First team at a glance
Giuliano Celenza, Curley, Jr., forward: Player of the Year for Baltimore City/County, his 20 goals and four assists carried the Friars to their MIAA A co-championship season. They tied with Gilman for that title. The 5-foot-5, 130-pounder was in on all but 10 of his team's 34 goals and scored in all but two games. He scored the game-winner in the semifinal against Calvert Hall. In three seasons he has 49 career goals and 19 assists. He was first-team All-Met last season. "He moves faster laterally than anyone I've ever coached," Curley coach Pep Perrella said. "His ball handling is incredible. He generates power on his shot that guys 6-foot-2 can't. And he's extremely accurate with his shots."
Mike Green, Howard, Sr., defense: A four-year starter, the 6-foot-3 1/2 , 180-pound sweeper is headed on a soccer scholarship to the University of Virginia, the four-time defending NCAA champs. He was one of their top four recruits. His leaping ability sets him apart. Although he'll play defense in college, he has the capacity to push forward. In a league-opening 2-1 win over Glenelg he scored both goals. For the season he scored four goals and had five assists. Another reason academic-minded Virginia wanted him is his 3.60 GPA. "He's the total package," Howard coach Brian Boussy said. "With him in the back it gives you the confidence to move other people forward instead of pushing everyone back." He's a member of the ODP regional pool.
Mike Griffith, Patapsco, Sr., goalkeeper: Griffith stopped 183 of 217 shots-on-goal and notched seven shutouts for the state Class 2A champion Patriots. Game after game, he was unafraid to do the necessary dirty work, turning in gritty efforts that frustrated skillful teams. He had 24 saves in the state Class 2A semifinal, repeatedly snatching balls from the feet of Bethesda-Chevy Chase players or plucking crosses from the air. He survived a kick in the face and a nasty collision with a post to record 10 saves in the championship game against Wilde Lake.
Pat Halter, Mount Hebron, Jr., midfield: He scored the game-winning goal in five Howard County league wins, including 1-0 victories over No. 12 Oakland Mills and No. 9 Hammond, as the No. 4 Vikings (8-4-1) posted their best league record (6-1). Mount Hebron had never beaten Oakland Mills. One of the league's most competitive players, he has superb field vision, is strong in the air and is a great counterattacker. He scored nine goals and had six assists. He's a regional ODP pool player. "He can attack at full speed and switch the point of attack quickly," said coach Scott Conroy. "He takes all of our free kicks and defends the other team's top player on their free kicks and throw-ins."
Rich Kuhn, Chesapeake-AA, Jr., midfield: With injuries slowing teammate Ryan Frommelt, Kuhn emerged as one of the most feared offensive players in Anne Arundel County. He led the second-ranked county champion Cougars (17-1) to their finest season with 14 goals and four assists. The 14 goals tied for the county public school lead. "He has an uncanny knack for finishing," coach Earl Eckhardt said. He is Chesapeake's all-time leading goal scorer with 22. Seven of this season's goals came in the air. "He's great in the air," Eckhardt said. "And he's one of the best I've ever had at ball control. He had an uncanny knack for finishing. He was our go-to guy." Kuhn had two-goal games against Broadneck, Meade and Annapolis.
Matt Laycock, Centennial, Jr., midfield: He finished second in the Howard County league in scoring with 13 goals and seven assists. Strong in the air at 6-foot-2, he excelled at dissecting opposing defenses with sharp passes and will be remembered best this season for his rocket 30-yard game-winning goal in the state championship game. He's in the national ODP team pool and represented the national under-17 team in the World Cup last August in Ecuador. "He's a very mature player who has a knack for setting up people," coach Bill Stara said.
Eric Lenfest, Severna Park, Sr., defense: His coach, Don Gregg, considers him one of the finest sweepers he has coached in 22 years. "He was indispensable, the consummate sweeper," Gregg said. "He thinks ahead, is technically sound, comes out of the box well, has good speed and makes good decisions." A Falcon co-captain, Lenfest anchored a defense that allowed 16 goals in 17 games. His ability to redirect balls upfield kept the Falcons competitive in close games. They won nine games by one goal. The two-year starter had one goal and one assist.
