Player of the Year: Mandy Pickard, North Carroll
The center midfielder gave opponents fits all over the field. A big scorer who could mark out the opposition's top attack player and control the midfield transition, Pickard led the No. 4 Panthers (14-2) to the state semifinals for the first time since 1998.
The senior saved her best performance for last, scoring two dazzling goals in a 3-2 overtime loss to No. 1 Severna Park.
Pickard scored her first on a textbook penalty corner, and her second was even more impressive. Dancing the ball across the circle, she wove through traffic, spun around and nailed the shot into the far corner.
Pickard also played a dominant role in the midfield throughout the game, picking off balls and setting up the Panthers' transition game with her controlled, accurate drives.
In overtime, Pickard had a penalty stroke to win the game and she shot it with precision toward the upper left corner only to watch Falcons goalie Corinne Manuel make a difficult stick save.
That versatility, combined with insatiable drive and nifty stickwork, made Pickard the Carroll County Player of the Year as the Panthers tied for county and Monocacy Valley Athletic League Chesapeake Conference titles.
"Mandy can determine the outcome of a game," said Panthers coach Denean Koontz. "When Mandy steps on the field, Mandy plays to win. She will do whatever it takes to win ballgames. That's something you can't teach. Not only does she have the desire, but she has the stick skills to go with it."
Pickard, who had 16 goals and eight assists, was named first-team All-State by the Maryland High School Field Hockey Coaches Association. A club player with Hymax, in Towson, she plans to play hockey in college.
Coach of the Year: Katie Corcoran, South River
Corcoran faced an intimidating prospect when she took over the Seahawks program this fall. After winning the state class 4A championship, they lost 10 seniors to graduation. Seven starters were gone, including their entire forward line and their goalie. Still, Corcoran, a South River assistant coach the previous five years, took the Seahawks back to the final, where they beat Springbrook, 3-0, to become the first South River team to successfully defend a state title. The Seahawks finished 16-3-1 and No. 2 in The Sun . The team built steadily through the season under Corcoran's guidance. An early loss to Severna Park did not deter the Seahawks, who pushed the No. 1 Falcons to overtime before falling, 3-2, in the county title game. Corcoran gave the credit to her players, whom she involved in the game plan. "The girls wanted to defend their state title," Corcoran said. "After winning it in 2000, they couldn't repeat, so the goal this year was to show that we're a good team. They wanted to compete with the best of them. The girls were really hungry, and they had the drive to go all the way. They were very motivated."
Christina Boarman, St. Paul's
The only returning player from last year's first team, Boarman makes her third appearance on the All-Metro team. The Baltimore County Player of the Year showed off some of the best stickwork around. On almost every possession in the scoring circle, she could get a shot or force a penalty corner. Boarman scored nine goals and had seven assists. Boarman, who has committed to play at Towson, was named first-team All-State and was named to the National Field Hockey Coaches Association South Region team for a second straight year.
Sarah Cates, Mount Hebron
The Howard County Player of the Year showed off an all-around game that would have made her valuable anywhere on the field. On the line, Cates was a consistent finisher, but she also created scoring opportunities for herself and her teammates. With 15 goals and nine assists, she was second in scoring for the Howard County champion and No. 3 Vikings. Stellar stick skills enabled Cates to control play around her, and she excelled at drawing penalty corners. Her defensive skills often kept the ball from escaping the Vikings' attacking end. Cates finished her career with 29 goals and 17 assists. A second-team All-State pick, she signed early to play lacrosse at Duquesne.
Liz DiNunno, Fallston
The Harford County Player of the Year showed no fear in her defensive style. Willing to challenge attackers aggressively, DiNunno controlled the action in the middle of the defense for the Upper Chesapeake Bay Athletic Conference champions and state Class 3A runners-up. The senior center back showed off her intricate stickwork as well as a long reach. She used both to steal the ball or slow opponents trying to carry the ball through her territory. She could get off the quick pass or take the ball down herself. An All-State first-team selection, DiNunno plans to keep playing but has not made a college choice.
Megan Jendrossek, Archbishop Spalding
The senior stepped into the key leadership role and excelled against a schedule that included 12 ranked teams. The No. 8 Cavaliers relied on Jendrossek to control the middle, a task she easily handled with her speed, stick stills and game savvy. She provided anything the Cavaliers needed and was key to their transition game. Her quickness and anticipation enabled her to take the ball away and distribute the ball to the offense. Jendrossek had nine assists, but she could also finish. She contributed six goals -- many critical as 15 of the Cavaliers' 21 games were decided by one goal. Jendrossek signed early to play lacrosse at Richmond.
