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Glenelg goalie Noelle Frost has been named the Howard County field hockey Player of the Year after finishing with a 88.8 save percentage for the co-county champion Gladiators.
Glenelg goalie Noelle Frost has been named the Howard County field hockey Player of the Year after finishing with a 88.8 save percentage for the co-county champion Gladiators. (Staff photo by Jen Rynda)

Noelle Frost's cousins encouraged her to forsake soccer for field hockey — the sport that they liked and played. That switch, a decade ago, put Frost on a path she couldn't have imagined at the time.

"Noe is the best goalkeeper in high school I have ever seen in all the years that I have coached. She is the best," said Ginger Kincaid, who has been Glenelg's varsity coach for 39 years.

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Field hockey and goalkeeping have opened up many opportunities for Frost and she has accumulated a boatload of accolades.

Her credentials include all-county, all-state, all-Metro, all-region and All-American. Through USA Field Hockey's Futures, an Olympic development program, Frost earned a spot on the U-17 national team. The U-19 national team is her next goal.

As she concludes her high school career at Glenelg, she can add one more honor. She is this year's Columbia Flier/Howard County Times field hockey Player of the Year.

She is only the fourth goalkeeper to be chosen in 36 years.

Marriotts Ridge, Glenelg win regular season finales to grab piece of field hockey county championship

Thinking back, Frost said she only stepped in goal because her father, who was her rec-team coach, made her. She ended up loving the position.

"I'm an adrenaline junkie," she said. She thrives on being in the cage when there is a barrage of shots on goal. She loves the thrill of diving and saving the balls.

"I love playing the field, but there's something about being a goalie," she said.

It's a one-on-one, you-will-not-score-on-me challenge.

"Noe has literally carried our defense the past two years," Kincaid said. "She frustrates our attack at practice to the point where they don't even try. Seriously, they say, 'Can Noe get out of there now? We want to score.'"

Kincaid adds, "Just when you think you totally have a shot that will beat her, she comes out of nowhere and makes a save."

With Frost in the cage, Glenelg has won three overtime stroke-offs.

"I love strokes, and shoot-outs are my favorite things ever in game play. …Whenever it comes down to sudden death or overtime, you can feel the intensity rise. It's a moment that you won't forget. It's such fun," Frost said.

Facing a stroke, Frost clears her mind and just reacts.

"I don't like to guess where the ball is going because it will mess me up."

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In college, she will find plenty of adrenaline rushing moments.

She has signed a National Letter of Intent to play at the University of Maryland, the reigning Big 10 champion and perennially one of the nation's top teams. Everybody brings their "A" game when they play Maryland.

The recruiting process her junior year wasn't going quite as well as she wanted. She was visiting schools but wasn't sold on them.

On a lunch break coming back from a recruiting trip, Frost's mother suggested that she email Maryland coach Missy Meharg to see if the Terps might need a goalie. Before the meal was complete there was a return message from Meharg.

Soon Frost was committed to the Terps.

"I have always had a desire to go to Maryland. It is on such a high pedestal," she said.

As is the case with many sports nowadays, it was club-team play that helped propel Frost to Maryland. Club play — first with the Spitfire, then Freedom and now Spark U-19 — helped her get into the Futures program. Her first year in Futures she was an alternate for the National Futures Championships.

"That really made an impression. I thought, 'Wow!' I am actually good at this," Frost said.

The way to the national team and, perhaps, ultimately the Olympic Team is through the Futures program, which is why it is called the pipeline.

The U-19 national team will be announced next summer. Whatever the outcome, Frost plans to keep field hockey in her personal future.

"I like the idea of being a coach. I want to follow my field hockey career until I can't play anymore. Then I want to pass on what I know through coaching."

Glenelg field hockey outlasts Marriotts Ridge, 2-1, to hand Mustangs first county loss and pull into tie for first

Frost is already giving back; she has become a field hockey umpire and she plans to officiate.

She is giving back in a different way, too.

She has seen fellow pipeline players self-destruct during the selection process.

"I want to tell everyone that aspires to play in college, don't try to control what you can't control. Don't stress out if you don't get selected or if you don't make the varsity squad immediately. ... You should not expect to be handed stuff. The minute you start expecting things, that's the minute everything goes downhill and everything goes wrong."

So far, everything is going right for Frost.

Named to the all-county first team are:

Field Hockey 2015 All-County Team

Forwards

Katie Anderson, Mt. Hebron senior

A three-year varsity starter, Anderson blossomed in both her leadership and her on-field play.

"There is such a feeling of satisfaction when you have a player who becomes 'that' outstanding player you always knew she could be," said coach Jeanette Ireland.

