Early bird tickets for Baltimore’s BEST party on sale now!

TEAM-BY-TEAM CAPSULES

THE BALTIMORE SUN

Atholton Raiders

1994 record: 3-8-2. Coach: Carol Stevens.

Top players: Melissa Hill, Sr., A; Sarah Bottomly, Jr., M; Kathryn Glasgow, Sr, M; Paola Zbinden, Sr., M; Amrit Dhillon, Sr., D; Sarah Geatz, Jr., G.

Outlook: The Raiders lost just three starters and with their returning experience, they already are on a pace ahead of last year's team. With only a few holes to fill, Stevens is spending a lot of time working on two of last year's problem areas -- shooting accuracy and team defense. Hill and Melissa Goglia should improve the shooting percentage while Tamara Palenque and Kelly Burke also will contribute. With better speed and quickness in the midfield and on defense, the Raiders should be more effective at slowing the opposition's transition game. Beefing up the defense all over the field is also a priority because the Raiders need to cut down on the number of goals they allow.

Centennial Eagles

1994 record: 12-2. Coach: Gail Purcell.

Top players: Emily Ward, Sr., M; Gina Dinisio, Jr., M; Lauren Molinaro, Soph., A; Becca Armiger, Jr., A; Lauren Perkins, Jr., M; Shayna Smith, Jr., D.

Outlook: Purcell expects this to be a building season for her young team, but even so, the Eagles still should have enough strength to end up no worse than second in the county. Bringing together a lot of strong athletes whose primary commitments are to other sports, this team already has come together quickly and shown some creativity on attack. They also have a lot of speed in the midfield with center Ward and wings Dinisio and Tania Riismandel. However, the Eagles return only one true defender, so it might take time for them to gel back there. Cover point Smith and point Chrissy Sfakianos will play critical roles with sophomore Katie Garrity taking over in goal.

Glenelg Gladiators

1994 record: 1-11. Coach: Ginger Kincaid.

Top players: Suzy Mundy, Jr., M; Angel Farace, Jr., G; Upkar Chana, Sr., A; Christin Whitaker, Jr., M; Kelly Waskey, Jr., M.

Outlook: Despite their lopsided record, the young Gladiators were competitive in nearly every game last season. A lot of those losses came by three goals or less. Now the Gladiators look much better especially in the midfield where the connections broke down under pressure last year. With the added experience, the Gladiators know how to handle that pressure and work the ball through the opposing defense. There's also more speed, which should enhance the transition game. On attack, Chana and sophomore Denise Karashan should be the big guns. Defensively, the Gladiators are young and they have a few kinks to work out but Kincaid expects them to come along quickly.

Glenelg Country Dragons

1994 record: 8-5-2. Coach: Barbara Brummett.

Top players: Robin Zimmerly, Sr., M; Carrie Everett, Jr., M; Jessica Brendel, Jr., D; Ashley Baugh, Jr., M; Megan Duzor, Jr., D.

Outlook: Most of the returning Dragons already have been part of at least one other regular-season championship team this year, so their winning attitude should carry over. With only two starters gone, the Dragons should challenge for the AIS B Division title. Zimmerly and Everett lead a balanced scoring unit that should get a boost from homes Smita Sharma and Allison Hoke. Defensively, Brendel and Duzor are a proven tandem on line defense. Freshmen Julie Everett and Siri Worthington are vying for the starting goal job. Another addition that should help the Dragons is assistant coach Natalie Santos, a 1994 Virginia graduate who helped the Cavaliers to two national titles.

Hammond Golden Bears

1994 record: 6-6. Coach: Gay Petrlik.

Top players: Nicole Losonsky, Sr., A; Heather Brown, Sr., M; Cayley Pendergass, Jr., G; Emily Bielefeld, So., M; Kara Stockham, Sr., D; Brandy Peaker, Jr., D.

