Player of the Year: Annesia Faulkner, St. Vincent Pallotti
Fiercely competitive with an overwhelming desire to score goals, Faulkner enjoyed a stellar four-year career that produced 107 goals to go with 58 assists and helped turn the Pallotti program into a force in the Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland A Conference.
Despite constant attention from opposing defenses, Faulkner, who will play at Maryland next year, scored 20 goals and assisted on 10 others this season - leading the league in scoring for a second straight year - as the No. 3 Panthers (16-2-1) advanced to the conference championship game.
While Faulkner's scoring will be difficult to replace, Pallotti coach Mike Vawter said the biggest void she will leave behind is the self-motivation she constantly displayed and leadership.
"One of the things I always talk about to my players is you have to play with passion. Annesia has so much passion for the game and it shows. Whenever she leaves the field, you know she has left everything she had and no game is not important to her," he said.
Coach of the Year: Brian Song, River Hill
River Hill's season - complete with a 20-0 record, the Howard County championship and the program's fifth state championship - was a lesson well learned.
After allowing a goal with eight seconds left that eliminated them from the state semifinals in 2005, the Hawks returned this fall stocked with versatile talent and purpose.
Song, in his second season and fourth in the program, got the most out of his players by placing them in positions they could most help the team in a particular game.
All 19 of the second-ranked team's field players registered at least one goal or an assist.
"Halfway through, I told the players this is one of those seasons where nobody can beat you but yourselves and it can be one you never forget. It's a credit to the 21 girls, especially our senior class," Song said.
Karen Blocker, Archbishop Spalding
Always making the routine save as well as the timely spectacular one, the standout junior provided fine play in goal to lead the No. 1 Cavaliers to their first Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland A Conference championship. Anne Arundel County's Player of the Year and a second-team All-Metro selection last season, Blocker allowed just six goals in the Cavaliers' 19-0-2 season, recording 103 saves and 16 shutouts.
Blocker, a first-team All-State player and IAAM All-Star, communicated well to keep the Cavaliers' defense organized, always had the angles covered to keep shots from finding the back of the net and also distributed the ball well.
Alissa Bourne, Glenelg
A repeat first-team selection and team captain, the senior sweeper closed out her stellar four-year career as an integral part of Glenelg's Class 2A state championship run. Bourne possessed all the qualities a coach looks for from the sweeper position: poise, good instincts and decision-making, and ball skills to work the ball out of the back.
Playing in all but 15 minutes during a 19-game schedule this season, Bourne, a first-team All-State selection, anchored a defense that recorded eight shutouts in its last nine games as the Gladiators rolled through the playoffs for the program's fourth state title. Bourne, who also plays basketball, is still undecided on a college, but plans to continue playing soccer.
Ali Brennan, McDonogh
The sophomore left back made the most of her first season as a starter with the ability to dominate different facets of the game to help lead the No. 5 Eagles to a 13-5-3 season and trip to the Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland A Conference semifinals. Brennan, 5 feet 11, used her natural athleticism and fine ball skills to get to the ball first and then connect with a teammate in the Eagles' short passing game. She also was strong in the air and had a big kick on clears.
In earning Baltimore County Player of the Year honors, Brennan helped limit McDonogh's opponents to nine goals in 21 games and also scored one goal and added eight assists at the offensive end.
Amanda Carta, St. Vincent Pallotti
A transfer from Good Counsel, Carta was smart, fearless and always in the right place to help lead the No. 3 Panthers to their first Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference title game. The junior goalie went 16-2-1 with 130 saves and nine goals allowed for a .942 save percentage.
A fine technical goalie, Carta was smart with positioning, not afraid to leave her line to challenge opponents and communicated well with her defense. The first-team All-State and IAAM All-Star recorded 12 shutouts and some of her finest work came in the bigger games. After shutting out McDonogh for 100 minutes in the conference semifinals, Carta saved two of four penalty kicks in the shootout round to help lead the Panthers to the title game.
Becky Fraser, Institute of Notre Dame
The senior midfielder took on more responsibility this season for the No. 8 Indians (10-4-2) and proved to be up to the challenge by bringing consistently fine two-way play in the middle of the field. A four-year starter and captain for the past two seasons, Fraser scored two goals and added 10 assists, while bringing intangibles to keep the Indians a viable challenger in the tough Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland A Conference.
