2004 All-Metro Girls Soccer Team
Ashley Myers, John Carroll (Sun photo by Christopher T. Assaf / December 17, 2004)
The dominating senior ended a stellar four-year varsity career in fine fashion, scoring two goals and adding an assist in John Carroll's 3-0 win over Institute of Notre Dame that not only gave the No. 1 Patriots the Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland A Conference crown, but also a 21-0 season.
Overpowering and often dazzling with the ball, Myers wasn't deterred by the two and often three defenders that continually came her way. With any time and space, she could unleash a cannon shot that was precisely aimed for a corner.
Myers, who has committed to play at Penn State next fall, scored 25 goals and added six assists for the season. On the rare occasion she didn't figure in the team's scoring, the attention drawn to her opened up chances for teammates to get the job done.
The three-time All-Metro first-team selection, named an All-American the past two seasons, finished her career with 67 goals and 20 assists.
"When Ashley has things going her way, she's unstoppable. She's the most dangerous and advanced scorer I've seen," said John Carroll coach Gary Lynch.
Coach of the Year: Gary Lynch, John Carroll
Stocked with experienced talent, John Carroll was tagged this season's team to beat immediately after their heartbreaking, 5-4 overtime loss to Notre Dame Prep in last year's Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland A Conference championship game. How did the Patriots respond? Ranked No. 1 from start to finish, they enjoyed a 21-0 season which included the program's second league championship crown.
Understanding the maturity of his group, Lynch kept them focused on immediate tasks and their lofty long-range goals, something that became more and more difficult as their perfect season progressed.
"We wanted to take the season and make small increments of it instead of looking at it as a whole season in front of you. With the maturity we had on the team, we were able to apply that and it came in handy," said Lynch, who has a 131-27-6 career record with two league titles in eight seasons.
A prime example of Lynch's philosophy came in the regular season, when the Patriots found themselves down two goals early against Mercy. The goal was to get one score back before halftime and go from there. The Patriots ended up getting two goals before the break and went on to win, 3-2.
Nicole Brown, Archbishop Spalding
The area's most imposing defender at sweeper, Brown closed out a stellar four-year varsity career with consistently fine play that helped the No. 7 Cavaliers (12-4-3) gain prominence in the demanding Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland A Conference.
At 5 feet 11, the two-year senior captain was deceptively quick and did all the right things with the ball. Brown was a strong one-on-one defender who could slow down attacks, she had a strong clear and could also effectively carry the ball forward or distribute to an open teammate.
Playing in front of a freshman goalkeeper, Brown kept the defense organized with a confident voice that led to 10 shutouts.
Rachel Fry, South River
After playing her first two varsity seasons as an outside halfback, Fry brought her poised play to the middle and became a dominating factor in leading the No. 6 Seahawks (13-2-4) to the Class 4A state championship game. She scored 13 goals and contributed five assists, but it was her strong and confident presence all over the field that paid the biggest dividends.
The team captain was quick and aggressive in getting to the ball and smart with it, able to break down defenses with her fine dribbling skills.
In crucial situations, Fry thrived at the chance to take over games with a take-charge, whatever-needs-to-be-done approach. She finished her career with 29 goals and 12 assists.
Constance Grabowski, North Harford
The senior sweeper closed out a fine four-year career with a do-it-all senior season that included smooth play in the back, goals and assists when needed and strong leadership on a young team.
Highly skilled with the ball to effectively bring it out of the defensive side, Grabowski's confident play led to a 10-5 season for the Hawks that included six shutouts. She also made a major contribution on offense, scoring six goals - including the game-winner in a 1-0 win over Fallston - and adding three assists.
Grabowski, an early substitute in the first game of her freshman season due to an injury, went on to start every game after that. The Hawks went on to win 75 percent of the games she played in her four years and 11 of her 16 career goals were game-winners.
Meghan Haspert, Glenelg
The senior center midfielder leaves the Glenelg program as its all-time leading scorer with 36 career goals and nine assists over her four-year career. A strong physical presence, Haspert, a team captain, was able to control the middle of the field for the No. 10 Gladiators (10-4-2) and also make a huge impact at the offensive end with 17 goals and four assists this season.
Always bringing a powerful shot, Haspert also improved her placement of shots this fall to score goals in bunches.
In her four years of varsity, Haspert never missed a game, playing at sweeper through the middle of her sophomore year before finding a home at midfield the rest of her career.
