Teams at a glance

THE BALTIMORE SUN

Atholton Raiders

1998 record: 0-13 overall, 0-9 league

Coach: Beth Pressler

Classification: 2A

Top players: Karen Brownlie, Sr., M; Kelly Jones, Jr., D; Sherry Choe, Jr., F; Emily Benson, Sr., F. Ailene Olsen, Soph., G.

Outlook: "There's a different attitude, a more positive attitude," said new coach Pressler, Atholton's JV coach the last three seasons. "There's a spirit of teamwork, and they're very eager to go out and play well." The Raiders not only didn't win a game last season, they didn't score. Not one goal. "We'll score this year. We'll definitely score," said Pressler. "We're focusing a lot more on scoring and on being more aggressive, in general. We're looking to be competitive in the county and hope to be at least .500." Other players who will contribute include juniors Audrey Park (M) and Jenni Grisham (F) and sophomore forwards Lauren Giddens and Sherye Wallick. "The girls are really getting motivated and are much more excited to play," said Pressler, who became Atholton's varsity lacrosse coach last spring. "Hopefully, that will show on the field."

Centennial Eagles

1998 record: 14-3-0 overall, 9-0 league

Coach: Gail Purcell

Classification: 2A

Top players: Donna Boccuzzi, Sr., G; Tara Molesky, Sr., M; Nicole Simon, Jr., M; Laura Gaudio, Jr., D; Caitlin Marshall, Sr., F.

Outlook: "This is going to be a rebuilding year in every sense," said Purcell, whose team has six seniors, 11 juniors and two sophomores. The Eagles graduated 10 seniors from last year's county championship team, including county Player of the Year Liz Kurpe. Marshall (five goals, two assists) is one of five returning starters and the top scorer back. Boccuzzi, one of only two juniors on last year's All-County first-time team, anchors the defense. Molesky was a second-team All-County selection last year. Other players that will contribute include senior forward Bethany Bunce and senior defenders Lauren Canizaro and Rebecca Frederick. Purcell, who will be going for her 200th career win when the team opens the season at home against Notre Dame Prep, said her juniors are "very solid" and that four or five will start. "This team will be tremendously improved by November," said Purcell, who is "looking for individuals to step up into leadership roles." Purcell, who resigned as Centennial's athletic director in June, is excited that she will be able to give her team "my undivided attention. That's going to help this group tremendously." And while this year's team is a work-in-progress, Purcell sees potential. "Don't underestimate this group," said Purcell, "because I think they'll rise to the occasion."

Glenelg Gladiators

1998 record: 5-9-1 overall, 4-5 league

Coach: Ginger Kincaid

Classification: 1A

Top players: Kristina Schwarz, Jr., M; Elizabeth Narron, Jr., F; Kelly O'Connor, Jr., F, Jessica Schmidt, Jr., M.

Outlook: Juniors. Lots of juniors. Fifteen of the 18 players on the roster are juniors, and 10 were on last year's JV. "It's a strong junior group," said Kincaid. "It'll take a little while to get everybody together at this level, but I have a lot of high hopes for this team." Junior Kristina Johnson will start in goal in her first year of high school action. She has played indoors and at the club level. Narron (seven goals, three assists) and O'Connor (four, one) are the leading returning scorers, and forward Sarah Frederick also will help the Gladiators' attack. Kincaid said the team has "a lot of speed" and expects the Gladiators to improve as they gain more experience playing together.

Glenelg Country Dragons

1998 record: 5-6-3 overall, 3-2-1 AIS B

Coach: Mandy Sieverts

Classification: IAAM

Top players: Megan Reuwer, Sr., M; Molly Walker, Jr., M; Christine Corkran, Jr., F; Teresa Church, Jr., G; Michelle Johnson, Sr., D.

Outlook: An assistant coach last season, Sieverts is optimistic as she takes over the program. "We should be very competitive this year. We lost only three seniors," said Sieverts, whose team will play in the news Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland B Conference. Sieverts said the team's togetherness and the absence of "superstar" players will help. "A lot of these girls have been playing together since middle school," Sievert said. "They work well together and support each other." She added: "We have some really good players, but we don't have complete stars. That will benefit us, because they will work that much harder to win." Seniors Karla Greene (F) and Laura Clark (M) also will contribute. Corkran (three goals, two assists) is the leading returning scorer, and Reuwer and Johnson will key the defense.

