North Carroll field hockey is her top priority Burkhouse enjoys leadership role


Most sports fans probably have not heard of Holly Serravalle's sports idol.

That's because it is Laura Burkhouse, a North Carroll field hockey teammate.

"I look up to Laura, everyone on our team does," said Serravalle, the North Carroll goalie.

"Everyone loves Laura."

Burkhouse is a three-year starter for No. 8 North Carroll who played in the State Games this summer. She rarely scores as a midfielder, but contributes heavily to the team as its leader on and off the field.

As a midfielder, Burkhouse's main job is to help out on offense and defense. Burkhouse knows she won't get much of the spotlight, but that does not bother her.

"I'm not looking for the press," said Burkhouse. "I'll do my share toward helping us do our best."

Burkhouse certainly convinced North Carroll coach Denean Koontz about that.

"She's playing a position where she doesn't score a lot, and she does a super job," said Koontz. "She's a big part of the success."

Burkhouse's biggest contribution may be as the leader. She understands and accepts -- gladly -- her role as team leader. She enjoys helping the other players.

She said that due to her three years of varsity experience people often will come to her for advice.

Koontz said Burkhouse understands how to get through to other players without hurting anyone's feelings.

Serravalle said others know Burkhouse is a true team player and not looking for the spotlight.

"You can tell she gives 110 percent," said Serravalle. "She's not out for herself. She's out for North Carroll field hockey."

Burkhouse said the team has one common goal this season -- to make it to the state final four. North Carroll just missed last year because of a heart-breaking 2-1 loss to Glenelg in the Class 2A, Region I final. Glenelg won on a controversial last-minute goal.

Burkhouse said the team began talking about its goal for this fall "from day one." Burkhouse also said Koontz took her aside before the season and asked her to try to help keep everyone's spirits up during the year.

"We have a good possibility of [making the states]," said Burkhouse. "We all know how it feels to lose. I don't think anyone wants to go through that again for a while."

She has worked hard at field hockey, and that work paid off with a spot on the Carroll County entry in the State Games this summer. Burkhouse started three of four games for the team, which made the finals.

An honorable-mention All-Central Maryland Conference choice last year, Burkhouse likes her midfielder role.

"You kind of feel important everywhere," said Burkhouse. "We can get a little bit of action from both ends and can't blame anyone but ourselves."

Burkhouse scored one goal apiece in her sophomore and junior years. Both times the goals helped the Panthers win.

Her sophomore goal helped North Carroll to a victory over Liberty.

Last year, she scored in overtime to give the Panthers a victory over Oakland Mills.

Koontz said that whether Burkhouse scores goals or not she is a vital part of the team.

"She just is a leader," said Koontz. "I think it's very important to have a leader. She's quiet in her own way, [but] you can sense it. You know she's there."

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