Outlook: Petrlik sees more commitment from this year's team and that gives her hope for breaking above .500. The Bears

have enough returning talent that they don't have any glaring weaknesses. Losonsky (37 goals, 12 assists) is the top returning scorer and she will get help from attack wings Brown and Ashley Decker although just about everyone on the team has good shooting skills. With better skills, athletic ability, speed and quickness all over the field, the Bears still need to bolster the defense. With Stockham, Peaker, Becky Bays, Kim Ciliberti and Robin Palmatier all showing promise on line defense, that should come along with game experience.

Howard Lions

1994 record: 7-5. Coach Pat Becker.

Top players: Laura Foerster, Sr., M; Erica Hensley, Jr., M; Kelly Krantz, Soph., A; Amanda Eldridge, Soph., A; Julie Breen, Jr., M; Karen Krupka, Jr., D.

Outlook: For the Lions, the key to holding on to third place is defense. That's where they lost most of the six starters who graduated, so returning point Krupka, defense wing Breen and goalie Shelly Price will play key roles. On the other hand, the Lions have the potential for tremendously balanced scoring. Much of it will come from the midfield combination of Foerster and Hensley, but homes Krantz and Eldridge also will contribute their share of goals. Even though the Lions are young, they have enough skill and athletic ability that if the defense develops quickly, they might challenge Centennial for second place.

Mount Hebron Vikings

1994 record: 16-2. Coach: P.J. Kesmodel.

Top players: Dani Vissers, Sr., A; Erin McGinnis, Sr., M; Lynette Chastant, Sr., A; Julie Kickham, Jr., M: Amanda Fleck, Sr., M.

Outlook: Last year, the Vikings had a powerhouse attack, but it took them a while to get their defensive act together and they suffered mid-season losses to Mount de Sales and Roland Park. Don't look for any defensive problems this year. Kickham, Fleck, Katie Marks and the others have developed into a finely tuned unit. New goalie Amy Jagoda is also much improved. Add that the big-time scoring potential of Vissers, McGinnis, Chastant and Amber Fanta (13 goals) and the Vikings just don't have a weakness. They could easily wrap up an unbeaten season and a trio of titles for Kesmodel's retirement gifts.

Oakland Mills Scorpions

1994 record: 4-8. Coach: Chris Marsiglia.

Top players: Kathy Hurley, Jr., A; Angie Hill, Jr., G; Elizabeth Koza, Jr., A; Katie Vatalaro, Jr., D; Anne Ryder, Jr., D.

Outlook: Even though the Scorpions are still young, they lost only three starters, so Marsiglia is counting on improvement. On attack, the Scorpions will be deceptive with a handful of lefties and widespread ability to switch hands. Hurley and Koza, who have been playing together for three years, provide a solid one-two punch. On defense, the Scorpions are more confident returning a veteran trio in Hill, Vatalaro and Ryder. Senior captains Melissa York and Nicole Cousin also will help out on defense. While the Scorpions are shooting for a winning season, Marsiglia said this group has great potential for tremendous growth over the next two years.

Wilde Lake Wildecats

1994 record: 7-7. Coach: Tammy Goldeisen.

Top players: Annie McCormick, Jr., M; Jenny Driscoll, Jr., M; Anne Tiburzi, Sr., D; Kristen Riismandel, Sr., M.

Outlook: After reaching the regional championship game last year, the Wildecats will be rebuilding. Although they will get a boost from first-year seniors Riismandel, Carrie Brelsford and Melissa Anderson, their athletic ability probably won't be enough to make up for the team's lack of skill and experience. McCormick and Riismandel should do plenty of scoring from the midfield with help from line attackers Katherine Sawyer, Beth Linblad and Katie Troutman. Defensively, only Tiburzi returns and she will be joined by Brelsford and Anderson so it will take a while before the Wildecats can develop some unity. However, they will get some help from veteran goalie Larissa Neleigh, a transfer from Hammond.

Copyright © 2019, The Baltimore Sun, a Baltimore Sun Media Group publication | Place an Ad
34°