Coach: Warren Michael. 1994 record: 6-5-2.
Top players: Janine Dauberman, Sr., D; Lindsey Clime, Sr., M; Alika Crew, Sr., M; Mandy Robins, Sr., D; Alisa Spilkia, Sr., F.
Outlook: Gone from last year's team are Stephanie Van Deusen (first-team All-County, second-team All-Metro) and coach Jim Carlan. Michael, who coached at Mount Hebron the last three years, looks to Spilkia, who missed part of last season due to injury, sophomore Kaitlan Bair and junior Kim Obst for scoring. "We don't appear to have any outstanding players, but we don't have any holes, either," said Michael. "If we play well as a team, we'll be competitive." The team has six seniors and eight sophomores. "We have a nice blend of experience and some underclassmen that are hungry," Michael said. He said the sophomores "are really going to have to contribute. We'll need some quality minutes from them." Six sophomores will start: Bair, halfback Anne Greenfield, halfback Meagan Funches, halfback Kendra Terry, sweeper Melissa Greczy and fullback Katherine McQueen. Junior Julie Kapcala will start in goal.
Coaches: Dave Greenberg and Kevin Flynn. 1994 record: 18-0.
Top players: Lauren Molinaro, Jr., M; Michelle Clare, Sr., F; Rima Sidhu, Sr., G; Tania Riismandel, Sr., D; Melissa Schreibstein, Jr., M; Regina Dinisio, Sr., D.
Outlook: Centennial was ranked third last year in the final Baltimore Sun poll and rated one of the top 25 teams in the nation by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America. "I think we'll be as good or maybe even a little better [than last year]," said Molinaro. Once reason is the inspirational play of Molinaro, the county Player of the Year last season as a sophomore. "She really excels in her sport," Greenberg said. "She's a great competitor and has great skills." Greenberg also welcomes her leadership. "She plays hard at practice. She sets the tone and that really helps the coaches," he said. Also expected to contribute for the defending state 3A-4A champs are forward Kristen Dinisio, defenders Tiffany Cronin and Mallory Groves and midfielder Amy Richter.
Chapelgate Christian Flames
Coach: Jeff Ring. 1994 record: 9-2-1 (junior varsity).
Top players: Lorna Smelser, Fresh., G; Natalie Bietry, Jr., D; Heather Ring, Fresh., D; Annie Collins, eighth grade, M; Tara Hereth, Soph., M; Laura Calhoun, Soph., F.
Outlook: Chapelgate, beginning the school's fifth year, moves up to varsity status, although it won't be in any league. The Flames mostly will play against Catholic B League teams. "We're young and somewhat inexperienced," said Ring. "We're learning to play as a team, to develop skills. It's a two- to three-year proposition." Ring has moved Smelser, his leading scorer last year, to goalie. Ring is pleased with the progress of Calhoun, who began the sport last year, and said eighth-grader Collins "plays like a junior."
Coach: Mike Williams. 1994 record: 10-5-1.
Top players: Lee Custer, Sr., M; Kathy Gaertner, Soph., D; Kim Ridolfi, Sr., M; Carolyn Flowers, Jr., F; Monica Dodd, Jr., M/F.
Outlook: "I feel good about this team," said Williams. "They work hard and there is good chemistry. They like each other." Custer, who Williams said is "one of the best players I've ever seen," was the team's second-leading scorer last year and a first-team All-County pick. Gaertner, a sweeper, also was a first-team selection. Williams said, "We'll be capable of scoring." And despite losing three defensive starters, Williams is confident about their replacements. "They're good athletes," he said. "All they need is more game experience." In goal, Williams said he has the "best talent" he's seen as he begins his third season. Junior Becky Spates is a transfer from Wisconsin, sophomore Meagan Wright is up from the junior varsity and Jamie Epperlein is a freshman.
Hammond Golden Bears
Coach: Dave Guetler. 1994 record: 3-9-1.
Top players: Ashley Decker, Sr., D; Thema Napier, Soph., F; Emily Bielefeld, Jr., F; Angela Trancocci, Sr., M; Jessica Shamoo, Soph., M; Cindy Mayfield, Soph., M.
Outlook: "We're on our way back. We may surprise a few people," said Guetler, whose team two years ago lost in the 1A-2A championship game before graduating 13 seniors. "Last year was a rebuilding year. I thought we could have won a few more games. It was disappointing." This season, Guetler has a team with more experience and depth, allowing him to substitute more freely. "We're looking to control the ball more," Guetler said. "In the past, we had lots of speed. But now, we're going to go with a short passing game and try to slow things down." Although Guetler admits "we are not going to be an overpowering team," he thinks "we're going to be competitive. I want them to learn to play together better." Decker and Trancocci will captain the team, which will start freshman Lindsey Mitchell in goal.
