Atholton Raiders 1994 record: 8-4-2. Coach: Carol Stevens.
Top players: Shannon Carter, Sr., F; Sarah Geatz, Sr., G; Melissa Goglia, Sr., D; Lea Nichols, Sr., F.
Outlook: With nine of 11 starters returning, Stevens, beginning her seventh season, is excited about this year's team. "I'm very confident," said Stevens, who feels her team has the ability to unseat defending county champion Centennial. "We have great intensity. They find it in themselves; they don't have to be pushed." Stevens said the team has "very good stickwork" and is working on its passing game. The Raiders lost the Class 2A regional final last season to Pikesville, and Stevens said this year's goal is to win the regional title. Atholton has moved to Class 3A. Nichols (nine goals, four assists last year) and Geatz (133 saves, six goals allowed) made first-team All-County last year. Carter (five goals, four assists) and junior defender Rachel McQueeney made second-team All-County. Stevens also praises the play of Holly Gick, who started last year as a freshman. "She's definitely someone to look out for," Stevens said.
@Centennial Eagles 1994 record: 14-1. Coach: Gail Purcell.
Top players: Allison Altscher, Sr., F; Becca Armiger, Sr., G; Jen Davis, D; Liz Sturm, Sr., M; Christine Davies, Jr., D.
Outlook: The Eagles have seven starters returning, but graduated Baltimore Sun Player of the Year Emily Ward, who had 18 goals last season. Playing in Ward's right wing position will be sophomore Kristen Gaudio, who, Purcell said, "has better stickwork then Emily did as a sophomore." Three other sophomores will start -- defender Mary Christine, forward Sara Beck and midfielder Jessica Euler. Another sophomore, Sarah Davis, will see a lot of playing time on defense. Connie Garrant, a junior forward, and senior defender Jamy Barahona also will start. "I didn't think we'd be as good as we are," said Armiger. "In a year everyone has brought up their skill level a lot higher." The Eagles have won five county titles, including the last two seasons.
Glenelg Gladiators 1994 record: 3-9. Coach: Ginger Kincaid.
Top players: Sheri McCready, Sr., F; Kelly Waskey, Sr., M; M.C. Duke, Sr., G; Kelly Brown, Sr., D.
Outlook: "We'll have a little different look than we've had in the past," said Kincaid, who begins her 19th season. "We look to get a little more offensive punch out of the new lineup." Kincaid said the team also is counting on Jen Ford, a junior up from the JV. "She'll be an important spark for us this year," Kincaid said. Senior Seri Zlatin will anchor the defense. "We will rely on her to keep the defense steady," Kincaid said. Kincaid likes her team's stickwork ability, but said she would like to see a little less
finesse and more intensity and aggressiveness.
Glenelg Country Dragons 1994 record: 11-3-1. Coach: Patti Ordonez.
Top players: Carrie Everett, Sr., F; Meagan Duzor, Sr., M; Jessica Brendel, Sr., D; Joyelle McCullough, Sr., D.
Outlook: After a perfect regular season last season in the AIS B Division, the Dragons lost in the championship game, 1-0, to Seton Keough. Everett, a first-team All-County and AIS all-star last year, was the team's second-leading scorer (seven goals) and led the Dragons in assists (seven). Ordonez, county Coach of the Year last season, expects Duzor to play "more of a major role this season. We need her scoring, her leadership and we want her to be more aggressive." Defensively, Brendel, a county second-team selection last year, and McCullough will lead the way. Ordonez said McCullough "is in much better shape and mentally stronger. I have a feeling she will shine
this year." Ordonez also praised junior goalie Heather Sunderland -- "she's more focused and much more aggressive" -- and junior sweeper Jordana Woodford -- "I'm impressed with her work ethic and her determination." Ordonez, who lost four staters, has many seniors returning. She said her team needs to work on its short passing game.
Hammond Golden Bears 1994 record: 6-5-1. Coach: Gay Petrlik.
Top players: Jenny Pollock, Sr., F; Kim Stetson, Sr., M; Colleen Hartman, Jr., D; Lolita Johnson, Sr., D; Katie Reytar, Jr., G.
