Player Of The Year
Erin McInnes, Roland Park, senior, attack: The No. 1 player on the No. 1 team, McInnes was the central cog in a 22-0 machine. The Baltimore City/County Player of the Year led the Association of Independent Schools A Division champion Reds in scoring with 83 goals and 22 assists and played key roles on draw control and transition. "When she had the ball in her stick, she created about 75 percent of our offense," said coach Tara Kramer. A consistent, mentally-tough player, McInnes never had a bad game. Whenever the Reds struggled with draw control, Kramer moved McInnes to the center, where she excelled at directing the draw to a teammate. McInnes also proved critical in several games in which the Reds had to rally from a significant deficit. After trailing Mount Hebron, 9-2, at halftime, McInnes scored two goals and had an assist to spark a huge Reds rally and a 15-11 victory. Second-team All-Metro last year, the third home improved her defensive skills this year, making her a complete all-around player. McInnes was chosen the AIS A Division Player of the Year by US Lacrosse. The AIS All-Star played for the South I schoolgirl team that finished third at last weekend's U.S. Women's Lacrosse Association National Tournament. She was selected for the USWLA senior all-star game. Also an All-Metro field hockey player, McInnes will play lacrosse next year at North Carolina.
Coach of the Year
Tara Kramer, Roland Park: In her second year as coach, Kramer guided the No. 1-ranked Reds to a perfect season while playing probably the toughest schedule in the nation. They beat the national preseason No. 1, St. Stephen's/St. Agnes, at a March tournament in San Diego and polished off the season with a second victory over No. 2 Notre Dame Prep for the AIS A Division championship. The win gave Roland Park its sixth title in eight years. Along the way, the Reds won nine games against teams ranked in The Sun's Top 15 and outscored the opposition by an average of 10 goals. They also came from behind several times -- trailing No. 5 Mount Hebron by seven goals, No. 4 Bryn Mawr by four, St. Stephen's/St. Agnes by five and NDP by two in the title game. They beat No. 3 St. Mary's in the last second. Kramer, a former All-America attack player at Loyola, attributes the Reds' success to the intensity of her players, but her guidance proved critical to maintaining the focus necessary to complete a tough 22-game schedule unbeaten.
The first team
Lauren Aumiller, Notre Dame Prep, junior, midfield: ior, midfield: A second-team All-Metro selection last year, Aumiller controlled transition for the No. 2 Pirates (14-2). At center, she dominated the draw, often able to pick the ball out of the air with her great reach. Her quickness, strength and natural athleticism made her one of the area's most versatile midfielders. She covered the entire field, providing defensive help one minute and offensive punch the next. Aumiller tripled her offensive output this season with 71 goals and 32 assists for the AIS A Division finalists. An AIS All-Star, she also played for South I.
Tracey Bounds, Mount Hebron, senior, attack: The director of one of the area's most potent offenses, Bounds set a school single-season assist record with 54, breaking her own mark of 46 set last year. Not a bad comeback for a player who missed her entire sophomore season with a torn anterior cruciate ligament. She also contributed 52 goals this season for the Howard County and Class 1A/2A state champion No. 5 Vikings (18-3). Bounds, a second-team All-Metro pick last year, had three assists and a goal in the 9-7 state title victory over Towson. She will play next year at Ohio State.
Lindsay Buchanan, Towson, junior, midfield: field: The fire in the No. 6 Generals attack, Buchanan led Towson (16-2) to the state Class 1A/2A final for the third straight year. She finished the season with 62 goals and 37 assists even though she played a defensive position, third man. Her determination never showed more than in the state final when she scored five goals for the defending champs in a 9-7 loss to Mount Hebron. Buchanan, an All-Metro second teamer last year, scored five goals in each of her last four playoff games. A versatile, athletic player critical to transition, Buchanan also played for South I.
Kelly Dirks, Annapolis, senior, attack: The only three-time All-Metro first teamer in this year's class, Dirks led the No. 7 Panthers (20-1) to their second state Class 3A/4A title in three years. The Anne Arundel County Player of the Year scored 80 goals and had 52 assists for the county champs despite often playing just half the game. Dirks was practically unstoppable in the crease. She capped off her career with three goals in the state title-game romp over C. Milton Wright, 17-2. A finesse player with exceptional stickwork, Dirks set a school record for most points in a career with 335, including 212 goals. She was selected to play in the USWLA senior all-star game and next year will play at Duke.
Kristen Foster, Mount Hebron, senior, goalie: The area's top keeper played her best late in the regular season and throughout the playoffs as the Vikings won their 10th Howard County title and their sixth state championship. She had 10 saves in the Vikings' 9-7 win over Towson in the Class 1A-2A state final. With 99 saves for the season, Foster had a 59 percent save rate and gave up just 3.3 goals per game. The Duke-bound Foster finished her career with 374 saves. She also played for Chesapeake I and was selected for the USWLA senior all-star game.
Betsy Gaines, Roland Park, junior, midfield: field: This attack wing emerged as a key transition player who could also finish. Known for her blocks, interceptions and ground balls, Gaines often won the possession that resulted in a transition goal. Some big goals early in the season made her a more confident shooter and she finished with 59 goals and 37 assists. A money player, Gaines was at her best in the AIS tournament. She scored four goals in the title victory over Notre Dame Prep and had six goals in the semifinal win over St. Mary's. Gaines was also an All-Metro basketball player.