Brittany Kalkstein, Roland Park
Almost every time the No. 6 Reds needed a goal, their senior veteran came through. The leading goal-scorer in the Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland A Conference, Kalkstein scored 21 of the Reds' 48 goals. A second-team All-Metro pick last season, she found the cage in 15 of 19 games for the A Conference champions. A true finisher, Kalkstein liked to cherry-pick and thrived on the one-on-one pressure. Extremely athletic with good stick skills and speed, the Baltimore City Player of the Year was relentless about getting the ball in the cage or drawing a penalty corner. A first-team All-State selection, Kalkstein finished her three-year varsity career with 40 goals and 15 assists. She has signed early to play lacrosse at Virginia.
Corinne Manuel, Severna Park
The junior didn't see as much action as most of her peers, but her performance proved critical in the No. 1 Falcons' run to Anne Arundel County and state Class 3A championships. Manuel saved 90 percent of the shots she faced, posted 14 shutouts, and allowed only seven goals in 19 games. She faced 60 shots on goal but frequently had to make big saves at crucial moments. In what Falcons coach Lil Shelton called "the play of the season," Manuel saved a near-perfect penalty stroke from North Carroll's Mandy Pickard in overtime of the state semifinal. Technically sound and exceptionally quick, she was the only goalie named to the All-State first team.
Alex Mengel, Mount Hebron
The heart of a defense that shut out 10 opponents and allowed only 12 goals in a 15-2 season, Mengel took a stand at the 25-yard line and proved hard to beat. Calm and collected, the senior center back was a consistent tackler and excelled at organizing her teammates in the circle. She often made goal-line saves while defending the post, especially on penalty corners. Mengel led a clean defense -- opponents managed to draw only 45 penalty corners and take 67 shots against the No. 3 Vikings all season. The Howard County champs allowed only six goals in the league. She signed early to play lacrosse at Virginia Tech.
Sarah Kate Moore, River Hill
The centerpiece of the Hawks' 10-5-1 season, Moore controlled the ball so well it seemed attached to her stick at times. Stellar stickwork enabled her to do almost whatever she wanted when moving the ball down field. Moore, the central cog in the Hawks transition, could use her quick dodge or her powerful drives to set her team moving in transition. She excelled at distributing the ball to her teammates. As strong as her midfield play was, Moore could play up or back as well. She scored five goals and had seven assists and could also play a strong defensive game. Moore plans to play hockey in college.
Kelly Patterson, South River
A second-team All-Metro selection last season, Patterson was so determined to lead the No. 2 Seahawks to a second straight state Class 4A championship that she kept playing after breaking a finger in the state semifinal. Patterson led a defense that posted its 11th shutout in the title game, a 3-0 victory over Springbrook. The Seahawks allowed only 16 goals in 20 games. Poise, patience and a strong stick were the hallmarks of Patterson's game as she anticipated an attacker's next move and then pounced. Excellent at transitioning, she would take the ball away and pass it off quickly to spark the Seahawks attack. Patterson, who signed early to play lacrosse at Towson, was named second-team All-State.
Hayley Rausch, Severna Park
Nobody found the cage more often than the Falcons sophomore forward. The Anne Arundel County Player of the Year scored 34 goals in 20 games and also contributed nine assists. Rausch announced her arrival a year ago when she moved up from the junior varsity and scored the Falcons' only goal in the state final. This fall, she scored all the Falcons' goals in a 3-2 county title victory over South River. She also scored a key goal in the state semifinal, and the No. 1 Falcons went on to win the Class 3A crown. Her combination of athleticism, speed and hand-eye coordination enabled her to control the ball while moving it quickly downfield or through the circle.
Alicia Thompson, Century
The first All-Metro player in the four-year history of Century's varsity field hockey program, Thompson led the seventh-ranked Knights to a share of the Carroll County and Monocacy Valley Athletic League Chesapeake Conference championships. The senior had all the skills to dominate the middle of the field. Superb stick skills and terrific field sense made Thompson a key all-around player. She scored four goals and dished out five assists, but she also showed off strong defensive skills by forcing turnovers in the midfield. With Thompson controlling much of the game, the Knights won the Archbishop Spalding Tournament and later reached the regional final.
Kelly Filipowicz Long Reach, senior, forward
Sarah Seats St. Paul's, senior, forward
Lauren Sterner Mount Hebron, senior, forward
Lilly Deford Garrison Forest, senior, midfield
Allison Dulin Hereford, senior, midfield
Amanda Himmelheber Severna Park, junior, midfield
Mary Waller C. Milton Wright, senior, midfield
Cate Goytisolo Roland Park, senior, defense
Danielle Schovee River Hill, senior, defense
Barbara Seaman Roland Park, senior, defense
Shayna Stearns Severna Park, junior, defense
Marian Cassilly Arch. Spalding, senior, goalie
Note: Teams selected by Katherine Dunn after consultation with The Sun staff and area coaches.