Player of the Year: Zoey Bouchelle, Notre Dame Prep
Highly touted upon arriving at Notre Dame Prep as a freshman, the standout midfielder kept adding layers to her game over the course of a stellar, four-year career that fittingly produced a storybook ending.
Who better than Bouchelle - the best player on the area's top team - to score the game-winning goal with four seconds left in overtime in the Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland's A Conference championship game, a 5-4 Blazers win over John Carroll?
"Everything we worked for and wanted to accomplish as a team came down to those final seconds, and to have her as the centerpiece of that day was fantastic," said Notre Dame Prep coach Chris Lopez.
The three-time All-Metro pick, who will play at Penn State, was instrumental in lifting the Blazers (14-1) to their first conference crown and a wire-to-wire run as the area's No. 1 team. She was a leader on and off the field and a dominating presence in the midfield. Her tremendous ball skills produced 14 goals and six assists this season to give her 54 and 27, respectively, in her career.
Bouchelle was named to the National Soccer Coaches Association of American (NSCAA) All-America team, as well as its All-America scholar team.
Coach of the Year: Gary Lam, Severna Park
It's one thing to successfully defend a state title with most of the players back. It's another to repeat with a mostly new group.
Assembling an entirely new defense and front line, Lam managed to do just that as the No. 2 Falcons once again captured the Class 3A crown.
The third-year coach determined who belonged where on the field and quickly developed a cohesive group that surpassed all expectations in a 17-1 season.
"When you win a title and want another, you don't start where you left off - you're back even with everyone else," said Lam, who is now 46-5-3 in three seasons. "We identified each players' role and they understood their responsibilities. The kids surprised us."
Preaching the importance of playing with heart and emotion, Lam's group showed both in a 3-2 region playoff win at Leonardtown, where it trailed, 2-0, going into the second half. In the state semifinals, timely adjustments and good preparation played big in the Falcons' penalty-kick shootout win over River Hill.
Lam made sure to note his assistants - John Brady and Mike Malone - have been integral in the team's success.
Kayce Blandford, Notre Dame Prep
The Blazers' senior co-captain was able to make her presence felt in a number of ways as a defense-first midfielder whose offensive skills weren't far behind. Hard work for 80 minutes - from penalty area to penalty area - was always a sure thing from Blandford. The four-year starter read the game well and had an ability to mark tight, win balls in the middle and distribute accordingly to help set the team's desired pace. Blandford finished with four goals and seven assists, scoring the game-winner in a 3-1 win over St. Mary's that sent the Blazers to the IAAM A Conference championship.
Kristen Carr, Mercy
The sophomore central defender took her game to a higher level in her second varsity season, bringing poise and a defining presence to the Magic's back line. With good speed and size at 5 feet 10, Carr read the game well, constantly disrupting opposing team's offenses. She also had good ball skills to effectively work the ball out of the back and get the Magic started in transition. When called upon, Carr also saw time up front, where she contributed four goals and four assists.
Tracey Dahlen, Chesapeake-AA
Flawless defensive play, timely goals and fierce leadership - the senior sweeper brought all those assets to the overachieving No. 13 Cougars, who posted 10 shutouts in a 12-3-1 season. With athleticism and a good feel for the game, Dahlen was a constant disruption on defense. The four-year starter had a strong clear and could effectively carry the ball forward or find teammates. Offensively, she contributed eight goals and four assists, handling most of the Cougars' free kicks. Also an All-Metro shortstop in softball, Dahlen will play that sport at Elon College next year.
Shannon Hadaway, Severna Park
Bringing a non-stop approach from start to end, the senior midfielder was the Class 3A state champion Falcons' catalyst and leader. With the Falcons looking to repeat as state champs with a largely new cast, Hadaway's responsibilities increased as a team captain and steadying influence. She was more than up to the challenge. Strong defensively and constantly to the ball first at midfield, Hadaway scored seven goals and added nine assists. The last goal of her career was by far her biggest - the game-winner in the Falcons' 3-2 win over Urbana for the state crown. Hadaway contributed to three state titles in her four-year varsity career.
Melissa Hornfeck, Arundel
A dynamic playmaker who had an outstanding presence on the field, Hornfeck closed out a stellar four-year varsity career with a 12-goal, eight-assist senior season that led the Wildcats to an 11-4-1 mark. Arundel coach Tom Degner said the talented midfielder constantly lifted the team's play with her skills, positive attitude and overflowing confidence. The Anne Arundel County Player of the Year and a four-time, first-team selection in the county, she finished her high school career with 49 goals and 30 assists.
Katy Hudson, River Hill
The junior goalkeeper looked right at home in her first season as a starter, finishing with 15 shutouts and allowing just three goals in the No. 4 Hawks' run to the Class 3A state semifinals. With a sound technical foundation, athleticism and smart decision-making in the penalty area, Hudson was reliable. She didn't surrender a goal in Howard County play, turning aside a late second-half penalty kick from Centennial's Hayley Siegel in a 1-0 win that played big in the Hawks' successful defense of their county crown.
