Teams at a glance

THE BALTIMORE SUN

Annapolis Area Christian Eagles

1998 record: 14-2

Coach: Paul Brophy

Top players: Amy Hendricks, Sr., F; Ashley Finecey, Jr., D; Emily Boone, Jr., MF; Mary McCathran, Sr., D.

Outlook: Scoring 66 goals last season and allowing just 14, the Eagles rolled to their second straight Tri-State Soccer League title. A good part of the goal production returns in Hendricks, who racked up a county-high 31 goals and eight assists to earn league MVP honors. Brophy has questions in goal and depth, two strengths last season. The defense is set in front of whoever Brophy decides on in goal. Four of the eight varsity regulars returning played in back, led by Finecey at sweeper and senior leader McCathran. Boone will play a vital role at midfield.

Annapolis Panthers

1998 record: 5-7-2

Coach: Tom Cordts

Top players: Melissa Block, Sr., D; Sara Jurkowsky, Sr., MF; MaryBeth Simmons, Sr., MF; Jeanine Wicklein, Sr., D; Jill VanDergrift, Sr., MF; Sarah Martin, Sr., MF.

Outlook: Relying on a returning nucleus of seven seniors to go with some talented juniors, the Panthers hope to improve on their five-win season in 1998. A more consistent offense is a necessity with a partly new defense needing time to settle in. That's where speedy juniors Kristy Dirks and Meghan McDonough come into play. They should get plenty of scoring chances with most of the distribution coming from Jurkowsky and Simmons. Cordts said there is depth at midfield, which will bode well in his system that relies on constant pressure. Block, fast to the ball with a good touch, starts her second season at sweeper on a defense that has two new starting fullbacks.

Archbishop Spalding Cavaliers

1998 record: 11-11

Coach: Bob Greeno

Players: Yasmin Alter, Sr., G/F; Shelley Sullivan, Sr., F; Kellie Schiavone, Jr., D/F; Rachel Tansey, Sr., D; Katrina Butner, Jr., MF; Jackie Sinnett, Jr.,. D/MF.

Outlook: The Cavaliers made significant strides in Greeno's first season last fall, winning seven more games than the year before. Strong starting points are at opposite ends of the field in Sullivan and Alter. Sullivan (22 goals in 1998) runs onto a ball well and is a finisher. Alter is an agile keeper who isn't afraid to leave her line. Depth is a concern at midfield where the Cavaliers lost standout Amy Campion to graduation. Sinnett, a transfer from Maine, and Butner will help solidify the area. Schiavone is solid at sweeper, and senior stopper Rachel Tansey returns from a knee injury. The Cavs have 10 sophomores, including Katy Owings, who may see time in goal to get Alter's speed and athleticism up front.

Arundel Wildcats

1998 record: 11-6

Coach: Tom Degner

Top players: Abria Queen, Sr., F; Kristan Blunt, Sr., D; Stephanie Battista, Sr., D; Denise Casey, Jr., F; Nichole Snyder, Jr., MF; Rachel Moreland, So., A.

Outlook: The 1999 version will be largely different from recent years, when the Wildcats overwhelmed teams with endless firepower led by graduated All-Metro standout Kelly Jordan. Degner has been pleased with what he's seen so far from a young group that is having fun and arriving as a team. Five starters return. Queen plays the lead. Last season, she earned first-team All-County honors after contributing eight goals and nine assists. This season, she will take on more responsibility as the link between the midfield and forwards. Blunt provides plenty of speed and a good command of the defense in her third season at sweeper. Casey and Moreland will run up front with Queen while sophomores Casey Russell and Sara Adcock join Snyder at midfield.

Broadneck Bruins

1998 record: 4-9-2

Coach: Jennifer Sweeney

Top players: Rachel Shuck, Sr., MF; Kelli Southard, So., MF; Desi Colon, Fr. MF; Tiffany Steinmark, Sr., MF; Stephanie Jones, So., F; Tiffany Limbacher, Sr., D; Bryn Weller, Sr., F; Lori Southard, So., G.

Outlook: Sweeney would like to see her Bruins pick up where they left off last fall, winning the Class 3A East region with three straight wins despite losing all but one regular-season game. With 13 players back -- 12 who started at one time or another last fall -- they shouldn't have to wait until the postseason to collect more wins. Sweeney is counting on her midfield to control games with Shuck the mainstay joined by Steinmark, a transfer from Colorado, and plenty of youth. Jones was brought up to varsity early in the season last fall and finished as the team's leading scorer. Lori Southard played big in goal during the playoff run, including a 12-save performance in a 3-0 shutout win against county foe Northeast in the region final.

Chesapeake Cougars

1998 record: 10-4

Coach: Jerry McBee

Top players: Lindsay Ries, Sr., D; Jaime Kittle, Sr., MF; Danielle Dlugokeski, Sr., D; Veronica Syford, Jr., MF.

