FIRST TEAM AT A GLANCE
* Ridgely Bennett, Roland Park, senior, defense -- The anchor of one of the area's top defensive units, Bennett could blend into a strong team effort or play great position defense to stop a player one-on-one. Perhaps her best performance came in the AIS championship game when she held Mount de Sales' 100-point scorer Amy Buck without a goal. Playing third man for the No. 1 Reds, Bennett never had a bad day. Her speed also made her an offensive threat and she scored five goals and added an assist. An AIS All-Star, she played for the national champion South I schoolgirl team. Bennett is headed for North Carolina's new lacrosse program.
* Amy Brew, Annapolis, junior, midfield -- The most complete player in Anne Arundel County, Brew led the No. 5 Panthers (15-2) to the state semifinals after reaching the final in 1994. A stellar midfield defender, Brew had the speed, the game sense and the stick skills to completely contain her opponent. She had 62 ground balls, 27 take-aways, 12 interceptions and seven blocks. At the same time, as defense wing she could take over a game offensively, finishing with 38 goals and 10 assists. A first-team All-American, Brew also played for the national runner-up Chesapeake schoolgirl team.
* Tice Burke, St. Paul's, senior, attack -- Only an early-season ankle injury slowed Burke, but she recovered in time to pace the 6-6-1 Gators to a strong finish with an appearance in the AIS tournament semifinal. An excellent shooter with great stickwork and a quick first step, Burke could beat the defenders on the crease and always took high-percentage shots. She was unselfish, compiling 21 assists to go with 29 goals. Burke, a first-team All-American headed for Princeton, won a spot on the U.S. Under-19 team for the world championships. She also scored three goals for South I in the national schoolgirl title game.
* Melissa Coyne, Roland Park, sophomore, goalie -- She's young, but Coyne doesn't play that way. She posted a 67 percent save rate against some of the best shooters in the area, but that was just the beginning of her contribution to the No. 1 Reds. Poised beyond her years, Coyne, an honorable-mention All-American, proved a great decision maker in the crease. She faced 285 shots and made 165 saves, allowing 81 goals in 15 games. She had 29 ground balls, 14 interceptions and an assist. Her patience helped her make strong accurate clears. Named an AIS All-Star and to the South I team, Coyne will be in the goal this summer for the U.S. Under-19 team at the world championships.
* Robyn Harry, Loch Raven, senior, midfield -- The center of everything for the unbeaten and No. 3 Raiders, Harry switched from offense to defense and back again with lightning speed. She used her great athletic ability, speed and stick skills to dominate loose balls and force turnovers to set the transition rolling. A repeat first-teamer, she scored four goals and had three assists in an 18-5 victory over Liberty for the Raiders' second straight state Class 1A-2A championship. That brought Harry's season totals to 64 goals and 46 assists in 16 games. A first-team All-Baltimore County Class 1A-2A selection, Harry is bound for Towson State.
* Anne Heine, Loch Raven, senior, attack -- One of the most versatile attack players around, Heine could score and she could play defense. With her full range of skills, she could have played anywhere on the field, but her speed, stick skills and smarts made her almost unstoppable on attack for the Baltimore County champs. A smart, patient shooter, Heine scored 55 goals and added 44 assists to finish second on her team. An All-Baltimore County Class 1A-2A selection, she had six goals and four assists in two state tournament victories. A member of the national champion South I team, Heine will play at Richmond next year.
* Katie Loovis, Seton Keough, senior, defense -- A superb line defender and repeat first-teamer, Loovis had one of the quickest sticks around. She could hold her mark with great quickness and defensive positioning, driving them wide or into the double team. But Loovis also made strong checks when she had the openings. That helped her come up with a lot of turnovers and get the Gators rolling on offense. Loovis got a bit more involved in the attack, adding 15 goals and nine assists. A four-time AIS All-Star, Loovis also played for national champ South I. This summer, Loovis, a first-team All-American, will play on the U.S. team at the Under-19 world championships. Next year, she will play for North Carolina.
* Erin McGinnis, Mount Hebron, senior, midfield -- Co-Player of the Year in Howard County and a first-team All-American, McGinnis was one of the area's most dominant centers. Whether she won the draw, scooped up a ground ball or intercepted a pass, McGinnis sparked the Vikings' transition. Her draw control proved especially vital in the state playoffs. She won 32 of 54 draws in the state tournament as the No. 2 Vikings (16-1) won their fourth straight state title. A second-team All-Metro pick last year, McGinnis led Howard County in scoring with 72 goals and 29 assists. She also played for the national runner-up Chesapeake schoolgirl team. Next year, she will play at North Carolina.
* Megan Riley, South River, senior, attack -- The Player of the Year in Anne Arundel County, Riley led the No. 15 Seahawks (14-3) in scoring for the third year, setting a single-season school record with 65 goals. Most importantly, however, Riley, a first-team All-American, proved to be a clutch player. A second-team All-Metro pick last year, she scored six goals in an 11-9 win over Broadneck and scored nine goals in two regional playoff games. Riley also had 29 assists, 73 ground balls, four interceptions and three take-aways. Riley, who played for the Chesapeake schoolgirl team, was chosen for the U.S. team to play in the Under-19 world championships. Next fall, she will attend James Madison.
