Player of the Year: Jess Adam, Severn
Few high school athletes enjoy the luxury of playing at the international level before their senior year. Adam had that opportunity, competing for the world champion U.S. Under-19 team last summer.
When Adam returned to the Admirals, she brought more confidence, a greater understanding of the game and even more exceptional skills. That showed in her ability to control the midfield and lead the offense for the No. 6 Admirals (12-2-2), who reached the Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland A Conference semifinal and were one of only three teams to hold the No. 1 ranking.
The Anne Arundel County Player of the Year made everything she did look easy from scoring goals to winning draws to causing turnovers. Despite often drawing double- and triple-team coverage, she scored 45 goals and dished out 52 assists, showing remarkable ability to adjust her game to opposing defenses. During the regular season, Seton Keough's Kerry Shea held Adam without a goal, but Adam adapted and handed out six assists.
"She did it all," said Severn coach Renie Sotiropoulos, "but at the same time, she brought out the best in her teammates. Usually when you have a star, the others can become resentful, but they couldn't with Jess. They always looked to her and they just followed her lead."
Adam, a second-team All-Metro pick last season who finished her career with 126 goals and 126 assists, was a Chesapeake regional All-American. Next year, she will play for Duke.
Coach of the Year: Carl Greenberg, C. Milton Wright
In Greenberg's second year as head coach, the Mustangs finally won the one title that had always eluded them - a state championship. After seven straight Harford County titles and a fourth straight regional title, the No. 3 Mustangs polished off a 17-1 season with the Class 4A-3A crown.
To a roster loaded with talent, Greenberg added a schedule loaded with strength. The Mustangs played eight games against ranked teams. Their only loss was a 9-8 setback to Notre Dame Prep.
Still, the Mustangs did have a few obstacles to overcome, including struggling with the deaths of one player's mother and another's sister. They also lost a starting defender to injury before the season started and starting goalie Jess Dibelka to an injury during the playoffs.
"It always takes some luck to win a state championship and a lot of things were against us, but through it all, they played together as a group. Their work ethic - they really took it upon themselves, because we had a common goal, which made us stronger," said Greenberg, who coached the Mustangs boys for 17 years before becoming the girls assistant coach in 1998.
Megan Bosica, Mount Hebron
The only sophomore on this year's team, Bosica showed off a game honed far beyond her years.
A dominating midfielder, she also emerged as a big scorer. Her 70 goals led the No. 2 Vikings and she also had 20 assists. Bosica scored five goals and had two assists in the 21-7 victory over No. 15 Catonsville that gave the Vikings their eighth straight state title.
The Greater Baltimore regional All-American also contributed defensively, able to force a turnover one-on-one or slide quickly into the double team.
At the US Lacrosse Women's Division National Tournament Memorial Day weekend, she earned the Heather Leigh Albert Trophy as the top schoolgirl player in the tournament.
Shannon Burke, Roland Park
One of the key reasons the No. 4 Reds emerged from being a sub-.500 team to reach the IAAM A Conference final was Burke's ability to shut down top-notch attackers.
Although she played a defensive midfield position most of the season, Burke assumed an even more defensive posture in the tournament and it paid off. In the quarterfinal win over St. Mary's, she shut out Jenna Hubbard in the second half. In the semifinal upset of Severn, she held Player of the Year Jess Adam to two goals.
The junior proved tough to beat one-on-one and also played great denial defense. She led the Reds in interceptions with nine and had 50 ground balls.
Megan Del Monte, St. Paul's
The junior midfielder capped a stellar season by scoring the game-winning goal in the Gators' 5-4 victory over Roland Park in the IAAM A Conference final, sealing the No. 1 ranking for the Gators, who had started off at No. 14.
The Greater Baltimore regional All-American did a little bit of everything. On the attacking end, she led the Gators in points with 64 - 36 goals and 28 assists. She hit 52 percent of her shots.
Del Monte vacuumed loose balls all over the place, controlling 47 draws and snatching 36 ground balls. She also had 24 caused turnovers and worked well in tandem when pressuring the ball.
Christina Frank, C. Milton Wright
The senior attacker enjoyed a breakout season, leading the Mustangs in scoring with 66 goals and 13 assists.