Dino Pusinsky, Patapsco, Sr., forward: Pusinsky (10 goals, 14 assists) was unselfish, skillful and gutsy. Despite a hamstring injury over the final three games, he scored the game-winner against North Harford on an unassisted corner kick, assisted on the game-winner against Bethesda in a 2-1 overtime win, and had the game-winner in the 2A state title win over Wilde Lake.
Ben Stephenson, Centennial, Jr., defense: He played sweeper and was the cornerstone of a defense that allowed just seven goals and had 13 shutouts. He is sure-footed, fiercely competitive and has good field vision. "He has a physical and mental presence. People worry about where he's at," said coach Stara. "He makes no mistakes and distributes the ball well." He was also a first-team All-Metro selection last season when Centennial had 10 shutouts and gave up seven goals. He's been a national pool ODP player and first-team All-County three times.
Matt Stephenson, Centennial, Jr., forward: A technically gifted workaholic with terrific speed, Stephenson scored 11 goals and had eight assists. "He complements West and is just as dangerous," Stara said. "He is skilled at redirecting the ball on set pieces and at one-on-one play." He and Ben Stephenson are twins. Matt is a three-time All-County performer with 31 career goals and 17 career assists. He scored the game-winning goal in the 1994 state championship game. He has been a member of the national ODP pool and was second-team All-Mtero last season.
Ryan Smith, Calvert Hall, Sr., midfield: Smith (10 goals, five assists), a national ODP team pool player, attracted plenty of attention and opened up things for his No. 6 Cardinals (12-5-1). He scored two goals in a 4-1 victory over MIAA A co-champ Gilman. He was second-team All-Met last season. "He's a great distributor, wins the ball and controls the midfield," Cardinals coach Bill Karpovich said. "He also plays defense and is knowledgeable. He took all of our free kicks and restarts." A 4.0 student with a 1,440 Scholastic Assessment Test score, he is being considered by a number of Division I schools, including Brown.
Pete Troilo, C. Milton Wright, Sr., midfield: He was important both as a creator on offense and as a first line of defense. Troilo, a two-time All-Harford County selection, scored five goals and had three assists for the No. 10 Mustangs. "The ball invariably went to Peter and he got it to the right people," said coach Paul Snyder. "He was heads and shoulders above any player in our county, and the best midfielder our team has ever had in terms of vision and athleticism. He was mature, understood the offense and was a settling influence." It is unusual for a center midfielder to be marked, but both Bel Air and Fallston marked Troilo, who is 5-foot-11 and 175 pounds and has good speed.
Scott Vane, Severna Park, Sr., forward: Anne Arundel County's Player of the Year, he led his team to the state Class 4A semifinals and a 12-5 record by scoring nine game-winning goals. His 14 goals and seven assists led Anne Arundel public school players and left the three-year starter with 28 career goals and 12 career assists. "He has a high work rate, thinks ahead and moves to meet the ball well," said Gregg. Vane, a co-captain, scored the game-winning goal with 11 seconds left in a double-overtime 1-0 victory against Annapolis, and the game-winner in a 1-0 regional final against Meade.
Pablo Webster, McDonogh, Jr., defense: Not only was he tough to beat in the back, the 6-foot-1, 175-pound Webster (three goals, three assists) also came forward to score the game-winning goals against Calvert Hall and Spalding. The national team pool player, a three-year starter, scored his team's only goal in a 2-1 MIAA semifinal loss to Gilman. No. 3 McDonogh (13-3) gave up 12 goals and had seven shutouts. "He's a tenacious defender who can make extraordinary scoring runs," McDonogh coach Bill Seal said.
Player of the Year
Brian West, Centennial, Sr., forward: He's a three-time first-team All-Metro player and a two-time Howard County Player of the Year. A four-year starter who played in only two losing games, West scored 18 goals and had 17 assists, both career highs, this year and led the Eagles (17-0) to their second straight Class 3A state title and third during his four seasons. Top-ranked Centennial's career scoring leader with 49 goals and 42 assists, he scored three times in the state championship game and had a goal or an assist in all but four games. He scored both goals in a regular-season 2-0 win over Class 3A state finalist Bel Air. He has blazing speed and superior skills. Unselfish, he passed up numerous scoring opportunities by passing to teammates. "He's one of the most pure strikers I've had," said coach Bill Stara. "No one could control him as a freshman, so it's no wonder that no one could control him this season either." West has been a national Olympic Development Program pool player.
