No joke, Liberty's Fab Five rewrite record books Undefeated Lions aim for state championship



These five girls get big heads?

No way.

They are the "Fab Five" sophomores from the unbeaten Liberty girls lacrosse team, and they're laughing and joking their way to a pretty impressive lacrosse story in Carroll County.

"They're silly," said Liberty coach Courtney Vaughn. "But they work as hard as anybody on the team. The moment they stop working, they know they won't be playing."

Now introducing the Fab Five:

They are attack wing Debbie Bourke, center Amie Rose and defenders Natalie Hannibal, Carey Epler and Kerry Adams.

Work is not all the Fab Five brings to the 10th-ranked Liberty team.

They all have outstanding speed, quickness, determination and just a touch of boldness and brashness that have catapulted them into starring roles on one of the most explosive girls lacrosse teams in the area.

The Lions outscored opponents 204-97 in 12 regular-season games and beat Oakland Mills, 18-6, in a first-round playoff game Friday.

Sophomores aren't supposed to be this good. At least not five on one team.

But these five are.

"Speed put them on the varsity," said Vaughn. "They're the reason we've been able to have such an outstanding transition game this season."

So just what are these girls laughing at all the time?

Sure, winning is fun and can make anyone happy.

But there's more. One of their own is providing some of the laughs.

"We're always laughing at Natalie [Hannibal] because she's always falling down," said Adams. "She falls on the lacrosse field, she fell on the basketball court and when she played soccer last fall."

Vaughn said there's a ready explanation for the Hannibal spills.

"She's so fast her body can't keep up with her legs," said the coach. "That's a nice problem to have. I knew these five girls were going to be good at the start of the year. Amie [Rose] was on the varsity last year."

And Vaughn expects all five to be a major part of the Liberty girls lacrosse dynasty in Carroll County the next two seasons.

"I don't worry about them getting complacent or slacking off," said Vaughn. "They haven't done it yet and they're not the kind of girls to get too carried away with their self importance."

All of the Fab Five said their biggest thrill this season was starting on the varsity.

When asked if there was a chance of the Fab Five becoming overconfident some day, Hannibal said: "I hope not. We all hustle every day and never give up."

Bourke said the program's success has prompted some opponents to get more fired up against the Lions.

Rose likes the position of being the first girls lacrosse team to go unbeaten in the regular season in the county and the Lions' winning four straight championships in the five years the sport has been played in the county.

"It's been awesome," said Rose. "It intimidates people. I like that. When we played Westminster, they said they were going to beat us and they did come close [8-6 loss] in the second game."

Epler summed up what has made the Fab Five tick: "We've played together in rec league lacrosse and soccer and we hang around with each other when we're not playing."

And, by the way, all five girls love the Fab Five tag, a takeoff on the five Michigan sophomore basketball players.

But the Liberty Fab Five hopes they don't have to settle for second place in the state Class 2A-1A girls lacrosse championship tournament.

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