Without her, the Mustangs might not have gotten past No. 5 South River in the state semifinal and gone on to win their first state crown. With the Mustangs' lead cut to 8-6 with 15 minutes left, Frank scored three straight goals to spark a 13-10 victory.
Frank also scored five goals in the 19-6 state-title win over Westminster and had three key second-half goals to put away North Harford, 9-7, and preserve a 53-game winning streak against Harford County foes.
Also a key to the Mustangs' possession game, Frank will play next season at George Mason.
Sarah Gallion, C. Milton Wright
Mustangs coach Carl Greenberg would have liked to give Gallion the run of the field, but she proved too valuable as a line defender.
The senior excelled at reading opposing offenses and adapting her game as well as the team's defense to counter them.
Quick with a blistering first step, Gallion could play great containment defense, but her speed also made her tough to beat against the fast break.
She provided the glue to a defense that gave up just 6.3 goals per game. During the regular season, the Mustangs did not allow an opponent more than nine goals.
Gallion is headed to Johns Hopkins.
Jamie Hanssen, Notre Dame Prep
Getting past this senior defender may have been the toughest challenge of the season. Able to contain an opponent with excellent body positioning, Hanssen also harassed her marks with a lightning-quick check that forced many of her 75 caused turnovers.
A repeat first-team pick, Hanssen led a unit that gave up just 7.15 goals per game and allowed only two opponents to hit double figures.
While always a transition catalyst, she ran the field more this season and her defensive skills proved valuable all over. Hanssen also had 80 ground balls and contributed 13 goals.
A two-time Greater Baltimore regional All-American, Hanssen will move on to North Carolina.
Jenna Hubbard, St. Mary's
After giving a lot of extra attention to her shooting in the offseason, Hubbard returned as a sure finisher as a senior. She led the No. 12 Saints with 60 goals.
The Chesapeake regional All-American worked hard off the ball, getting open for her teammates. When they hit her, she could maneuver in tight spaces and get a shot.
The Richmond-bound Hubbard, who also had 11 assists, put up some big numbers against some of the IAAM A Conference's top defenses. She scored five goals on Notre Dame Prep during the regular season. In the A Conference quarterfinals, she scored four of her team's five goals in a 7-5 loss to Roland Park.
Allie Johnson, Broadneck
A second-team All-Metro selection last season, Johnson proved an excellent two-way player, leading the Bruins in scoring for the second straight year while playing a key defensive role.
The senior midfielder came up big in some of the biggest games, including a six-goal performance to lead the No. 7 Bruins to the Anne Arundel County championship in a 13-6 win over No. 5 South River. She finished with 62 goals and 38 assists.
A finesse player with good speed, she also fit well into the Bruins' defensive unit.
Johnson, who helped the Bruins win state titles in her sophomore and junior years, was a Chesapeake regional All-American and will move on to Duke.
Kelly Kasper, Century
The co-Carroll County Player of the Year along with teammate Lauren Schwarzmann, Kasper led the No. 11 Knights with 72 goals and had 41 assists.
Quick and athletic with exceptional stickwork, the senior midfielder had five goals and three assists in the Knights' 15-7 win over Southern-AA for the state Class 2A-1A crown. She also scored the game-winner with three seconds left to beat South Carroll in the regional final.
A repeat All-Metro first- teamer and county Player of the Year, she also earned Greater Baltimore regional All-America honors for the second year.
Kasper will play lacrosse at Maryland.
Kim Kontson, South River
The senior midfielder enjoyed a breakout season thanks to her multifaceted game and her willingness to contribute in any way.
A team player who excelled at both ends of the field, Kontson had 50 goals and 33 assists in leading the No. 5 Seahawks to the Class 4A-3A state semifinals.
The Seahawks could rely on Kontson to provide two or three goals a game, but they could also rely on her to make plays critical to transition. She had 38 ground balls and 55 draw controls. In addition, her defensive skills were so strong that she often matched up on the opposition's top attacking midfielder.
A Chesapeake regional All-American, Kontson will play next season at Penn State.
Lauren Schwarzmann, Century
One of the most determined players around, Schwarzmann wasn't about to leave Century without a state lacrosse title.
The senior midfielder combined nearly unstoppable power with great field vision to lead the No. 11 Knights in scoring with 55 goals and 59 assists. She finished one point ahead of teammate Kelly Kasper, with whom she shared Carroll County Player of the Year honors.