Hammond Golden Bears

1998 record: 10-3-1 overall, 7-2 league

Coach: Gay Petrlik

Classification: 2A

Top players: Amy Hafets, Sr., M; Lauren Snyder, Sr., F; Courtney Vaughan, Sr., F; Andrea Feldstein, Sr., D; Megan Gallivan, Jr. F.

Outlook: "I think we'll be competitive," said Petrlik, who lost eight seniors from last year's team. "They have very developed stick work, and they play well off the ball. We really don't have any power hitters, but they have excellent movement in the circle and move the ball well." Snyder had seven goals and seven assists last year and Vaughan added one goal and six assists. Gallivan moves up from the JV and will help the attack. Other players who will contribute include senior Jodi Buckingham (M) and juniors Lindsay Greer (D) and Rachel Donahue (M). Senior Erin Podolny and sophomore Amy Burke will share goaltending duties. "I think this group is going to play very well together," Petrlik said.

Howard Lions

1998 record: 3-10 overall, 3-6 league

Coach: Karen Geppi

Classification: 2A

Top players: Sabrina Oursler, Soph., D; Shannon Tracy, Jr., D; Sophie Dress, Jr., A; Erin Holmes, Sr., A.

Outlook: Geppi, Howard's third coach in three years, has played field hockey the last eight years and is enthusiastic about taking over the program. "We'll definitely improve on last year's record," said Geppi, who played at Seton Keough and Salisbury State (plus the last three years at the club level). "Our defense is excellent. If we can work on our scoring, we should be a pretty tough team to beat." Geppi, 21, said she has received a warm reception from the players. "They have a positive attitude, are working well together, and they're listening to me," she said. "I've played all the positions, so I can really help everyone on the team." Oursler, Tracy, Lough and Taylor will key the improved defense, which last year allowed 38 goals. Geppi and Dress got to know each other over the summer when they both worked as lifeguards at the Forest Hills Swin and Tennis Club.

Long Reach Lightning

1998 record: 9-8 overall, 5-4 league

Coach: Kelly Snyder

Classification: 3A

Top players: Jaye Lance, Sr. G; Jessica Burkhardt, Sr. F; Bridgette Burkhardt, Sr., M; Theresa Heston, Sr., D; Brandi Franks, Jr., F; Shannon Woodward, Sr. M.

Outlook: With 11 seniors, six in their fourth varsity season, the Lightning is ready to strike. "We should be able to play with anybody," said Snyder, whose team has a new Bermuda grass home field. "It's time for us to do what's been done to us the last three years." When the school opened in 1996, Long Reach didn't win a game. Two years ago the Lightning finished 7-8 overall and last year went over .500. Now, with eight returning starters, Snyder has a team she feels will contend for the county championship. "We definitely have a good chance," Synder said about a county title. The Lightning reached the Class 2A South region championship the last two years, only to be beaten each time by Mount Hebron. Last year's loss was especially disheartening, because Long Reach outplayed Mount Hebron before being outscored 2-1 in a penalty-stroke shootout. "We continuously talk about how we felt walking off the Hebron field," said Snyder. "They never want that again. It's a great motivational tool." Lance and the Burkhardt twins were second-team All-County selections last season, and the three joined Franks and Woodward as members of Team Maryland. "It will come down to 11 girls playing together," Snyder. "They have the talent, they have the skills." The Lightning's biggest challenge might be dealing with higher expectations. "The stress is on. We definitely feel the pressure," said Snyder, who is glad to be in this position. Long Reach is playing in River Hill's Hockeyfest tournament and could meet top-ranked Bryn Mawr Saturday in the noon championship game.

Mount Hebron Vikings

1998 record: 12-6 overall, 7-2 league

Coach: Jeannette Ireland

Classification: 2A

Top players: Katie Jeschke, Sr., F; Leigh Langmead, Sr., F; Liz Eberhart, Sr., M; Katelyn Hoffman, Sr., G; Sara Cavey, Sr., M.