Coach: Dave Vezzi. 1994 record: 6-6-2.
Top players: Meg Cronin, Sr., M; Karen Krupka, Sr., F; Alyssa Gamaldo, Sr., D; Elissa Shefrin, Sr., G; Sara Nunnally, Sr., F; Jen Chalfin, Sr., D; Wanda Elledge, Soph., D; Sarah Campbell, Soph. M.
Outlook: Four of Howard's six losses were by one goal last year, and with eight returning starters, Vezzi is optimistic. "We could be a very good team if we stay healthy," he said. "With 15 kids, that could be a challenge." Though depth certainly will be a concern, Vezzi is pleased with the players he has. "From front to back, we're a very even team," Vezzi said. "We don't have any real strong areas. We have a good defense and a pretty good offense. I think we'll be a very competitive team. We should be in every game with a chance to win every game." Cronin and Gamaldo were second-team All-County last year. Besides the six seniors that return as starters, Elledge and Campbell started as freshmen. Campbell led the Lions with 10 goals and two assists and Krupka had eight goals and five assists.
Mount Hebron Vikings
Coach: Jonathan Davis. 1994 record: 4-10.
Top players: Julie Kickham, Sr., M; Kristen Midura, Sr., D; Christie Caiazzo, Sr., D; Kyle Butkowski, Jr., M; Liz Skorny, Jr., M.
Outlook: Davis coached the Atholton junior varsity the last two years and takes over for Warren Michael, who now coaches at Atholton. "Our goal is to win some games in the county. The more the better," said Davis, whose team was winless against county opponents last season. Davis spent the preseason teaching a "new system and new philosophy. They're learning new things and understanding why it works. They're focused. They're going to do better and improve." Kickham and Midura will captain the team, and Caiazzo returns after missing last season with a knee injury. Sommer Cork, a junior, will start in goal. Davis will look toward Butkowski, Skorny and senior forward Christina Eberhart for scoring. Davis is encouraged by the team's togetherness and said, "Enthusiasm is going to take us a long way."
Oakland Mills Scorpions
Coach: Steve Matters. 1994 record: 12-5-1.
Top players: Ginny Dye, Sr., F; Nyeisha Ford, Jr., G; Michelle Osterberger, Jr., M/D; Antoinette Bwalya, Sr., F; Noelle Brown, Soph., M/F; Leslie Miller, Soph., D; Brie Warner, Sr., D; Stephanie Romich, Jr., D.
Outlook: Matters has eight returning starters from last year's team that finished No. 11 in the final poll after losing in the 1A-2A state final to Fallston, 3-1. Before that game, the Scorpions had registered six straight shutouts. "We don't have anything great, we have a lot of good things," said Matters, who begins his third season. "I feel good about our potential. The girls have a great attitude and are working hard." Dye is the focus of the team, having scored 21 goals (12 assists) last year en route to making All-County and All-Metro first teams. "We're still trying to work some things out," said Dye, a starter since her freshman year. "Right now, we're trying out people in different positions. Hopefully by the playoffs, we'll have it all together." Freshman midfielder Loni Gardner also is expected to see a lot of playing time. "We're going to be good," said Matters. "We want to get back to the final game . . . except not lose."
Wilde Lake Wildecats
Coach: Anita and Roy Andersch. 1994 record: 11-3-1.
Top players: Katie Douglas, Sr., M; Amanda Bermann, Soph., F; Bridget White, Soph., M; Laura Welkawitz, Sr., M; Becky Froman, Jr., D; Leilani Ho, Fresh., F.
Outlook: Andersch and her husband, Roy, take over for Rick Wilson. Anita and Roy were assistant coaches the last two years, Anita at Wilde Lake and Roy at Hammond. They have many years of coaching experience at the club level. "We have the ability to score. We will score goals," Roy said. "Our defense will be the key. Can we score more goals than we give up?" Douglas, a first-team All-County and second-team All-Metro last year as a sweeper, will play midfield. Froman, up from JV, has the sweeper position. The goalies, sophomore Beth Johnson and junior Jamie Marcus, move up from JV. "That [goalie] is one of our big concerns," Roy said. "If they can step up, our team certainly will be competitive." Said Anita, "Our starting 11 is solid. Hopefully we can stay healthy. We're not real deep on the bench. I'm very pleased with this team. They're better than I expected them to be. I like kids who work hard and they work hard. I feel we'll pull some surprises."