Beth Koloup, Notre Dame Prep
It was a sight seen again and again over the course of the Blazers' IAAM A Conference championship season: Koloup getting behind a defense and finding a corner for a goal. A second-team All-Metro striker last fall, the talented junior makes the move to the first team with offensive productivity (27 goals, six assists) that was consistent and timely. Offsetting heavy marking with smart runs away from the ball, Koloup turned the slightest openings into goals with a fine touch inside the penalty area. She saved some of her season's best for last with a two-goal, one-assist effort in the Blazers' 5-4 overtime win over John Carroll in the title game.
Kara Lewis, River Hill
Always difficult for defenders to keep track of, the senior forward was quick and crafty with the ball as the catalyst in the Hawks' offensive third. With a quick burst following her first touch, the repeat All-Metro selection had a knack for finding open spaces and the back of the net with an accurate shot. Finishing the season with 10 goals and nine assists, the Hawks' co-captain also was a strong leader who brought a tireless work rate.
Shelley McDuff, River Hill
Smart with her quick steps and poised with her work on the ball, the gifted senior sweeper was both aggressive and precise when it came to handling pressure at the defensive end. Capturing the Howard County championship and reaching the Class 3A state semifinals, the No. 4 Hawks (14-2-1) strongly relied on the near-flawless play of McDuff, who anchored a defense that posted 15 shutouts and yielded only three goals. A second-team All-Metro selection last season, McDuff also contributed on offense with three goals and four assists this fall.
Ashley Myers, John Carroll
One of the area's toughest marks, the junior forward overwhelmed defenders with her physical presence, quick feet and endless desire to get to the goal. Equally effective with her back to the goal, going left or going right, Myers worked hard to get the ball in the right places and needed little time or space to make positive things happen. The repeat All-Metro selection finished the season with 20 goals and eight assists, with the extra attention drawn to her opening up space for teammates. Myers had one of the season's most remarkable efforts with three first-half goals in the Patriots' 5-4 double overtime loss to Notre Dame Prep in the IAAM A Conference championship game.
Lauren Schwarzmann, Century
One determined effort - coming in the second half of the No. 3 Knights' 3-1 win over Glenelg that locked up the team's second straight Class 2A state title - can sufficiently sum up Schwarzmann's banner senior season. The persistent forward broke through with the Knights' first goal to tie the game midway through, and later added the insurance goal to provide a fitting ending to a 15-goal, eight-assist season that earned her Carroll County Player of the Year honors. Tough-to-mark speed and good field sense always put Schwarzmann in the right places, and then her fine ball skills, high intensity and poised finishing took over to consistently provide offensive production.
Hayley Siegel, Centennial
Few players in the area can affect a game with their presence alone - Siegel is one of them. With high technical skills matched by hard work and a fine understanding of the game, the junior midfielder was the centerpiece of the Eagles' 9-3-2 season. The repeat Howard County Player of the Year worked through the extra attention she constantly received from opposing defenses, and was able to find her accurate shot or set up others. She finished the season with seven goals and 10 assists. Siegel was named to the NSCAA All-America team.
Brittany Tegeler, McDonogh
Despite the considerable attention she received from opposing defenses geared toward stopping her, the junior striker continued to stay one step ahead. With a quick step, along with her tremendous ball skills, fine field sense and heavy shot, Tegeler finished with 35 goals and added 14 assists in leading the Eagles to a 14-7-1 mark. The repeat first-team All-Metro selection, who has 72 career goals, had one of the season's most memorable goals in a 1-1 tie with St. Mary's when she caught the Saints still celebrating their goal and scored on the ensuing tap from midfield.
Jamie Zimmerman, John Carroll
Playing at a high level and with an equally high work rate, the junior center midfielder helped carry the No. 5 Patriots (13-5-1) to the IAAM A Conference championship game. The Harford County Player of the Year contributed in every facet of the game as one of the area's most complete players. She was a constant presence in winning the midfield. Zimmerman accounted for 15 goals and 15 assists with persistent and smart play in the offensive third, and also proved capable with the toughest marking assignments on defense.
Name School Class Position
Jessica Knight Perry Hall Soph. Forward
Kelly O'Connell Seton Keough Senior Forward
Mandy Paizs Centennial Junior Forward
Kadie Stamper C. Milton Wright Senior Forward
Emily Sullivan Arch. Spalding Senior Forward
Samantha Young Severna Park Fresh. Forward
Meagan Holmes Dulaney Junior Midfield
Kelly Kasper Century Senior Midfield
Brittany McKew Perry Hall Senior Midfield
Britney Thomas Eastern Tech Junior Midfield
Nikki Bell McDonogh Senior Defense
Jennifer Dunbar St. Mary's Senior Defense
Kelly Glacken Glenelg Senior Defense
Katlin Hassell Eastern Tech Senior Goalie
Christie York Severna Park Senior Goalie
Note: Teams selected by Glenn P. Graham after consultation with The Sun staff and area coaches.Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun