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All-Metro girls lacrosse: First team

June 7, 2009

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Kelsi Bozel
Notre Dame Prep
The Georgetown-bound senior never tried to grab the limelight. It just came to her as she developed into the go-to player for the No. 2 Blazers. She led the IAAM A Conference runners-up in points and goals, with 69 goals and 22 assists. Four of those goals came against No. 1 McDonogh in the championship game, won by McDonogh, 13-10. Before that, she studied film from the previous 10-6 loss and knew exactly where to place her shots. She also scored four goals in the 14-10 semifinal victory over defending champion John Carroll. Excellent at reading goalies and versatile in her attacking style, Bozel made great decisions and used her speed, strength and quick stick in transition or off the set attack. She was selected for the Under Armour All-America Game.

Ashley Bruns
Mount Hebron
One of the most prolific scorers in the state, the senior attacker broke the school record for goals in a single season with 103, eclipsing the mark of 95 set by Cathy (Nelson) Reese in 1993. She also had 63 assists. With her unusual shooting style - dropping her shoulder and slinging the ball with a low release - the Howard County Player of the Year created matchup troubles for most teams as she led the Vikings to the state Class 3A-2A final. She scored eight times in a 20-11 state semifinal win over No. 8 Annapolis. She also had five goals in an 11-9 loss to No. 6 Broadneck at the District V championship. Bruns, headed for Florida, was chosen for the Under Armour All-America Game.

Sam Farrell
Severna Park
The senior midfielder gets a lot of attention for the goals she scores, but she is also one of the best two-way players around. She can shut down the opposition's top midfielder one minute and polish off a transition goal the next. Her versatile skills proved valuable to every aspect of the Falcons' midfield game. She finished with 43 goals and 11 assists, second on the No. 4 Falcons' scoring chart. Farrell scored four times in the 17-9 regional title victory over then-No. 3 Broadneck that fueled their run to a third straight state Class 4A-3A crown. She scored once in the 7-5 title victory over No. 15 Westminster. Farrell, who will play at Florida, was selected for the Under Armour All-America Game.

Molly Fernandez
McDonogh
The senior attacker stands out on a superbly balanced team because of her deceptive stickwork. She led the Eagles, who were No. 1 all season, with 36 goals and 13 assists. A nightmare for a goalie with her quick-moving stick, Fernandez excelled at multiple stick fakes to make a keeper commit and then hit the opposite area. A consistent points producer for the IAAM A Conference champs, Fernandez scored the game winner in the 13-10 title-game victory over No. 2 Notre Dame Prep. She had three goals in the regular-season 10-6 win over NDP. Fernandez was selected to the regional All-Tewaaraton team and will play in the Under Armour All-America Game. She is headed to Penn State in the fall.

Monica Fischer
Fallston
The kind of player who would run through a wall to get the ball, Fischer and her never-give-up attitude were a key component behind the No. 4 Cougars' run to their first state Class 3A-2A crown. In the 16-1 title-game romp over then-No. 3 Mount Hebron, Fischer contributed two goals and so much more. Thinking two steps ahead of every play, she picked off passes and snatched up ground balls that helped Fallston dominate possession. The Cougars' second-leading scorer (45 goals and 19 assists), the senior excelled all over the field for the Upper Chesapeake Bay Athletic Conference champs. Fischer, who also helped the basketball team to the state 3A title, is headed to Johns Hopkins, where she will play lacrosse.

Brooke Griffin
South River
The Anne Arundel County Player of the Year dominated the midfield for the No. 12 Seahawks. She handled duties at both ends of the field, but perhaps her best asset was her ability to control the draw. She won 96 draws and drew many of them to herself. She also had 41 ground balls and 14 caused turnovers. Quick and deceptive around the crease, she scored 66 goals and had 27 assists. She scored five goals, including the game-winner, and controlled many of the draws in a 12-11 win over eventual state Class 3A-2A champ Fallston. Although only a junior, Griffin has committed orally to Maryland. She was named to the regional All-Tewaaraton team.

