Owls likely to deliver for coach 15 players back; one baby early 1993 high school girls lacrosse preview


Fifteen returning seniors is enough to make any high schoo girls lacrosse coach want to do cartwheels.

Westminster coach Suzanne Peters is no exception.

There's only one problem for Peters.

Her baby girl was born four weeks prematurely last Sunday, and she might not get to coach the team that has other county coaches drooling.

Peters will turn the squad over to assistant Amanda Bodden for the first five to six weeks. Then Peters will decide if she wants to come back for the final weeks of the season.

"I want to come back before the season is over, but I haven't made up my mind," Peters said. "I think the county playing level is fairly equal and the winner will depend on who wants it most. The key for us this season is to improve out of the county."

Westminster (5-7, 4-2 in the county) finished second to three-time defending champion Liberty last season.

"We were tied with Liberty for first and lost a close game to them to lose the county title," said Peters. "I'm not making any predictions on what will happen this year."

With seven starters among the 15 senior returnees, some believe the Owls are in good position to end Liberty's reign.

Six-foot senior attacker Tinah Houck is enough reason to predict good things for Westminster. She scored 28 goals and had six assists as a junior and could be even more of an offensive weapon in her final season.

"Tinah has a size advantage when going against stick-to-stick defenses," said Peters. "She's smart, has a quick release, aims well and is an outstanding passer."

Houck and senior defender Kara Hedges are the marquee players for the Owls. Both have been successful in other sports and have a way of coming up big in crucial situations.

On attack, Houck will be joined by seniors Anitha Naganna and Beth Richardson.

Naganna is known for her incredible hustle and ability to get to the ball even though she isn't very quick or overly talented.

"Anitha never gives up," said Peters. "She just keeps on surprising people."

In addition to Hedges, the top Owls defenders are seniors Heather Mauritz, Nicole Batten, Julie Weir and Denise Bollinger.

Senior Danielle Fisher will be in the goal, and junior Jamie Wheat will be her backup.

Other players expected to have an impact for the Owls are junior attackers Amanda Voulias, Jen Markowitz and Tiffany Weal and junior midfielder Renee Luers.

If the defense doesn't perform well this season, it will be a disappointment for Peters, who says that phase of the game is her favorite.

"I like to coach good defense," she said. "I played defense and enjoy watching the girls improve."

Like all the other Carroll County girls lacrosse teams, the Owls will venture into Howard County for a lot of non-league games.

"Because of the budget cutbacks, they don't want us traveling too far for games," said Peters. "Centennial is in our 4A-3A region and they're very good, and Mount Hebron is the state 2A-1A champion. We'll be playing those teams, and that is going to tell us something about our team."

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