A second-team All-Metro pick last season, Schwarzmann scored four goals and had two assists as the Knights beat Southern-AA, 15-7, for their first state title in only their second season as a varsity program.
She will join her sister Ashley and play lacrosse at Johns Hopkins.
Laura Shane, Towson
The area's top goalkeeper boasted a remarkable 80 percent save rate as a senior. She posted a 4.0 goals-against average and never allowed an opponent to hit double digits.
That, however, was just the tip of her exceptional all-around game. In addition to the quick reaction that made her an effective stopper in the nets, she also disrupted opponents' offenses outside the crease.
Then, she could clear it on a dime. She rarely turned over a clear and her precision passes were key to the transition game.
In the pivotal game of the regular season, the Stanford-bound Shane made 16 saves in an 11-9 win over Dulaney that gave Towson Baltimore County's Class 4A-3A title.
Kerry Shea, Seton Keough
The junior had the versatility in her game to shut down a top attacker one minute and score a critical goal the next.
She showed off all of her skills in a late-season tie with Severn, holding Player of the Year Jess Adam without a goal while scoring three times, including once in a three-goal rally that tied the game at 9-9.
A Greater Baltimore regional All-American, Shea was playing line defense for the Gators a year ago, but she had no trouble converting to the midfield.
Aggressive and determined on the offensive end, Shea led the No. 10 Gators in goals and in points with 63 goals and 11 assists. She also had 63 ground balls, 32 draw controls and 22 caused turnovers.
Kristen Slahor, Mount Hebron
The Howard County Player of the Year stepped into the leadership role on a young attack and never missed a beat.
Running the offense from behind the net, Slahor used excellent judgment, poise and patience to set up her teammates or create opportunities for herself. She had some slippery moves and used them to elude multiple defenders for 60 goals. The Ohio State-bound senior played an equally valuable role as a feeder, using her pinpoint passing for 61 assists.
Slahor, a Greater Baltimore regional All-American who led the No. 2 Vikings in points, had two goals and four assists in the state title game.
Kadie Stamper, C. Milton Wright
The two-time Harford County Player of the Year put the finishing touch on a fine career by leading the No. 3 Mustangs to their first state title and setting a state tournament record.
The senior midfielder had eight goals and four assists in the 19-6 state-title victory over Westminster, setting a single-game record for points and tying one for goals.
Quick, speedy and skilled, the Greater Baltimore regional All-American made the most of her talent against the Mustangs' best opponents. She scored 27 of her 48 goals on teams ranked or considered for The Sun's Top 15. She also had 26 assists. A second-team All-Metro pick last season, Stamper will move on to Johns Hopkins.
Annie Wagner, St. Paul's
The Baltimore City/County Player of the Year led the Gators to the IAAM A Conference title, a 16-1-1 record and the final No. 1 ranking.
The Gators' top goal scorer with 44, Wagner came up big in the big games. She scored three goals in the 5-4 victory over No. 4 Roland Park in the A Conference final. She scored four goals to help beat No. 7 Broadneck, 8-3.
A strong, physical player with deceptive quickness, the senior attacker drew overwhelming defensive attention, but still managed to score in difficult situations, finishing 51 percent of her shots. She also had 18 assists. A Greater Baltimore regional All-American, Wagner will move on to Johns Hopkins.
Name School Class Position
Kirby Houck Garrison Forest Senior Attack
Katie McHugh C. Milton Wright Senior Attack
Frannie Sullivan South River Senior Attack
Aly Blum Glenelg Junior Midfield
Amber Falcone Winters Mill Junior Midfield
Kim Griffin North Harford Senior Midfield
Jen May South River Senior Midfield
Katie Pumphrey Severna Park Senior Midfield
Jackie Blucher St. Paul's Junior Defense
Stephanie Bissett Mount Hebron Senior Defense
Natasha Davies Broadneck Junior Defense
Norris Novak Bryn Mawr Senior Defense
Christina Gibson North Harford Senior Defense
Kelly O'Connell Seton Keough Senior Defense
Brooke Rhodey Notre Dame Prep Senior Defense
Eboni Preston Westminster Senior Goal
Jess Dibelka C. Milton Wright Senior Goal
Note: Teams selected by Katherine Dunn after consultation with The Sun staff and area coaches.Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun