Annapolis Panthers

1994 record: 3-10-1. Coach: Tom Cordts (first year).

Top players: Stephy Samaras, Sr., G; Kate Bjorke, Jr., F; Ali Kreiger, Sr., F; Kristen Kapusta, Jr., FB; Susan Berotti, Jr., FB; Kelly Dirks, Soph., S; Tina Grillo, Soph., S.

Outlook: After serving as an assistant to Dave Gehrdes in the boys program for nine seasons, Cordts has taken over the Panthers' girls team. Cordts has one of the top goalkeepers in the county in Samaras but she is one of only six seniors. Looking to the future, Cordts kept four freshmen and three sophomores, two of whom will start in midfielder Dirks and the speedy Grillo up front. "I was looking at .500 when the season began, but now I think we have the ability to do better than that," said Cordts after his team's season-opening 1-0 win over Queen Anne's. "Our strength will come from our underclassmen and they are improving their skills tremendously."

Archbishop Spalding Cavaliers

1994 record: 2-14-1. Coach: Rick Pizarro (first year).

Top players: Jennifer O'Neill, Sr., FB; Allison Tirdil, Sr., FB; Phyllis Peyser, Jr., HB; Stephanie Cano, Soph., F; Becky Beardsley, Fresh., F; Kadine Linden, Fresh., S; Marlana Casey, Fresh., FB.

Outlook: Pizarro brings a wealth of knowledge in hopes of turning the Cavaliers around in the Catholic League A Conference. He has coached the sport 45 years on the pro level in Europe, high school (Woodlawn boys, Cathedral, Mass., Brooklyn Park JV) and started coaching girls several years at Centennial, winning two state championships and 47 of 58 games. Pizarro's Cavs are off to a 1-1 start, losing to Owings Mills, 3-0, but blanking North County, 7-0. "People around Spalding are saying we could go .500, but I'm never satisfied with that," said Pizarro. "We're young starting three freshmen [Beardsley, Linden and Casey], but we will keep improving."

Arundel Wildcats

1994 record: 10-2-1. Coach: Paul Yannuzzi (third year).

Top players: Kristen Smeby, Sr., S; Jill Jones, Jr., F; Heather Frick, Sr., FB; Melissa Omwake, Sr., FB; Christy Nichols, Sr., HB; Sally Schoenfeld, Sr., HB; Marcia Lavin, Sr., G; Sara Brugger, Sr., G.

Outlook: Smeby returns after an All-County junior season in which she scored eight goals and had six assists, and is one of 15 Wildcats back. Arundel served notice it is going to be a force in the county South Division and ultimately in the state 3A-4A playoffs by opening with a 5-1 victory over defending county champion South River. Smeby, who moved to striker after playing stopper as a sophomore and midfield as a junior, and Jones had two goals each and will be tough to stop. Stopper Omwake, sweeper Frick, Nichols and Schoenfeld will be among the Wildcat leaders on a very seasoned team. "We have nine seniors and most of them have played together since age 5 and this is their last shot together," said Yannuzzi. "It's a very focused group." Arundel will be the site of the county championship game on Oct. 23 and Yannuzzi is aiming to have his Wildcats there. "We only lost one game in the county last year and just missed the championship game and that has them focused," said Yannuzzi.

Broadneck Bruins

1994 record: 8-7-1. Coach: Leann Shuck (second year).

Top players: Megan Santacroce, Jr., HB; Molly Branning, Sr., F; Christi Schulstad, Sr. FB; Josalyn Powers, Sr., FB; Meg Good, Jr., HB; Alicia Nagowski, Sr., F.

Outlook: Santacroce earned second-team All-County honors as a sophomore and gives the Bruins strength at midfield. The offense figures to come from Santacroce and the midfield. "At this stage, our midfield is our strength," said Shuck, who is in her second season at her alma mater. Schulstad leads the defense and once Shuck settles on the goalie position between junior Sue Conrad and sophomore Fran Schlossman, the Bruins expect to contend in the 3A-4A playoffs. "We expect to have a very good season," Shuck said.

Chesapeake Cougars

1994 record: 10-5-1. Coach: Lin Sullivan (11th year).

Top players: Chrissy Kohlhepp, Sr., FB; Tammi Barrington, Sr., FB; Stacey Reynolds, Sr., HB; Angie Zittle, Jr., G; Laura Basil, Jr., HB; Stephanie Mosca, Soph., F.

Outlook: The accent is on defense where Sullivan has moved second-team All-County midfielder Kohlhepp to fullback. Sullivan is banking on Kohlhepp and Barrington to key a stingy defense along with goalie Zittle on what is an otherwise inexperienced squad. "We don't have the kind of experience we had last year where we had a group that played together two to three years on the varsity level," said Sullivan. The Cougars were ranked 15th in The Baltimore Sun's final poll last fall after making it to the region finals, but lost a host of outstanding players including All-County striker Melissa Wagner, who set a school single-season record with 25 goals. "By season's end, we should be a pretty good team," said Sullivan.