Haydon Judge
St. Mary's
Few players can outrun the Saints' senior, and that made her one of the top defenders in the IAAM A Conference. Judge excelled one-on-one with her body positioning and quick feet. Her quickness enabled her to face-guard a player and make them a non-factor. Still, no one with the ball was ever safe. Able to anticipate the play a few steps ahead, Judge could chase down any player or any loose ball. She had 10 caused turnovers. That same blazing speed made her a threat in transition, and she got more involved in the offense this season, contributing four goals and eight assists. Judge, headed to Florida, was named to the All-Tewaaraton team and to the Under Armour All-America Game.

Erin Laschinger
Notre Dame Prep
One of only two repeat first-team selections, the senior midfielder did a little bit of everything for the IAAM A Conference runners-up. The No. 2 Blazers' marquee player, she drew a lot of attention from defenses but still managed to score 66 goals and contribute 17 assists. She scored four goals in the 13-10 A Conference final loss to No. 1 McDonogh. An unassuming player with terrific stick skills, game sense and speed, Laschinger was never flashy but quietly handled all the midfield chores, from winning loose balls to cutting off opponents with the ball. The Baltimore County Player of the Year was named to the regional All-Tewaaraton team and the Under Armour All-America Game. She is headed to Virginia.

Brittany Pastrana
Annapolis
The senior goalie was a major factor behind the No. 8 Panthers emerging in the thick of the Anne Arundel County race. She gave up 7.9 goals per game and allowed only six opponents to hit double figures. In an early season win over No. 6 Broadneck, she made 12 saves to preserve an 11-10 victory. She saved 16 shots and made some critical late-game saves to beat Stephen Decatur, 7-5, and send the Panthers to the state semifinals for the second straight year. The four-year starter faced 306 shots and saved 53 percent of them. One of her best assets has been her accurate outlet passing, which gives the Panthers a high rate of successful clears. Pastrana will move on to George Mason.

Iliana Sanza
St. Paul's
A second-team All-Metro selection last season, Sanza had a knack for getting in the way of the opposition's attack strategy. Perhaps her greatest asset was her innate feel for how the action would unfold. She seemed able to read the defense a few plays before anyone else knew what would happen. She could change a game with her ability to anticipate passes and upset plays. A midfield defender, the senior led a rejuvenated St. Paul's team in caused turnovers, interceptions and ground balls. She drew at least one charge in every game. She could also get into the attack and contributed 22 goals. Headed for Maryland in the fall, Sanza was chosen for the Under Armour All-America Game.

Margaret Smith
McDonogh
Perhaps the best all-around player on the No. 1 team, the junior midfielder stood out from crease to crease. Eagles coach Chris Robinson gave her the green light all around, and she could make the big plays all over the field. Smith proved a big matchup problem for a lot of teams because she had the speed and the physical presence to overwhelm most opponents. She was almost always around the ball, leading the team in draw controls (52), ground balls (52) and interceptions (39). On a team that ran girls in and out, Smith rarely left the field. She had two goals in the IAAM A Conference final, a 13-10 win over No. 2 Notre Dame Prep, to finish with 29 goals and 11 assists.

Sophia Thomas
Maryvale
The senior midfielder turned in some of the most impressive offensive performances of the season and was the primary reason the No. 13 Lions were in every game. Against No. 1 McDonogh in the regular-season finale, she scored six goals and had four assists in an 18-14 loss. Nine times this season, Thomas scored five or more goals. She scored five in the 14-12 IAAM A Conference quarterfinal loss to No. 2 Notre Dame Prep. With her speed, stick skills and quick moves through traffic, she excelled despite attracting the opposition's top defender. It wasn't just her attacking prowess that set the Georgetown-bound Thomas apart. She excelled in the midfield and contributed on defense.

Taylor Virden
McDonogh
The top-line defender on the No. 1 team, Virden helped the Eagles hold opponents to 6.5 goals per game. They allowed only four of 20 opponents to score in double figures. The IAAM A Conference champs finished 15-1 against teams rated in the Top 50 nationally by LaxPower. The leader of that defense, Virden used her all-around athletic ability to create havoc for opposing offenses. The junior excelled as an off-ball defender. Watching for her quick-sliding teammates to trap an opponent, she would move in and pounce on an errant pass or dropped ball. She had 27 interceptions and 47 ground balls. Her speed also made her a one-girl clear, giving the Eagles a big advantage in transition.


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