As a team captain for a very young Mt. Hebron squad, Anderson organized offseason stick work and conditioning sessions for the younger players.

At game time, she was the Vikings' best player. She made things happen either by initiating the attack or finishing it with her powerful shot. She had a team-leading 19 goals and 11 assists.

Anderson often ended up scoring when it was needed most. Twice she had the game-winning goal in overtime.

"Katie had an amazing year," Ireland said. "She will be sorely missed."

In her career, Anderson had 40 goals and 17 assists.

Caroline Blalock, Marriotts Ridge junior

The speedy right wing had a very impressive season, recording 23 goals and 14 assists for the 2A state finalists.

Her desire to get to the ball only enhances her talent and makes her that much more of a threat as a forward.

What was also impressive was her ability to change the nature of her play in recognition that she needed to get rid of the ball sooner on attack. Instead of dribbling into the circle, Blalock initiated her play from farther out and that opened up more offensive options. That change helped Marriotts Ridge beat Glenelg in the playoffs for the first time.

Blalock has committed to play Division I lacrosse at Louisville.

"Caroline is not focusing on field hockey as much, but at the end of the day she is a huge, huge contributor," said coach Stacie Gado.

Leanne Duncan, Glenelg junior

Most teams carry the ball up the side of the field and Glenelg was no different. Duncan, a left outside, had a spectacular season.

She was deceptively fast and had great stick skills to go with explosiveness on the back side of her dodge.

Duncan is the complete package as a wing. She is good at carrying the ball and also excelled at playing the post.

"Leanne is really deadly on the post," said Glenelg coach Ginger Kincaid.

In addition to scoring a team-leading 28 goals to go with two assists, Duncan was one of her team's strokers and a member of its 7-aside overtime team.

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"Leanne has been a big force for us for two years. I can't wait to see what she does as a senior," Kincaid said.

Duncan has verbally committed to play lacrosse at the University of Denver.

Mustangs advance into field hockey title game showdown with Hereford courtesy of shutout victory over Middletown in 2A state semifinals.

Allie McAuley, Marriotts Ridge senior

The Mustangs have steadily improved in the past four years. The team has gone from also-ran, to tri-county champion, on to co-county champions, regional champion and state finalist. McAuley's efforts have helped support that growth.

She has played midfield in the past, but this year, as an inner, she became a key factor in the Mustangs' powerful forward line. She had strong ball control and field awareness to complement her overall leadership.

McAuley, a team captain, was a hitter on offensive corners and finished the season with 18 goals, 15 assists.

"When Allie got the ball, she had the goal in mind of getting it into the circle and making something happen," said coach Stacie Gado.

With a career total of 34 goals and 27 assists, McAuley is the second-leading scorer in school history.

Tori Raulin, Atholton sophomore

When Atholton took the field, opponents knew which player that they needed to key on — Raulin. While the opposition wanted to stop this high-scoring player, few were successful.

The sophomore led the county in scoring (28 goals, 12 assists, 68 points). She averaged two goals a game. Impressive, since everyone marked her tightly.

A powerful player, Raulin has an incredible drive, a wicked reverse chip and a string of accolades and honors. She is a repeat member of the all-county first team.

"Tori's the complete player," said coach Martie Dyer. "She's a natural."

Raulin is being looked at by a number of Division I field hockey teams.

Midfield

Rachel Foster, Atholton junior

Coach Martie Dyer lays it out there when she says, "Rafa is one of the most athletic players I've ever seen in my life. She can do it all."

Foster has great stick work. She is strong and powerful and is an undeniable presence on the field.

She took Atholton's corner hits and free hits outside the 25. Her powerful drive often provided the fuel for the Raiders' offense.

Foster, one of Atholton's captains, had three goals and three assists. She will be central to how the Raiders fare in 2016.

Field Hockey Final 2015 stats

Natalie Fyock, Mt. Hebron senior

Fyock accepted a new role for the Vikings in her third year as a varsity starter. She moved from the forward position she had played for two years to the midfield, where she did an amazing job.

The shift allowed Fyock to help with the Vikings midfield transfer, while still lending her support to the offense. She was able to overlap with the forward line and make effective crosses that initiated the attack.

"She has really strong stick skills and is a real standout when she weaves her way through defenders," coach Jeannette Ireland said.

Fyock's passion for the game is evident. After having surgery for a broken finger, she came back to play in a padded cast.

Fyock had six goals and six assists this season, upping her career total to 19 goals, 22 assists.

"She was a warrior for us," Ireland said.

