Soph. Mid.
Maggie Dunbar St. Paul's Senior Def.
Kristen Horsman Dulaney Senior Def.
Shayna Stearns Severna Park Senior Def.
Dana Cahill Mercy Junior Goalie
Katie Janian Bryn Mawr Senior Goalie
Note // Teams selected by Katherine Dunn after consultation with The Sun staff and area coaches.
Final Poll No., School, Record
1. Mount Hebron 19-1
2. Severna Park 20-0
3. John Carroll 14-3
4. McDonogh 18-2
5. Century 17-2
6. Severn 14-8
7. North Harford 17-2
8. Broadneck 14-3
9. Bryn Mawr 14-3
10. Dulaney 15-3
11. Glenelg 15-3
12. Towson 12-5
13. St. Mary's 11-11
14. St. Paul's 11-8
15. Roland Park 10-8
Other teams considered // Centennial (9-5), Liberty (12-4), South River (11-3-1), Westminster (13-3-1).Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun