Player of the Year
Emily Payne, Mount Hebron, senior, midfield: She led the Vikings (14-2-1) to their greatest season ever as they advanced to the Class 2A state final. "She was the best player on our team," said Mount Hebron coach Jeannette Ireland. "She has excellent stickwork, great anticipation and is very smart." And intense, very intense. "She practices as hard as she plays," Ireland said. Payne, who scored six goals and four assists for the two-time county champions, is "a complete player," Ireland said. But Ireland said Payne's greatest improvement from last year is that she became a scoring threat as a midfielder. Payne, who said the season was the most fun playing field hockey she's ever had, was the receiver and playmaker on offensive corners and the trail left on defensive corners. Payne, who will play at the National Hockey Festival in California next week, participated in the Euro Tour over the summer with teammate Trish Dewart. She also worked a lot after practice with younger teammates.
Coach of the Year
Jeannette Ireland, Mount Hebron: With only three starters returning and 10 players up from the JV, Ireland had her work cut out. Then again, the situation called for someone like Ireland, a coach who loves to teach -- and does it well -- and has the patience to go along. "With us being so young at the beginning of the season she stressed that we work together and play for each other," said Mount Hebron senior captain Emily Payne. "She always encouraged us to work hard and push ourselves to be better hockey players." Ireland and Mount Hebron succeeded. The Vikings won a second straight county title -- they went 8-0-1 each year -- and won their first playoff game under Ireland. They proceeded to the Class 2A state final, where they lost to perennial power Bethesda-Chevy Chase. "We were hoping to repeat as county champion, but we knew that was a major task. We had a lot of work to do, and took one game at a time," said Ireland, whose team won eight one-goal games this season. "To get all the way to the final was unbelievable." The Vikings will graduate five players and return 10 from this year's team.
First team as a glance
Rachel Ford, Glenelg, senior, forward: She has led Glenelg in scoring four straight years, the first on JV. A three-year starter and repeat first-team All-County pick, Ford had six goals and five assists this season. "She added another dimension this year by becoming a more well-rounded player," said Glenelg coach Ginger Kincaid. "She has a nose for the goal with a hard, accurate shot."
Kristin Gaudio, Centennial, senior, forward: "A prolific scorer for us," said Centennial coach Gail Purcell. "One of my top five in all the years  I've coached." Gaudio has been the Eagles' top scorer for two years and was the county's scoring leader this year with 11 goals and eight assists. She had three two-goal games. A three-year starter, Gaudio used her speed and strong stickwork to create and finish scoring opportunities. "She's a very well-rounded player," Purcell said. Gaudio is a repeat first-team All-County selection and has been in the Futures program for two years.
Katie Jeschke, Mount Hebron, sophomore, forward: "A good finisher with a great shot" said Mount Hebron coach Jeannette Ireland about Jeschke, who had six goals and four assists. One of Jeschke's goals came against Bethesda-Chevy Chase in the Class 2A state championship, the only goal the Barons allowed in the playoffs. Jeschke, who started on the JV last year, was responsible for moving the ball into the attack. She also started ,, Mount Hebron's penalty corners, and most of her assists came from that. She has good stick skills.
An Nguyen, Long Reach, senior, forward: She scored the first goal in school history last year and the first penalty stroke goal this year. Nguyen's stick skills and her speed were her top assets. Every team concentrated on stopping her, but Nguyen still finished with six goals and four assists. "She's the only senior starter we're losing," said Long Reach coach Kelly Morano, who did an excellent job directing her second-year team to a 7-8-2 overall record after last year's winless season. "She will be missed tremendously. She was a role model on the field, and she had a great impact on the underclassmen. We were fortunate to have a player like her. She was the heart of our team."
Kate Wilkinson, Hammond, senior, forward: Wilkinson got to be friendly with opposing cages this season. "She hung around the cage waiting for that moment and when it came she often connected," said Hammond coach Gay Petrlik. Wilkinson led the Golden Bears with seven goals and added three assists. "She really scored when we needed it most," Petrlik said. An aggressive player with solid leadership skills, Wilkinson "was a spark on the field," Petrlik said. "She made things happen."
Holly Gick, River Hill, senior, midfield: As an All-County softball pitcher, Gick can control games with her arm. She is just as effective in field hockey. "She has the ability to control games. She sets the tone," said River Hill coach Martha Henderson. "When she steps up people notice and they step up their game, too." Gick, who had two goals and three assists, motivates by her actions. A repeat first-team All-County selection, she is very aggressive and goes for any ball that's close, or not so close. "She goes for balls you don't expect her to," said Henderson.
Allison Bryan, River Hill, senior, midfield: "The best word to describe her is tenacious. She always hustles and never gives up," said River Hill coach Martha Henderson. Bryan's speed created scoring opportunities for the Hawks and headaches for the opposition. "Her speed is her best advantage," Henderson said. Bryan, who had two assists, complimented her speed with strong stickwork.
Trish Dewart, Mount Hebron, senior, midfield: She was the JV goalie for two seasons before joining the varsity last season. "For being on the field only two years she's done amazing things," said Mount Hebron coach Jeannette Ireland. Dewart played the right side of Mount Hebron's strong midfield, and was one of three captains. "Trish glued us together," Ireland said. "She was just a great leader." Ireland added that Dewart's "confidence this year in her stickwork and ability to play really grew."
Jessica Euler, Centennial, senior, midfield: A three-year starter and repeat All-County selection, Euler had three goals and three assists (two against River Hill) this season. "Her greatest asset is her ability to think on the field and adjust to the play that is occurring," said Centennial coach Gail Purcell. "Her leadership ability was critical to our season."
Lauren Loveland, Glenelg, senior, midfield: "We built our defense around her this year," said Glenelg coach Ginger Kincaid. "She was the most complete player I had." A second-team All-County pick last year, Loveland had two goals and one assist this season. "She had very good stickwork and her tackling skills were very, very good," Kincaid said. Loveland always hustled after the ball, and, according to Kincaid, "had a very good understanding of the game."
Katie Troutman, Wilde Lake, senior, midfield: "She was the heart of our team," said Wilde Lake coach Karen Doerrler. A second-team All-County selection last year, Troutman had "excellent stickwork and was good at collecting the ball and controlling play," Doerrler said. A competitive leader -- she's also the school's SGA president -- Troutman took the shots off penalty corners. She scored her one goal this season that way. "Her competitive spirit is what made her such a strong player," Doerrler said. "She refused to give up."
Sarah Davis, Centennial, senior, defense: A back for three years, Davis "gave up a lot for the team," according to coach Gail Purcell, by moving to sweeper. She had 18 saves and "kept us in many games," Pur- cell said of Davis, who was one of the team's hardest hitters. "She played real hard and had a lot of desire on the field to be the best she could be," Purcell said. "She epitomized the heart and soul of our team."
Jay Lance, Long Reach, sophomore, goalie: A two-year starter, Lance allowed 36 less goals this season for the vastly improved Lightning. She had 40 saves in the 2-1 upset win at Centennial. "Her skills not only have improved but her mental game has improved tremendously as well," said Long Reach coach Kelly Morano. Lance is quick and not afraid to come out and challenge the hitters. "She's definitely the focal point of our defense," Morano said. "She makes it click." Lance stopped two of three penalty strokes and all four one-on-one challenges.
Coach of the Year: Jeannette Ireland, Mount Hebron
Player of the Year: Emily Payne, Mount Hebron, Senior
Name, School, Year, Position
Rachel Ford, Glenelg, Senior, Forward
Kristin Gaudio, Centennial, Senior, Forward
Katie Jeschke, Mount Hebron, Sophomore, Forward
An Nguyen, Long Reach, Senior, Forward
Kate Wilkinson, Hammond, Senior, Forward
Emily Payne, Mount Hebron, Senior, Midfield
Holly Gick, River Hill, Senior, Midfield
Allison Bryan, River Hill, Senior, Midfield
Trish Dewart, Mount Hebron, Senior, Midfield
Jessica Euler, Centennial, Senior, Midfield
Lauren Loveland, Glenelg, Senior, Midfield
Katie Troutman, Wilde Lake, Senior, Midfield
Sarah Davis, Centennial, Senior, Defense
Jay Lance, Long Reach, Sophomore, Goalie
Krystin Brown, Glenelg, Junior, Forward
Mara Finglass, Hammond, Senior, Forward
Sue Lee, Mount Hebron, Senior, Forward
Polly Purcell, Mount Hebron, Sophomore, Forward
Kristi Kruger, River Hill, Sophomore, Forward
Liz Eberhart, Mount Hebron, Sophomore, Midfield
Jessica Burkhardt, Long Reach, Sophomore, Midfield
Bri Brumsted, Atholton, Senior, Defense
Jenny Groves, River Hill, Senior, Defense
Meghan McDonald, Centennial, Junior, Defense
Tammi Slater, Mount Hebron, Junior, Defense
Marni Rosenbaum, River Hill, Senior, Defense
Katelyn Hoffman, Mount Hebron, Sophomore, Goalie
The Baltimore Sun 1997 All-Howard County volleyball and field hockey teams were selected by Stan Rappaport after consulting with The Sun staff and area coaches.
Player of the Year
Pub Date: 11/19/97