* Dani Vissers, Mount Hebron, senior, attack -- Nobody could stop this 6-foot powerhouse one-on-one near the crease. The Co-Howard County Player of the Year, Vissers used her height and her long arms to catch just about anything and set up a good angle for her shot. A first-team All-American, she scored 75 goals and 24 assists for the Class 3A-4A champions. An All-Metro second teamer last year, she came up big in the big games, scoring six goals in an 11-10 loss to Roland Park. She set two Class 3A-4A state tournament records with nine total points and four assists in the title game. Vissers, who played on the Chesapeake schoolgirl team, is bound for William & Mary.
* Jennie Voishan, Severna Park, junior, defense -- The stalwart in the Falcons' young defense, Voishan led a unit that allowed only six goals per game. A complete line defender with speed, timing and smarts, Voishan almost always marked the opposition's top scorer. She played a key role in the No. 10 Falcons' early-season victory over Annapolis by holding the Panthers' top scorer Karen Hunt to one free-position goal. Voishan had 34 grounds balls, 10 take-aways, six interception and three blocks as well as seven goals and two assists. A first-team All-American, she played for the Chesapeake schoolgirl team and will play on the U.S. Under-19 team at the world championships.
* Jacque Weitzel, Garrison Forest, junior, midfield -- Although mostly attack-minded, Weitzel also could play tough defense. At third home for the No. 6 Grizzlies (10-4), she could come up with the check and steal, she could feed and she could score. With a nose for the right angles to the goal, she finished with 30 goals, but she also quadrupled her assist total to 20. Weitzel capped off her season by being named the top schoolgirl player at last weekend's USWLA national tournament. She controlled the draws and had an assist early in overtime to spark South I to its 10-9 victory over Chesapeake in the title game. A first-team All-American, Weitzel was chosen for the U.S. Under-19 team for the world championships.
PLAYER OF THE YEAR: LISA BANBURY
The Baltimore City/County Player of the Year, Banbury has had superb attack skills all through high school.
This year, however, the Mount de Sales senior midfielder became more defense-minded. While that cut her scoring stats, it boosted her all-around game to another level. A tremendous natural athlete with explosive speed, Banbury dominated the midfield at center. Her defensive skills and timing improved quickly and she often made the big midfield plays to spark transition goals.
Even though she was not the big scorer she had been a year ago, Banbury still contributed 45 goals and 17 assists.
"Lisa had a great year," said Sailors coach Bill Held. "We asked her to play a more defensive role, and that was tough for her because she's used to scoring. The thing about Lisa is she was so consistent. She did everything we asked her to and she did a great job."
Banbury never had a bad game. Even in the Association of Independent Schools A Division final, when she struggled along with the rest of the Sailors as they fell behind Roland Park, 6-0, Banbury led a second-half comeback with two goals. The Sailors lost that game, 9-7, but they still put together a strong season, finishing 17-1 with the No. 4 ranking.
Banbury, an All-Metro pick last year, too, was the center of it all. She was one of the players opponents feared most.
"She's somebody you have to always worry about on the field," said Garrison Forest coach Karen Mallonee, "because of her speed, her passing savvy, and her sense of the game and nuances of it. You always have to be aware of what she's doing."
In the 12-7 AIS All-Star game won by the East, Banbury led the West with two goals.
Also a forward on the Sailors' basketball team, Banbury was her team's nominee for the McCormick Unsung Hero Award.
An honorable-mention All-American, she will play lacrosse next year on scholarship at James Madison.
Since Kridel took over the Roland Park program five years ago, the Reds have won every Association of Independent Schools A Division tournament championship. This year, a lot of people thought the Reds would drop a notch and the unprecedented streak would come to an end, because the Reds had graduated some extremely talented players.
Ranked No. 1 at the end of last year but No. 3 in the Baltimore Sun's preseason poll, the Reds reclaimed the top spot with an 11-10 win over then-No. 1 Mount Hebron in April. They went on to polish off another banner season with a 9-7 win over Mount de Sales in the AIS tournament final and roll to a 14-1 season.
"The thing with these kids is they're so equal," said Kridel. "One kid can have a bad game and someone else will pick up the slack. We're hard to beat because it's rare that two or three kids have the same down game."
A former goalkeeper, Kridel has a 64-5-3 career record with the Reds. Her secret seems to be giving the players a lot of control over what happens on the field.
"I want the kids to know the game, so they'll be able to make good decisions on the field," said Kridel. "I try to teach as much strategy as they need to give them enough say in what's happening on the field so they feel comfortable out there."
After guiding the South I team to the schoolgirl championship at the United States Women's Lacrosse Association's national tournament Sunday, Kridel will serve as assistant coach for the United States team to compete in the first Leader/International Federation of Women's Lacrosse Associations Under-19 World Championship.
PICKING THE TEAMS
The Baltimore Sun 1995 All-Metro Girls Lacrosse Teams were selected by Katherine Dunn after consultation with staff writers and area coaches.