Kate Kaiser, Notre Dame Prep, senior, midfield: This Duke-bound defense wing combined a natural aggressiveness with a controlled stick to play a dominant midfield role. Kaiser, a repeat first-teamer, seemed to be everywhere. A solid defender, she proved equally effective one-on-one or in tandem. Her great anticipation and quick check often forced turnovers to spark the Pirates on transition, but she could also finish. Kaiser doubled her offensive output, contributing 15 goals and five assists. Also All-Metro in field hockey and an AIS All-Star, Kaiser was selected for the USWLA senior all-star game and played for South I.
Lauren Kickham, Mount Hebron, sophomore, midfield: more, midfield: Despite her youth, Kickham emerged as a leader for the state Class 1A/2A champs. Not only did she lead the Vikings in goals with 54 and points with 74, but she contributed critical midfield defense. Kickham set team records for most ground balls in a game with 14 vs. Annapolis and in a single season with 131, breaking the 1996 record of 124 set by her sister Julie, now at North Carolina. Named the Howard County Player of the Year by US Lacrosse, Kickham also dominated the draw. In the 9-7 state championship victory over Towson, she controlled the first three draws, which her teammates converted to goals.
Megan Lewis, St. Mary's, senior, defense: The backbone of the Saints defense for four years, Lewis anchored a unit that allowed just 6.5 goals per game while reaching the AIS A Division semifinals. Her deceptive speed, great stick skills and game smarts enabled Lewis to excel as a crease defender. At point, she could force attackers wide and make them alter their shots. Her great anticipation and ability to work the ball out of the back made her a critical part of transition for the No. 3 Saints (13-3). Lewis, who is bound for Vanderbilt, also played for Chesapeake I.
Meg Miller, Severna Park, sophomore, defense: fense: Another in a long line of young, talented, reliable Falcons defenders, Miller was a dominating presence at third man or on line defense. She demonstrated great timing on her checks and slides, emerging as a force one-on-one or in the double team. With game sense beyond her years, Miller also read the field well from an offensive standpoint and was always able to hit the open cutter. Miller, who played for Chesapeake I, also stepped up offensively, contributing 10 goals and four assists for the No. 8 Falcons (12-3).
Jaimee Reynolds, Towson, senior, defense: A second-team All-Metro pick last year, Reynolds was the heart of a Generals defense that allowed just 5.4 goals per game and made its third straight trip to the state Class 1A/2A final. An outstanding line defender, she always marked the opposition's top scorer, using excellent footwork and quickness to control the crease. Reynolds, who played for South I, excelled in the open field with terrific field sense and an uncanny ability to come up with interceptions and knockdowns. Also All-Metro in volleyball and a member of the Generals state-champion basketball team, Reynolds will play lacrosse, and maybe volleyball, at Cornell.
Julie Shank, Severna Park, junior, defense: fense: Shank continued to expand her role as one of the area's most versatile players after being named an All-Metro first teamer last year and a second-teamer as a freshman. Her quickness, footwork and positioning made her a premier line defender. Her aggressive marking style often shut down the opposition'stop scoring threat and her defensive skills proved equally effective on the crease or the open field. Also a force in transition, Shank emerged last year as an offensive threat. This year, she saw more time in the Falcons' settled attack, finishing the season with 24 goals and 17 assists.
Kim Smith, Bryn Mawr, senior, attack: An All-Metro second-teamer last year, Smith has one of the quickest first steps around. Unmatched in her ability to beat defenders on the crease, she finished with 49 goals and 22 assists for the No. 4 and AIS A Division semifinalist Mawrtians (11-4). One of the area's top shooters for three years, Smith became a better all-around player this year, seeing the field and distributing the ball more. An AIS All-Star, she played for South I and was selected for the senior all-star game. Also an All-Metro field hockey player, Smith will play both sports at Princeton.
Kellie Thompson, St. Mary's, senior, midfield: field: Last year's All-Metro Player of the Year had another banner season, controlling the midfield and contributing in every aspect of the game. At center, the AIS All-Star handled the draws, provided the key connections, played excellent defense and ranked among the Saints' top scorers with 42 goals and 16 assists. Thompson capped off her high school career by winning the Heather Leigh Albert Award as the top schoolgirl player in the USWLA national tournament after leading Chesapeake I to the championship. She was selected for the USWLA senior all-star game and will play next year at North Carolina.
Athlete of Year luncheon
The 32nd Annual Baltimore Sun High School Athlete of the Year Awards Luncheon will be held Monday, June 8 at Martin's West, starting at 11: 30 a.m. Athletes selected during the 1997-98 school year are invited along with their coach and both parents or any two relatives.
One male and one female will be chosen as Athletes of the Year and the winners will be announced at the luncheon. For questions, call Sam Davis at 410-332-6534.
Final Top 15
1. Roland Park (22-0)
2. Notre Dame Prep (14-2)
3. St. Mary's (13-3)
4. Bryn Mawr (11-4)
5. Mount Hebron (18-3)
6. Towson (16-2)
7. Annapolis (20-1)
8. Severna Park (12-3)
9. C. Milton Wright (16-2)
10. Severn (8-7-1) 11. Fallston (13-2) 12. Liberty (14-4) 13. North Carroll (11-3) 14. Dulaney (11-3) 15. Loch Raven (10-3) Other teams considered: Centennial (10-4), Mercy (14-4-1), Parkville (14-4), St. Paul's (5-6).
The Baltimore Sun 1998 All-Metro girls lacrosse teams were selected by the staff after consulting with area coaches.
Pub Date: 5/30/98