Coach of the Year
Dave Ingle, Patapsco: His Patriots' final six games were won in breath-taking fashion -- the first two by shootout, the third, 4-3, and the fourth, 2-1, after trailing, 1-0, at the half. With top scorer Dino Pusinsky hampered by a hamstring pull over the last two games, the state Class 2A champion Patriots (16-2-1) were outshot by a combined 67-17, but wound up beating Bethesda-Chevy Chase, 2-1, in an overtime semifinal and blanking Wilde Lake, 3-0, in the title game. Ingle and his coaching staff of assistants Jeff Chopper and Dave Cooper showed unwavering faith in the defense to anchor an effective counterattacking style. "This team just kept rising to the occasion," said Ingle, whose Patriots won the school's first state crown since 1977.
Player of the Year: Brian West, Centennial
Coach of the Year: Dave Ingle, Patapsco
Name .............. School .......... Year .... Position
Guiliano Celenza .. Curley .......... Junior .. Forward
Dino Pusinsky ..... Patapsco ........ Senior .. Forward
Matt Stephenson ... Centennial ...... Junior .. Forward
Scott Vane ........ Severna Park .... Senior .. Forward
Brian West ........ Centennial ...... Senior .. Forward
Pat Halter ........ Mount Hebron .... Junior .. Midfield
Rich Kuhn ......... Chesapeake-AA ... Junior .. Midfield
Matt Laycock ...... Centennial ...... Junior .. Midfield
Ryan Smith ........ Calvert Hall .... Senior .. Midfield
Pete Troilo ....... C. Milton Wright. Senior .. Midfield
Mike Green ........ Howard .......... Senior .. Defense
Eric Lenfest ...... Severna Park .... Senior .. Defense
Ben Stephenson .... Centennial ...... Junior .. Defense
Pablo Webster ..... McDonogh ........ Junior .. Defense
Mike Griffith ..... Patapsco ........ Senior .. Goalkeeper
Name .............. School .......... Year .... Position
Chris Balko ....... Meade ........... Senior .. Forward
Ryan Frommelt ..... Chesapeake-AA ... Senior .. Forward
Rob Green ......... Francis Scott Key Senior .. Forward
Aaron Szager ...... Joppatowne ...... Senior .. Forward
David Briefel ..... Wilde Lake ...... Junior .. Midfield
Chris Butler ...... Sparrows Point .. Senior .. Midfield
Bobby Landolt ..... McDonogh ........ Senior .. Midfield
Cory Piette ....... Centennial ...... Senior .. Midfield
David Johnson ..... Westminster ..... Senior .. Defense
Adam Natalski ..... Perry Hall ...... Senior .. Defense
Billy Nelson ...... Bel Air ......... Junior .. Defense
Jim Traylor ....... Severna Park .... Junior .. Defense
Kumi Walker ....... Centennial ...... Senior .. Defense
Bruce Engle ....... Calvert Hall .... Senior .. Goalkeeper
Christian Lewis ... Centennial ...... Junior .. Goalkeeper
Final top 15
1. Centennial ......... 17-0
2. Chesapeake-AA ...... 13-1
3. McDonogh ........... 13-3
4. Mount Hebron ........ 8-4-1
5. Curley ............. 11-3-2
6. Calvert Hall ....... 12-5-1
7. Patapsco ........... 16-2-1
8. Bel Air ............ 11-5-1
9. Hammond ............. 7-4-2
10. C. Milton Wright .. 10-4-1
11. Severna Park ...... 12-5
12. Oakland Mills ...... 8-5-1
13. Gilman ............ 12-6-3
14. Perry Hall ........ 14-3-1
15. Wilde Lake ......... 8-6-3
(tie) Sparrows Point .. 11-5-1
Other teams considered: Fallston (8-5), Patterson (12-4), Atholton (7-6-1), South River (10-5), North Harford (11-4), Parkville (10-4-1)
Picking the teams
The Baltimore Sun 1995 All-Metro boys soccer teams were selected by the local sports staff through game observations and after consultation with area coaches. The capsules were written by Rick Belz.