Katy Hudson, River Hill
The repeat All-Metro selection led the No. 12 Hawks to a 12-5 mark this season. The senior standout posted 10 shutouts and allowed just five goals while turning back 109 shots with a smart and aggressive approach that had every angle covered.
Hudson brought leadership as a team captain, often asking coach Willie Ibarra for a couple minutes to talk with the team, and also was an unmatched inspiration as she battled past Hodgkins disease (now in remission) that came early in 2004.
Hudson has her college choices narrowed down to Richmond and Kentucky.
Beth Koloup, Notre Dame Prep
Koloup's goal-scoring prowess last year as a junior (27 goals) earned her first-team All-Metro honors, but this year, she found her way back on the list with a more complete game and greater responsibilities as a team captain.
Hit hard by graduation following an Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland A Conference championship season, the No. 4 Blazers (12-4-1) relied much more on Koloup and she responded with a fine all-around year that included 13 goals.
Koloup has signed to play lacrosse at Notre Dame next year.
Rachel Layer, John Carroll
With good size, speed and skills, Layer didn't let much get past her as a central defender, closing down opposing attacks and effectively distributing the ball to get the Patriots started in their offense. While her primary responsibilty was at the defensive end, Layer also made a major impact on offense with seven goals and four assists.
The senior's biggest goal of the season came in the Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland A Conference semifinals against McDonogh when she headed home the game's only score off a corner kick. A team captain who played every field position over the course of her four-year career, Layer contributed 21 goals and 16 assists along with the steady play in back.
Hayley Siegel, Centennial
The senior center midfielder's four-year varsity career - filled with accolades - came to a fitting end with her leading the No. 5 Eagles (13-2-1) to their first Howard County championship since 1996 and a trip to the Class 3A state final game. With an incredible sense of the game, the team captain was able to make a major impact in a number of ways to affect an outcome.
A three-time Howard Player of the Year, four-time All-Metro selection and two-time All-American, Siegel overcame constant attention to score five goals and dish out nine asissts this season. Bound for Santa Clara, Siegel finished her career with 29 goals and 29 assists.
Brittany Tegeler, McDonogh
The standout's 25-goal, 15-assist senior season was even more impressive when considering that she returned from a torn anterior cruciate ligament that required surgery last December.
Dynamic with the ball, the Eagles captain created plenty of scoring chances for herself and, when opposing defense collapsed on her, was well aware and able to find open teammates.
Constant hard work - all over the field - also came with her high skills. Committed to play for Connecticut, Tegeler finished as a three-time All-Metro first-team pick who scored 97 goals in her four years to rank third on the Eagles' all-time list.
Britney Thomas, Eastern Tech
It was no coincidence that when Thomas arrived four years ago, the No. 8 Mavericks (18-2) started an impressive run of four consecutive state playoff appearances.
The senior center midfielder patrolled the middle of the field with as much energy on defense as offense. A second-team All-Metro selection last season and this year's Baltimore County Player of the Year, Thomas combined a smooth touch with persistence to produce 24 goals and 17 assists.
Consistency was a trademark with Thomas, who made an impact on every game for the two-time defending Baltimore County champs. Set to play at Towson next fall, Thomas finished her career with 65 goals and 51 assists.
Jamie Zimmerman, John Carroll
With a work rate second to none in the metro area, Zimmerman was the midfield pulse and more in the No. 1 Patriots' 21-0 season that brought the program its second Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland A Conference crown.
A four-year starter who played in every game over the course of her fine career, the senior team captain scored 12 goals and added 25 assists this season. Wherever the ball was, so was Zimmerman. The repeat first-team selection matched her high intensity with dazzling ball skills to effectively direct the team's play.
Zimmerman, who made an oral commitment to the University of Richmond, scored 44 goals and dished out 57 assists in her four years.
Christine Nicewonger, C.M. Wright, senior, forward
Mandy Paisz, Centennial, senior, forward
Kate Schaeffler, Arch. Spalding, senior, forward
Sam Young, Severna Park, soph., forward
Lauren Carrier, Old Mill, senior, midfield
Sarah Grady, Mount Hebron, senior, midfield
Brittany Hadaway, IND, junior, midfield
Kirstyn Atkinson, McDonogh, soph., defense
Samantha Braun, Glenelg, senior, defense
Emma Santucci, NDP, junior, defense
Kristin Greene, Westminster, senior, goalie
Julie Kafka, McDonogh, senior, goalie
Note: Teams selected by Glenn P. Graham after consultation with The Sun staff and area coaches.