Outlook: The Vikings have reached the state tournament the last two seasons and again should be a county and postseason contender. "I think the strength of our team is in both leadership and skills," said Ireland. "Our experience is definitely a strength, but we have a lot of work to do to fill in the gaps left by graduation and to put a complete team on the field." Jeschke, a first-team All-County and second-team All-Metro selection, led the county with 16 goals last season and added two assists. She is one of eight seniors on the team that also has five juniors and two sophomores. Five seniors recently came back from the Euro-Tour, meaning all eight of the team's seniors have benefited from the overseas competition. "The leadership, experience and stick skills in the upperclassmen is a strength, but we've got a long way to go to be a championship team," said Ireland, whose team has seven returning starters. "They're working very hard, and the new players are very coachable and anxious to step up. I'm really excited about this team and their potential. There're a great group of kids." Others who will contribute are seniors Kate Story (M), Jen Donatelli (D) and Lauren Wolkstein (F).

Oakland Mills Scorpions

1998 record: 1-11-1 overall, 1-8 league

Coach: Chris Marsiglia

Classification: 1A

Top players: Alycia Downs, Sr., D; Christina Grue, Sr., M/F; Kim Morrow, Sr., M/F; Caroline O'Neal, Sr., D; Stephanie Franey, Jr., F.

Outlook: The Scorpions are young -- just four seniors -- but Marsiglia is looking to improve from last season. "There were some games last season we lost by a goal, and we're hoping we can turn those around this year," Marsiglia said. "The kids are very nice and coachable and make it enjoyable to go out there each day. They're a cohesive unit, and I have two strong captains [Downs, Morrow] who have excellent leadership qualities." Other players who will contribute include junior defenders Kate Daly and Veronica Burr and junior forward Melissa Stein. Becky Ingold, a junior up from JV, will start in goal. The Scorpions, who scored six goals and allowed 38 last season, return six players with starting experience.

River Hill Hawks

1998 record: 8-7-1 overall, 5-4 league

Coach: Martha Henderson

Classification: 3A

Top players: Lindsey Startt, Sr., M; Kristi Kruger, Sr., F; Kate Kelley, Sr., D; Tanya Rutner, Jr., M.

Outlook: The Hawks lost six starters but return seven players with starting experience. "We have a lot of speed. We have a lot of potential," said Henderson. "It's a matter of putting it together when the time counts." Henderson said the offense, led by Kruger (four goals, four assists), is stronger than in the past and should do well on the team's new Bermuda grass field. "Playing on that changes everything," she said. "It's definitely more conducive to a passing strategy." Other players who will contribute include junior midfielder Tara Fadrowski, sophomore forward Erika Hyrowski, senior forward Lindsay Zumbrun and senior forward Kelly Magruder. Junior Shannon Hadley, up from the JV, will start in goal. "We should do better than last year," said Henderson. "The players know each other well, and we have more intensity than last year." The Hawks will get an early test when they play No. 1-ranked Bryn Mawr at 5 p.m. tomorrow in the opening round of the River Hill Hockeyfest.

Wilde Lake Wildecats

1998 record: 7-8 overall, 4-5 league

Coach: Laurie Donnelly

Classification: 3A

Top players: Annie Troutman, Sr., G; Julie Bergin, Sr., F; Liz Ketner, Sr., F/M; Shayna Brause, Sr., M; Catherine Tsien, Sr., D; Kathleen Jackson, Jr., F.

Outlook: Only two county schools scored fewer goals than Wilde Lake last season, and Donnelly hopes that will change. "If we can put the ball in the cage more than we did last year [14], we'll be competitive with anybody," said Donnelly, last season's county Coach of the Year. Bergin and Jackson are the top returning scorers from last year, and Donnelly is counting on junior forward Laura Rothchild to add offensive punch. Two others who will contribute are juniors Colleen Shea (D) and Margret Tsien (D/M). Donnelly, who returns eight players with starting experience, said the chemistry is better this season. "There's no 'I' on the team this year. They're all in it for the team," she said. Donnelly feels confident in her defense. "There's a lot of skill and potential," she said, and just hopes the offense can be as effective. "I'd like to go 6-3 in the county. That would be a real step up for us," said Donnelly, whose team also has a new Bermuda grass field. "But that will depend on our scoring."

Pub Date: 9/02/99

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