Glen Burnie Gophers

1994 record: 6-8. Coach: Jon Van Orden (third year).

Top players: Jessica Bounelis, Sr., FB; Jamie Cserer, Sr., FB; Kathy Martens, Jr., HB; Laura Moody, Soph., HB; Lisa Graziano, Soph., FB; Marianne Ogle, Soph., F; Michelle Ogle, Soph., HB; Amy Shacklock, Soph., G; Jen Purkins, Soph., F.

Outlook: Team captain Bounelis is one of only three returning seniors from a team that nearly gave the Gophers their first winning season in over a decade. "Jessica is a leader by example and is a great influence on our underclassmen in what should be a winning season," said Van Orden. Opponents only scored four goals on Bounelis' side of the field last year and with Cserer on the other side, defense will be a Gopher strength. Shacklock is back in the goal after starting as a freshman and posting the third-best goals-against average in the county. The Ogle twins, Michelle on the midfield and Marianna up front, will be other key players along with Graziano at sweeper.

Meade Mustangs

1994 record: 3-11-1. Coach: John Putt (third year).

Top players: Brandy Gregg, Sr., HB; Delyza Diaz, Sr., F; Mary Rafter, Sr., FB; Kara Motonaga, Sr., HB; Jessica Huggins, Jr., G; Amy Labonte, Jr., F.

Outlook: Once his Mustangs get a few people off the disabled list, Putt expects a big improvement from last year. "We had a rash of preseason injuries, and once we move past that, I'm pretty excited," said Putt. "Gregg, Huggins and Diaz are a hard-nosed group who have been building on their senior year." Gregg was second-team All-County defense last fall while Huggins impressed in the goal and Diaz on the wing. With Gregg moving to midfield with Motonaga, Rafter takes over at sweeper. The 6-foot Huggins "covers the goal and can punt out past midfield," said Putt. Diaz is expected to score from her wing position with Labonte complementing her. "Our county schedule tough, but we should improve," said Putt.

North County Knights

1994 record: 5-8-1. Coach: Cara Hergan (second year).

Top players: Tracy Mrazeck, Sr., HB; Amy Rychwalski, Jr., FB; Julie Petrayzak, Jr., G; Nicole Braatz, Jr., FB; Allison Sabo, Soph., F; Laura Williams, Jr., FB.

Outlook: When asked if her team can improve on last year's record, Hergan laughed and said, "It's going to be really tough to get to 5-8-1. We only had 24 girls come out, so we can't have a JV and of our 20 girls, we are a new, young team." The Knights have only five returnees, just two of whom started (Mrazeck and Rychwalski). Mrazeck led the Knights with 12 goals and five assists and was named All-County as a junior. Rychwalski will lead the defense, which Hergan says will be the team's forte. "We will be very defensive minded because Tracy is the only one we have who can score," said Hergan. Hergan said her team may not possess a lot of skill, but they are in excellent physical

condition, which should keep them respectable.

Northeast Eagles

1994 record: 3-9-1. Coach: Charles Parks (first year).

Top players: Kristen Briggs, Sr., F; Shelly Guy, Jr., HB-FB; Amber Kochanski, Sr., FB; Anna Otto, Sr., G; Erin Zimmerman, Sr., FB.

Outlook: After seven years coaching a very successful Chesapeake JV, Parks, a county fireman, returns to his alma mater to take over a floundering program. "I was used to making 10 to 15 cuts a year at Chesapeake, but the numbers are down here and we kept everybody," said Parks who chose not to keep any freshmen on the varsity. Parks has his daughter, Carolyn, a Northeast math teacher as his assistant coach. Parks said they hope to "build our team to play defense first and try to sneak in a goal every now and then." Parks is hoping to make the Eagles competitive by the end of the season and will be relying on Briggs, a second-team All-County attack last year, for offense.

Old Mill Patriots

1994 record: 12-5. Coach: Bruce Sponsler (10th year).

Top players: Carina Sonberg, Sr., F; Jennifer Mazzola, Sr., FB; Beth Walker, Sr., HB; Alicia Curran, Sr., F; Sara Kurzontkowski, Sr., FB; Liana Bumbrey, Sr., F; Amber Wilkerson, Sr., FB; Sarah Meehan, Jr., FB; Natalie Phelps, Jr., HB.

Outlook: Experience and balance are the cornerstones of this perennial contender that was a state 3A-4A semifinalist (lost 4-0 to eventual state champion Centennial) and ranked 13th in The Baltimore Sun's final poll last year. Sonberg, an All-County striker with 15 goals in 11 games after starting on defense, is back for her fourth varsity season. Curran, a second-team All-County forward, gives the Pats a solid 1-2 punch up front. Walker is a three-year starter at midfield while Mazzola and Kurzontkowski are the defensive aces. "We have 14 returnees, so experience is a plus, although not necessarily at the positions they are playing," said Sponsler, who notched his 100th career win last fall. The defense with captain Kurzontkowski, Wilkerson and Meehan, should be as good as last year's, which limited teams to under two goals except for the Centennial game.