With a non-stop work rate, fine tactical awareness and unquestioned leadership, Fraser was the glue that kept the Indians together throughout the season. The first-team All-State and IAAM All-Star is set to play at the University of Pittsburgh next year.
Jessica Hnatiuk, John Carroll
The 6-foot senior sweeper constantly set the tone for the No. 4 Patriots (16-3-2) with composed play to anchor the team's back line. After spending her freshman season starting at midfield, Hnatiuk found her home at sweeper the next three seasons, constantly disrupting opponents' offensive flow and knowing when a long clear was needed or a short pass to work the ball out.
Hnatiuk started all 21 games and logged a team-high 1,640 minutes this season, handling all the free kicks for the Patriots and finishing with six goals and five assists. The Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland All-Star and second-team All-State selection is still undecided on a college choice, but plans to play soccer.
Kathryn Lally, Mount Hebron
The four-year starter and team captain was able to affect a game a number of ways with a strong two-way game that helped lead the No. 6 Vikings to a 14-3-1 season. Along with being the steadying influence in the middle of the field, Lally was a key contributor in the final third with an ability to finish on her own or set up teammates.
Possessing a dangerous long throw in addition to handling most of the Vikings' free kicks, she scored six goals and dished out 12 assists. The second-team All-State selection is still undecided on a college, considering Lehigh, Tennessee Tech and High Point among others.
Christine Nairn, Archbishop Spalding
A repeat first-team All-Metro selection, Nairn picked up where she left off last season and then some, helping lead the No. 1 Cavaliers (19-0-2) to their first Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland A Conference championship. With strong ball skills and the area's hardest shot, the talented junior scored 19 goals and added 11 assists as the team's offensive catalyst.
Opposing teams made it a top priority to contain Nairn, but it was easier said than done. And all the attention paid to her also provided more time and space for her teammates. Nairn was named an IAAM All-Star and earned first-team All-State honors a second straight season this fall.
Erica Suter, River Hill
Troubled by a back injury that kept her out of the first five games, the versatile junior gave the Class 3A state champion Hawks a big boost of offense to play a major role in the team's 20-0 season. Suter, who scored 14 goals and added 11 assists in 15 games, could make a difference in a variety of ways.
One minute, Suter could be found using her speed and skills to reach a corner before sending over a cross. The next she could be settling in the middle to score a goal on a header. Her versatility enabled Hawks coach Brian Song to use her in different positions to get the best potential matchup against a particular opponent. The three-year starter was a second-team All-State selection.
Erika Theisen, River Hill
Highly skilled and determined, the senior forward set high goals for the season and met them, as she led the No. 2 Hawks to a 20-0 season and Class 3A state championship. Theisen, Howard County's Player of the Year and a repeat first-team All-Metro selection, overcame heavy marking to score 16 goals and dished out 11 assists.
Her mere presence on the field made an impact and her leadership was another driving force in the team's success. Also a first-team All-State selection, Theisen moves on to Maryland after scoring 48 goals and 28 assists in her four years as a starter.
Samantha Young, Severna Park
Shortly after Severna Park was eliminated from the playoffs this fall, Falcons coach Gary Lam said: "I just told Sam if I could build a statue of her in front of the stadium I would - she's meant that much to the program." The senior captain, who also saw significant time at midfield, scored 11 times and assisted on seven goals this season to close out a distinguished four-year career with 47 goals and 27 assists.
Young made an instant impact as a freshman, leading the team in scoring with 13 goals and 11 assists as the Falcons won the Class 3A state title. She was a first- or second- team All-Metro selection in each of her four years and was Anne Arundel County's Player of the Year as a junior. The first-team All-State choice will play at Towson next year.
Name, School, Class, Pos.
Kristen Harris South Carroll Senior Forward
Erica Page Arch. Spalding Soph. Forward
Ashley Singer Kenwood Senior Forward
Julia Bouchelle N. Dame Prep Junior Midfield
Melissa Gomes John Carroll Senior Midfield
Gigi Mangione McDonogh Soph. Midfield
Kate Nicholson Atholton Senior Midfield
Christine Sadowski Kenwood Senior Midfield
Stephanie Mengler North Harford Senior Defense
Kara Passarelli Mount Hebron Senior Defense
Jennah Yunger Arch. Spalding Senior Defense
Anna Hicks Meade Senior Goalie
2006 All-Metro Girls Soccer Team
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