1997 Harford County girls soccer previews


Aberdeen Eagles

1996 record: 6-6-1.

Coach: Jim McClenahan.

Top player: Diane Cundra, D, Sr.; Felicia Fields, M, Jr.; Casey O'Hara, M. Jr.; Erin Wendy, D, Sr.; Shannon Wilson, G, Sr.

Outlook: The Eagles scored a school-record 56 goals a year ago but will struggle to produce half that this year. The Eagles have little speed and experience up front and the defense must develop around some injuries.

Bel Air Bobcats

1996 record: 11-6.

Coach: Bill Zimmerman.

Top player: Heidi Buchanan, D, Sr.; Stacey Buzzelle, S, Sr.; Angela Defabio, M, Sr.; Becca Jones, S, Sr.; Adrienne Justis, S, Jr.; Nikki Hentz, M, Jr.; Kathy Holmes, D, Sr.; Colleen Keefe, G, Sr.; Kelly Krieger, M, Sr.

Outlook: The Bobcats peaked just in time for the playoffs last season -- advancing to the state semifinals -- and that momentum figures to carry over this year. Zimmerman has key returnees at the skill positions, especially forward and goalkeeper. Jones and Justis combined for 34 goals and eight assists a year ago and three-year starter Keefe is among the best in the league. With the seniors having been together for three years, Bel Air should remain a fiesty opponent against the likes of John Carroll, Perry Hall and county foes C.M. Wright and Fallston.

C. Milton Wright Mustangs

1996 record: 12-1-1.

Coach: Peter Griffiths.

Top player: Angie Byrd, S, Sr.; Becca Durante, M, Sr.; Jamie Gerhart, M, Sr.; Kristen Joel, D, Sr.; Ashley Lesh, M, Jr.; Dawn Rumbley, M, Jr.; Rachel Sappington, D, Jr.; Erica Slater, G, Sr.

Outlook: The defending county champion Mustangs will rely on the strong play of their seniors to stay atop the league standings. Gerhart moves back to steady the middle of the field, while Byrd (16 goals, seven assists) is an excellent playmaker up front. The backfield returns Joel, Sappington and Slater and figures to be as good as the group that allowed just nine goals last season.

Edgewood Rams

1996 record: 4-7.

Coach: Matthew Rankin

Top player: Nichol Miller, S-M, Sr.; Katie Single, G, Jr.; Terri Staabm D, Jr.; Stephanie Wilhelm, S; Soph.

Outlook: The Rams have won at least one game more than the previous year in each of the last three seasons and Rankin looks to keep moving forward with the experience factor more evident among six sophomore starters. Without a true stopper in the back, Edgewood will need a collective effort on defense.

Fallston Cougars

1996 record: 14-2-1.

Coach: Nancy Ferguson.

Top player: Fran Amasia, S, Sr.; Amber Bradford, M, Sr.; Kristen Gayo, D, Jr.; Candy Kuligowski, G, Sr.; Christy Peterson, D, Sr.

Outlook: The Cougars face a similar situation as they did a year ago, having several talented veterans among a fair number of first-time starters. But Ferguson (57-7-1 over last four seasons) has a way of finding the right mix by utilizing every player. A year ago it worked well enough to bring Fallston its second state title in three years. Bradford, Peterson, Gayo and Kuligowski are as good as any defensive unit; all the Cougars need is a finisher on attack.

Havre de Grace Warriors

1996 record: 4-10.

Coach: Tara Phillips.

Top player: Allyson Fisk, M, Jr.; Amanda Grainger, M, Soph.; Alicia Lynch, D, Sr.; Melissa Peroneus, S, Jr.; Lynn Ruchlewicz, -- G, Fr.; Jenn Schwartz, S, Soph.

Outlook: Having 15 returnees and more discipline, the Warriors' expectations are a little higher this year. Phillips has more to work with as several players improved their skills by playing in club leagues. Ultimately, the Warriors will go as their defense goes.

John Carroll Patriots

1996 record: 7-4-2.

Coach: Gary Lynch.

Top player: Jenny Biscoe, M, Soph.; Kim Karlinchalk, D, Soph.; Laura Tiburzi, M, Jr.

Outlook: A strong group promoted from last season's successful JV program has first-year coach Lynch thinking his Patriots can stay in contention in the Catholic League. The skill level is high and excellent team speed fits Lynch's approach to a more college-style game. "It's just a matter of the girls adjusting to varsity play," said Lynch, who coached seven years at College of Notre Dame.

Joppatowne Mariners

1996 record: 6-6-1.

Coach: Chris Myers.

Top player: Nicole Hammer, D, Jr.; Stacey Mazza, D, Jr.; Tonya Meeke, S, Jr.; Nina Pierazio, M, Sr.; Nikki Terigzina, M, Sr.

Outlook: Experience is low with the loss of five starters, but Myers hopes an increase in team speed lessens the blow. The defense will take time to develop around three new starters and the front line needs a scorer to emerge.

North Harford Hawks

1996 record: 11-3-1.

Coach: Tom Berg.

Top player: Ann Anderson, M-D, Jr.; Jessica Colletta, G, Sr.; Suzanne Eyler, S-M, Sr.; Brooke Thomas, D, Sr.; Renee Valle, S, Sr.

Outlook: Despite the loss of two four-year starters, the Hawks' depth should keep them on course for their 12th winning season under Berg. The Hawks are strongest on defense with Becky Taylor back from a knee injury and Colletta starting her third year in goal. The uphill battle is the schedule, which includes non-league games against Hereford, Perry Hall and Oakland Mills. And with an unsettled attack, the Hawks likely will be better late than early.

Pub Date: 9/03/97

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