St. Mary's Saints

1994 record: 13-6-1. Coach: Jerry Tobin (10th year).

Top players: Meghan O'Doherty, Sr., D; Jennifer Corradini, Jr., G; Kristin Hagert, Jr., D; Melissa Murphy, Jr., M; Katie Kilby, Jr., A; Erin Coppedge, Soph., A; Tina Fedarcyk, Soph., A-D; Susan MacWilliams, Soph., M; Marianne Gioffre, Soph., HB.

Outlook: Tobin has one of his younger teams (four seniors and four juniors, nine sophomores and one freshman) in the highly competitive Baltimore Catholic League A Conference, but believes by season's end the Saints "will be very good." Tobin, whose team opened last week with a 3-1 loss to Wilde Lake, said the Saints "are playing real tentative right now, but with our strength in the midfield with Murphy and MacWilliams sharing the center, we should be fine." Tobin said his defense, led by O'Doherty and Hagert, needs confidence. "They're afraid to make decisions on defense, and on offense, we aren't finishing, but it will come," he said.

Severn Admirals

1994 record: 10-6-2. Coach: Jeff Edwards (first year).

Top players: Monique Jennings, Sr., F; Kate Graw, Sr., FB; Suzy Miller, Sr., HB; Julie Tice, Sr., M; Jessie Popham, Jr., HB; Becky Sawyer, Soph., D; Megan Barks, Fresh., M.

Outlook: Edwards, a Tennessee native who played three years of Division I soccer at his state school, succeeds Tom Ehart who led the Admirals to the Baltimore Catholic B Conference championship in 1993 and finished runner-up last fall. Ehart became a policeman and resigned as coach. A math teacher on the Severn faculty, Edwards is coaching the girls for the first time and the Admirals are off to a 1-1 start with a 3-1 victory over Annapolis Area Christian School and a 4-0 loss to Mount Hebron. Edwards starts with a very young team (two freshman goalies in Naomi Harrison and Ebony Flowers). "It's a classic rebuilding year," said Edwards, who will be counting on his four starting seniors in Jennings, Graw, Tice and Miller.

Severna Park Falcons

1994 record: 14-3-1. Coach: Joyce Stefancik (16th year).

Top players: Shannon Chaney, Sr., G; Lindsey Poland, Sr., F; Jess Miller, Sr., FB; Susan Starke, Sr., FB; Beth Anne Houck, Sr., HB; Jen Voishan, Sr., HB; Sabita Krishnan, Sr., FB; Jill Harrison, Jr., FB; Dana Cappello, Jr., S; Leigh Anne Emrich, Soph., FB; Katie Rowles, Soph., HB.

Outlook: A state 3A-4A semifinalist, county runner-up and ranked seventh by The Baltimore Sun a year ago, the Falcons could be stronger this year especially on defense. Chaney, a blue-chip goalie and three-year starter, has given up only 15 goals in two seasons and posted 13 shutouts. The All-County keeper is the jewel of a superb defensive unit that includes two second team All-County performers in Miller and Starke. "This is one of our better defensive teams," said Stefancik. Houck is solid in the midfield while Poland, who moved from striker to midfield last year earning All-County honors with eight goals and eight assists, is back at striker. Chaney, Houck, Miller and Poland are playing their fourth varsity seasons and serve as captains. "We have a good returning nucleus and a strong bench," said Stefancik. Severn transfer Carol Pickett adds versatility, and freshman striker Megan Young will see a lot of action.

South River Seahawks

1994 record: 12-1-2. Coach: Will Pharr (second year).

Top players: Jess Marion, Sr., F; Lorrie Estes, Sr., F; Tammy Mitchell, Sr., FB; Val Smith, Jr., FB; Amy Nye, Sr., FB; Theresa Beckett, Jr., HB; Laurie Zammarippa, Soph., HB.

Outlook: The defending county champion Seahawks, who finished eighth in The Baltimore Sun's final poll last season, return the county Player of the Year and All-Metro striker in Marion. Marion scored 22 goals, including the lone score in the county championship game to edge Severna Park, 1-0, in OT, and had five assists last year. She starts her final year with a school-record 59 career goals and should get help from Estes. Pharr, The Baltimore Sun's Anne Arundel County Coach of the Year in his rookie season last fall is finding an encore easier said than done as his Seahawks have dropped their first two, including a 5-1 defeat to Arundel.

Southern Bulldogs

1994 record: 1-10-2. Coach: Charlie Wermine (first year).

Top players: Jen Robinson, Sr., FB; Erin Zollars, Sr., FB; Dianah Johnson, Sr., G; Lindsey Lowman, Jr., F; Missy Wermine, Jr., F.

Outlook: After coaching the JV the last two seasons, Wermine moves up to head coach to succeed Monica Chaney who took a teaching position in Calvert County after three years with the Bulldogs. "We might surprise some teams this season," said Wermine. The Bulldogs have senior leadership in the goal with Johnson and on defense with Robinson and Zollars, but will highlight a host of underclassmen.

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