Outlook: Pollock, last season's leading scorer, will captain the team along with senior forward Kerri Bishop and senior halfback Maria Mercurio. "I'm looking forward to seeing how far we can go," said Petrlik, who likes her team's speed. "They're intense and serious and work hard to correct their mistakes. They seem
very mature. That's going to help."
Howard Lions 1994 record: 8-5. Coach: Pat Becker.
Top players: Erica Hensley, Sr., F; Heather Perkins, Sr., M; Julie Breen, Sr., F; Amanda Eldridge, Jr., F.
Outlook: "This is a great group," said Becker, who begins her third year. "They really work well together." Offensively, Becker said, "We have some really strong kids on our forward line that are capable of scoring." Those players are Hensley, Breen and Stephanie Diamond. A key for the Lions, said Becker, will be their "positioning on defense. We're not super fast, so we're going to have to be in the right place at the right time." Goalie Erica Rhodeside is up from the JV. "Her success will be critical for us, that's for sure," Becker said. Two starters from last year's team, junior forward Kelly Kranz and senior midfielder Bianca Watson, are injured and are expected to return the first week in October. The Lions' last game before the regional playoffs is against Centennial. Said Becker: "We expect to give them a run for their money."
Mount Hebron Vikings 1994 record: 7-4-2. Coach: Jeannette Ireland.
Top players: Lara Prendergast, Sr., F; Kelly Dodson, Jr., F; Heather Smoll, Sr., F; Brigitte Goss, Sr., M.; Jessica Cruttenden, Jr., G; Anne Stocker, Sr., D; Staci Hoffman, Sr., D.
Outlook: Goss (first team) and Prendergast (second) were All-County picks last year. Prendergast had 10 goals and four assists. Dodson and Smoll had six and five goals, respectively. "Centennial's kids have a lot of confidence when they play. My kids have confidence, but not to the extent that Centennial has to this point," Ireland said. "They [Centennial] expect to win. My kids expect to win, too, but if the game is tight or if our opponent scores first, they get nervous. That's the key to our season. To take that next step." The Vikings have seven returning starters. Ireland said her midfield and attack will be strong, but that the defense is "a little inexperienced now. That's what we're working on. I know we can score." Ireland said midfielder Emily Payne is a "promising sophomore" who has earned a starting position.
Oakland Mills Scorpions 1994 record: 6-6-1. Coach: Chris Marsiglia.
Top players: Anne Ryder, Sr. F; Carolyn Schutz, Sr., D; Whitney Sale, Sr., D; Katie Combs, Sr., D., Christie Stewart, Sr., M; Melissa Hampshire, Jr., G.
Outlook: Marsiglia said the team's strength is its defense. "It's pretty solid," she said. "They know their positions, and play smart and consistent. They get the job done." The key, said Marsiglia, for the Scorpions "comes down to aggressiveness and attitude." While she said the team needs to be more aggressive, she is delighted with its attitude. "They really want to win this year. It's something that we didn't have last year," said Marsiglia, whose team won only once in league play. Ryder, the team's leading scorer last season, Stewart and Schutz will start for a third straight year.
Wilde Lake Wildecats 1994 record: 2-11. Coach: Karen Doerrler.
Top players: Alex Roe, Sr., M, Eboni Evans, Sr., D; Katie Troutman, Soph., F; Tyonne Carter, Jr., F.
Outlook: "This is a very different team from last year," said Doerrler, who has seven returning starters. "Last year I was teaching a lot of them. This year they know the game and know each other. We're playing much better as a team." Roe, a second-team All-County selection last year as a junior, heads the list of returning starters that include: Evans, Troutman, senior defender Karyn Entrop, senior midfielder Jen Frieman, senior forward Heather Pietrzyk and junior forward Carrie Colton. The Wildecats scored fewer than 10 goals last season, but that, along with the team's record, will improve this year, Doerrler said. "This team plays really well together," she said, adding that her players are "more than capable" of having a .500 record. "At least that," she said.