Outlook: What isn't new at Chesapeake? Ries. The Cougars standout sweeper is the only starter back from last year's senior-dominated group that won 10 games. Also gone is veteran coach Lin Sullivan, who earned Coach of the Year honors in 1997. McBee brings plenty of coaching experience, including seven years with the JV. The new nucleus is learning as it goes, and he plans to substitute freely to find the right mix. Ries, a first-team All-County performer as a sophomore, and the Cougars defense will try to keep games close while an identity on offense emerges. Kittle also brings some varsity experience at center midfield with Syford another important link.

Glen Burnie Gophers

1998 record: 3-7-1

Coach: Ava Tasker

Top players: Kelly Nangle, Jr. MF; Tina Willis, So. F; Christina Bounelis, Jr., D; Kelly Warner, Sr., G; Jen Moody, Sr., D; Courtney Matthews, Jr., D.

Outlook: Tasker, in her second season, found plenty of positives to build on from last fall. She said her Gophers have a much better understanding of the tactics as they add more strategy in their game plan. Setting up triangles for a short passing game in the middle and diagonal runs without the ball up front should help the Gophers improve on their possession game. The team's strength is through the middle with Bounelis at sweeper; Willis at stopper; and Nangle the target at center midfield. Tasker has also stressed conditioning and wants her Gophers to play an aggressive game with confidence.

Meade Mustangs

1998 record: 2-12

Coach: Becky Rafter

Top players: Morgan Gunn, Sr., MF/F; Josie Owens, Sr., D/MF; Dawn Brandt, Sr., D; Rachel Jennings, Sr., MF/F; Kristen Clutz, Sr., D/MF; Amanda Cain, Sr., MF.

Outlook: Rafter, a Meade alumna and University of Maryland grad, is the fourth coach in four years at Fort Meade. Her long-term goal is developing a winning attitude, and she believes there's a solid corps of upperclassmen to get things headed in the right direction. A lot of experimenting has taken place in the early going with Rafter looking for the right mix of players. She is stressing defense first and said practices have been competitive. Joining the senior class are three juniors -- Kate Grant, Lindsey Harris and Erin Owens -- who will see time on defense and at midfield. Freshmen Tiffany Parker and Samantha Phipps are vying to be goalkeeper.

North County Knights

1998 record: 4-10

Coach: Cara Joyce

Top players: Mari Butera, Sr., M; Miranda Cole, Sr., D; Wendy Petryszak, Sr., F; Heather Petryszak, Jr., M; Linda Parks, Sr., D; Caitlin Burns, Jr., G; Shannon Cofiell, Jr., D.

Outlook: Expectations are high in Ferndale with the Knights returning all 11 starters from last year's team. A good chunk of the roster consists of players from the school's outstanding softball team, and Joyce was pleased to see the focus on soccer from the start of camp. Scrappy play comes from Burns in goal and Cole at sweeper to highlight a defense that returns intact. The strength of the lineup continues through the middle with Wendy Petryszak at stopper behind sister, Heather, who will be the go-to player at center midfield. Joyce is pushing for a return to the .500 level and expects to see her Knights competitive in every game.

Northeast Eagles

1998 record: 11-6

Coach: Charles Parks

Top players: Kim Blotzer, Sr., F; Ashley Anastase, Sr., D; Erin Gray, Jr., F; Katie King, Sr., D/MF; Erin McGeeney, Jr., D; Jen Stylc, Sr., D; Karen Kotofski, Jr., F.

Outlook: The Eagles were the surprise of the county last fall, going from 4-10 in 1997 to win 11 games. Parks, who earned Coach of the Year honors for leading the turn-around, originally wasn't planning to be back because of other work obligations but is able to return to further build on last year's success. Plenty of talent is back with him, led by Kotofski (10 goals) and Blotzer up front; a balanced, junior-dominated midfield and a cohesive defensive unit led by sweeper Stylc. Gray has looked impressive in camp at midfield, and freshman Brittany Milliken could pay immediate dividends up front. Junior Rachel Herrick and senior Jen Helms will handle the goalkeeping.

Old Mill Patriots

1998 record: 9-6

Coach: Bruce Sponsler

Top players: Heather Segraves, Sr., MF; Anne Hosey, Sr., MF; Ellen Sroka, Jr., D; Jenny Hines, Jr., D; Laura Shores, Sr., MF; Elizabeth Corbett, Jr., D; April Zebron, Jr., F; Laura Maltagliati, Jr., M.

Outlook: With only three seniors, Sponsler is doing more teaching and has put emphasis on conditioning. The 14-year coach has been encouraged with the enthusiasm he's seen. After the last eight years with All-State strikers Michelle Salmon (1994 grad) and Kristin English (1999 grad) scoring on a regular basis, Sponsler doesn't have a proven finisher. He'll run a number of young players in and out up front. Co-captains Hosey and Segraves bring game sense, and their leadership will be vital. A young defense is built around Hines at sweeper. Assistant coach Vern Hines has been working hard with sophomore goalie Joanie Herget.