Keally Ingersoll, Marriotts Ridge senior

There are two Keally Ingersoll's at Marriotts Ridge. The one that roams the school halls is the sweetest girl in the world.

The other one has a game face. When she picks up a field hockey stick and dons the Mustangs' uniform, she is aggressive and relentless in her pursuit of the ball.

"Keally has the most intensity out of all the players on the field," said coach Stacie Gado. "When she picks up her intensity, the rest of the team follows suit."

Ingersoll is a three-year starter at Marriotts Ridge. She was the flyer on defensive corners and hitter on offensive corners. She set up plays from her center-mid position. She was her team's top stroker.

This season she scored six goals and added seven assists. Next fall, Ingersoll will play for Bentley University, a Division II school.

Grace Olson, Glenelg junior

A repeat all-county first teamer, Olson was the most skilled player on Glenelg. She drew special assignments, including being one of her team's main hitters on corners and a member of the stroke team.

Olson scored seven goals and had five assists this fall.

A third-year varsity player, she continues to improve. Her freshman year, a lot of time was spent teaching her to hit properly. Now she has a quick hit and deadly drive off the circle.

"It shows how much she listened and how much she grew as a player. This is what happens when you work hard, you become a great player," said coach Ginger Kincaid. "Grace gets better and better every time she walks on the field."

Maddie Rusenko, River Hill senior

A goalkeeper may see the whole field, but it is a center midfielder who runs the show. She is a major link between the offense and the defense, she distributes the ball, she helps head off the opposing team's offensive threats and she backs up her team's offense.

Rusenko played all of those roles for the Hawks this fall. The three-year varsity starter scored four goals and added seven assists to her team's offensive output.

She was a stopper on corners and the one who called the Hawks' offensive corner plays. Her flick on free hits was hard and extremely well placed.

"Maddie's stick skills are tied for the best of any player that I have coached," said Shelly Chamness. "We will definitely miss her next year; she will be tough to replace."

Field Hockey Final 2015 Standings

Laney Treacy, Glenelg junior

Treacy is everything a center midfielder is expected to be — talented and tenacious. "Laney is not going to give in," said coach Ginger Kincaid. "She's tenacious and stubborn."

It is that focus and drive that helped give Glenelg one of the county's best midfield combinations. In the team's must-win regular season game against Marriotts Ridge, Treacy was a commanding presence. She was tracking down every stray ball on the field and sending it up to the attack.

Glenelg's victory led to a share of the county title.

She's also a smart player, one who knows how to shift the field of play. She has a strong hit and is also effective in the offensive end of the field where she had eight goals and 15 assists.

She anchored the Glenelg stroke-off team.

Treacy has a pedigree from outside her high school team.

"She is a Junior Olympian, so she is definitely one of the top players in the area," Kincaid said.

Treacy recently committed to play college field hockey at Bucknell University.

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Defense

Bridget Cavanaugh, Marriotts Ridge defense

When her family moved to the Marriotts Ridge school district this summer, Cavanaugh went from being a starter at Wilde Lake to being a Mustang.

"I did not realize at the beginning of the season how lucky we were to get her as a transfer," said Marriotts Ridge coach Stacie Gado.

Cavanaugh brought composure and confidence to the Mustangs, plus the ability to make the right decisions in bringing the ball up field. She was part of her team's offensive and defensive corner units. She scored four goals and added seven assists and was a major factor in the Mustangs' 12 defensive shutouts.

"Her play and stick skills are probably the best I have ever seen come through Marriotts Ridge," Gado said. "If it wasn't for her contribution, we wouldn't have gotten this far this season. …We were very fortunate to have her on the team."

Cavanaugh, a National Field Hockey Coaches Association All-Mid-Atlantic-Region first team selection, will play field hockey at the University of New England.

Goalkeeper

Lizzie Yu, Oakland Mills junior

A second-year varsity player, Yu anchored a young Oakland Mills team. Eight of her teammates were freshmen that had never played before. Translation: Yu saw a lot of action in the circle. It was a record amount of action, in fact.

She had 497 saves and flirted with the national record for most saves in a season (508). Two of her games — 82 saves in one game and 77 in another — have been submitted to the record book list for most saves in a game. Each of those outings tops the current list leader (65 saves).

Yu has an 84.0 save percentage.

She is strong, focused and self-motivated.

"Lizzie is one of the best goalkeepers I have ever worked with," said coach Wanda Reid. "It is one thing to coach a goalie who is willing, it's another thing to coach a goalie who is willing to push herself beyond my expectations. … If I say do 10, she's going to try to do 20.

"She's pretty amazing."

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