Player of the Year
Shannon Chaney, Severna Park, Sr., goalkeeper: Chaney's value to her team was never more evident than in her 11-save performance that gave the Falcons a 0-0 double-overtime tie with Centennial for a share of the 3A-4A state championship. It was the 5-foot-11 senior's 49th career shutout, the 15th this season and her second 0-0 double overtime, the other against nationally ranked Bishop O'Connell. In 19 games for the Falcons (16-1-2), Chaney, who will attend Duke on a lacrosse scholarship -- and hopes to make the soccer team as a walk-on -- gave up only three goals, none in the playoffs. She also scored a goal in a playoff win over Annapolis while moving to striker, a position she plays on her club team and is expected to play in college. Severna Park went 56-8-4 and made the state final four, twice as a finalist, and won four region titles in the Chaney era, 1992 through 1995.
Coach of the Year
Joyce Stefancik, Severna Park: Since going 1-5 as a club team in 1979, the Falcons have set the standard for girls soccer in Anne Arundel County in 16 varsity seasons under Stefancik (187-38-9, .799). This year's state co-championship with Centennial was the fourth state title for the Falcons, the other three (1988 through 1990) were won outright. Severna Park has made the state finals seven times, won seven region titles in a row and claimed eight county championships in Stefancik's time -- the first in 1983, the last county crown in 1993. This year's team tied school records for wins (16-0-0 in 1990 state championship season) and fewest goals against (three, 1989), but Stefancik wants to give the credit to her assistant coach Chuck Seivert. "There is no way I can take claim for what happened this season. I don't feel right about being named Coach of the Year because Chuck deserves it," said Stefancik. "There were a lot of days I couldn't get to practice until after 4 p.m. [she teaches at a middle school] and he's the one who ran practice and conditioned these kids. We work so well together and I couldn't have done it without him."
First team at a glance
Kristen Briggs, Northeast, Sr., forward: A four-year starter and second-team All-County as a junior, Briggs had 10 goals and four assists despite being the Eagle who gained the most attention from opposing defenders. Briggs, who scored one of just three goals given up by Severna Park's Shannon Chaney, led the Eagles (5-8-1) to five wins in its last seven games, had the first goal in a 2-0 Class 2A playoff win over Lackey, and the goal in a 4-1 playoff loss to Hammond.
Erin Coppedge, St. Mary's, Soph., forward: Coppedge, a two-year starter, led the Saints with 14 goals and one assist. The 14 goals tied her for second among the county's leading scorers. St. Mary's was 7-5-5 in the Baltimore Catholic League with Coppedge providing the punch for coach Jerry Tobin.
Kristen English, Old Mill, Fresh., attack: The lone freshman on the first team, English played like a seasoned veteran, scoring 14 goals and assisting on five others for the county champion Patriots (10-3-1).
Jill Harrison, Severna Park, Jr., defense: Her tall presence and ability to read the field and anticipate was another key to the Falcons' swarming defense that stymied foe after foe. When opponents relaxed, Harrison would go full field and score, and the defensive whiz finished with five goals and three assists.
Jennifer Mazzola, Old Mill, Sr., defense: Moving from forward to fullback this season, Mazzola became a defensive force. One of the county's best at clearing and turning it the up field, Mazzola led her team in assisted goals with six and scored a goal.
Jess Miller, Severna Park, Sr., defense: Miller's inspirational play maintained the Falcon intensity. Few county players fully extended themselves physically and mentally as Miller did. "She had the speed to catch up and cover [her teammates'] mistakes," said Stefancik. One of four team captains, Miller was a second-teamer last year and played four varsity seasons.
Alyssa Omwake, Arundel, Sr., defense: Nobody scored on this seasoned four-year player in 14 games (9-2-3). Marking the opposing scoring threat each game, Omwake's aggressiveness sparked the Wildcats to a third straight winning season (29-7-4) and top 15 ranking.
Lindsey Poland, Severna Park, Sr., midfield: A first-teamer for the second year in a row, Poland was one of the Falcons' top all-around players with offensive and defensive skills. She led the state co-champions (16-1-2) with eight goals and seven assists to run her four-year varsity career totals to 32 goals and 21 assists. Her header gave the Falcons a 1-0 victory over county champion Old Mill in the 3A-4A playoffs and propelled Severna Park into the state final where they shared the title with Centennial.
Megan Santacroce, Broadneck, Jr., midfield: In her third varsity season, Santacroce was in the words of coach Leann Shuck, "very consistent with great footwork, an unsung hero type who does all the dirty work." Santacroce, a second-teamer as a sophomore, led the Bruins with her unselfish play into the 3A-4A region final and overall 10-4-2 record.
Kristen Smeby, Arundel, Sr., forward: A two-time first-team repeater, Smeby led the county in scoring with 15 goals and nine assists for 24 total points and 44 (29 goals) points in her career. In three varsity seasons under coach Paul Yannuzzi, Smeby played stopper, midfield and striker.
Carina Sonberg, Old Mill, Sr., forward: Another first-team repeater, Sonberg was perhaps the county's best field player in her fourth varsity season. A superb student-athlete (3.7 grade-point average), Sonberg led the county champs with 18 goals (including game winner in double overtime against Severna Park in county final) and five assists and finished her career with 40 goals and 15 assists. "She's a great athlete," said coach Bruce Sponsler.
Susan Stanke, Severna Park, Sr., midfield: While defense and marking the other team's leading scorer is her forte, Stanke found time to score a couple goals. Speed and positioning made her a nuisance to oppos
ing players and she was an integral part of a defensive unit that did not give up a goal in the 3A-4A state playoffs.
Beth Walker, Old Mill, Sr., midfield: A three-year starter, Walker was a superb defender and distributor in the all-important middle. An unselfish player for the county champions, Walker picked her spots to score and had two goals to go with five assists.
Picking the teams
The Baltimore Sun 1995 All-Anne Arundel County boys and girls soccer teams were selected by Pat O'Malley through game observations and after consultation with area coaches.