St. Mary's Saints

1998 record: 10-10-1

Coach: Jerry Tobin

Top players: Kelly Coppedge, Sr., MF; Melissa Raszewski, Sr., D; Athena Gramates, Jr., D; Melissa Anderson, Jr., M/F; Kelly Hammond, So., F; Kerie Sample, So., F.

Outlook: An otherwise average season was rescued last fall when the Saints made a strong run through the Catholic League playoffs that included a 3-2 overtime win against then No. 1-ranked John Carroll. And while the young Saints didn't complete the task, losing to McDonogh in the championship game, the valuable lesson of team play was learned and Tobin believes that will carry over into this season. Coppedge is the leader of a young group that has a wealth of talent everywhere. Tobin has a well-skilled team with a bit of blue-collar to mix it up.

Severn Admirals

1998 record: 7-8-2

Coach: Jeff Edwards

Top players: Kerry Anderson, Sr., D; Alison Mitchell, Sr., MF/S; Nikita Wilson, Sr., F; Lindsey Biles, Jr., MF; Catelyn Voigt, Jr., D.

Outlook: A couple of two- and three-year starters join four-year sweeper Anderson to give the Admirals a veteran nucleus that Edwards believes will raise its level of play from last year's near .500 season. The team's strength is clearly on defense, where Anderson's leadership and steady play is counted on heavily. Voigt and newcomer Lindsey Bowers further bolster the unit. Edwards is looking at a sophomore and freshman to take over in goal. Biles, in her third season, will try to control the flow at center midfield. The big question is: Who will score? Mitchell, Wilson and newcomer Monica Brower, coming to Severn from Kuwait, could all answer the question.

Severna Park Falcons

1997 record: 18-2

Coach: Chuck Seivert

Top players: Holly Noga, Sr., F; Meg Miller, Sr., M; Kerry York, Jr., G; Lindsey Nauman, Sr., D; Bre Benten, Sr., F; Jen Cielewich, Sr., F; Allison Dooley, Jr., D; Erin Dubina, So., F; Lauren Mitchell, So., MF.

Outlook: Seivert said his hungry group is "looking forward to doing better than last year," which can mean only one thing -- a Class 4A state title. The Falcons were a half away from the state title last fall before a controversial second half against Wootton resulted in a stunning 2-1 loss. Seivert has 16 players back, giving the Falcons the talent, depth and incentive to make amends. Noga teamed with Dubina to score 33 goals last fall. Miller and Mitchell lead a deep midfield that will chase down every ball. York, a first-team All-County goalie, has one of the state's finest marking back in Nauman. One concern going in was at sweeper, but Dooley has looked impressive.

South River Seahawks

1998 record: 11-4-2

Coach: Lou Schrumm

Top players: Angie Beckett, Sr., M; Nancy Tucker, Sr., MF/F; Lindsey Roche, Jr., F; Lauren McKeever, Jr., D; Erin Johnson, Sr., G; Abby Johnson, Sr., D/MF; Jessica Beard, Sr., D; Danielle Hoban, Sr., D.

Outlook: Schrumm is the Seahawks' third coach in three years, but expectations remain the same -- high. The Seahawks have reached the state tournament three straight years, sharing two crowns. The program's JV coach the past three seasons, Schrumm knows all about his personnel, which should make for a smooth transition. He said a solid senior group has the skills and heart needed for a successful campaign. Beckett, a wing midfielder in past years, will take center stage at midfield. Tucker brings speed and can finish along with Roche. Schrumm is a strong believer that defense wins games, and he has a solid group to do just that. McKeever returns from a broken foot to anchor the defense with Johnson often dazzling in goal.

Southern Bulldogs

1998 record: 2-9

Coach: John Sis

Top players: Tiffany Shaw, Sr., MF; Kristina Llanes, Sr., D; Kristin Thomas, Jr., D; Holly Sis, Jr., M; Tami O'Neill, Sr., F; Caroline Gross, Jr., F; Colleen Welch, Jr., G.

Outlook: The future looks brighter with feeder programs churning out 20 freshmen this fall after just three came out for the team last season. The Bulldogs are growing impatient in constant rebuilding mode and want to start winning now. With that in mind, they're going on the offensive with three playing up front and four midfielders, applying constant pressure on the ball. Holly Sis is the leading scorer back with six goals and four assists, Gross (four goals, two assists) also showed she can put the ball in the net and Shaw is a mainstay at midfield. Three freshmen -- Kimi Kann, Jen Browning and Nikki Forester -- will bolster the attack. Welch returns in goal with Thomas in the middle and Llanes an anchor at right fullback.

Pub Date: 9/02/99

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