1999 All-Baltimore City/County Field Hockey Teams; High schools

THE BALTIMORE SUN

Player of the Year

Jen Ahn, Bryn Mawr, senior, forward: The key player on the No. 1 team, Ahn excelled in all facets of the game. She moved from midfield to forward this season and led the Mawrtians (23-1) to the first Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland A Division championship. Although she scored 10 goals and had five assists, her ability to control the ball, maneuver through traffic and find the open spaces proved more vital to the Mawrtians' success. Her excellent field vision, anticipation and passing skills allowed her to set up many scoring opportunities with the pass that, a pass or two later, led to a shot. The ultimate team player yet a standout on a team bursting with talent, Ahn also could take over the attack when she needed to. She scored both goals, including one on a penalty stroke, in a 2-0 IAAM semifinal win over Roland Park to avenge the Mawrtians' only loss of the season. "She has been a steady, consistent force throughout the season," said Bryn Mawr coach Jeanette Budzik. "You knew she was going to produce or make a contribution in every game; she was going to have a major impact." In the season's first week, she earned co-MVP honors as the Mawrtians won the River Hill Tournament. Ahn, the only non-senior on last year's All-Metro first team, is a two-time All-State first-teamer. She is playing this week for Team Maryland at the U.S. Field Hockey Association's annual National Festival in Palm Beach, Fla. An A student and a Maryland Distinguished Scholar finalist, Ahn plans to play Division I field hockey next year.

Coach of the Year

Jeanette Budzik, Bryn Mawr: Budzik faced a challenge this season that most coaches would love -- keeping the area's most talented team primed to live up to its potential. That's not as easy as it may sound. The pressure of being a preseason No. 1 combined with power struggles that can break out among top-notch players have tripped many talented teams -- but not Budzik's. She helped the Mawrtians face the pressure and retain a team-oriented approach. There were no power struggles. "Every athlete needs to feel valuable, whether they're a starter or a sub," said Budzik. "I try to instill in them that if any team is to be successful at all, it has to be a total effort from everyone. The starters wouldn't be as good as they are without everyone contributing." Even when the Mawrtians were upset 1-0 by Roland Park, they didn't let the slip ruin their season. The Mawrtians won their last seven games, beat Roland Park in the semifinal and capped off the season with the IAAM A Division title in a 2-1 victory over No. 3 St. Paul's. The Mawrtians (23-1) finished right where they started -- No. 1. "It was such a good feeling to know that they could be on top, have that stumble, and be able to go back and refocus and finish it off like you knew they could -- and like everyone knew they could," said Budzik, whose career record improved to 141-29-40 in 15 seasons with the Mawrtians. In the last four years, she has guided Bryn Mawr to the private-school league's title game three times with two outright crowns and one shared.

The first team

Molly Ahearn, St. Paul's, sophomore, defense: A determined, aggressive center back, Ahearn bolstered a rebuilding defense as the Gators (12-3-1) reached the IAAM championship and finished with the No. 3 ranking. She led a unit that allowed just 11 goals and finished with eight shutouts. Fearless and persistent, Ahearn used speed and stickwork to win balls one-on-one, and she could dominate in the circle. She also made three saves.

Sarah Barrett, Garrison Forest, senior, defense: Barrett anchored a defense that allowed just eight goals in 19 games. A steady back for the No. 6 Grizzlies (10-4-5), she excelled at making the tackle in the open field. Her ability to move the ball and dodge opponents made her a transition catalyst. With the ball, she rarely failed to deliver it to the attack. Barrett was named first-team All-State.

Elaine Belitsos, St. Paul's, junior, forward: Belitsos moved from link to the line this year and enjoyed a breakout season. Quick to the ball with good stick skills, she used her explosive speed to score many of her 10 goals. However, she often looked to distribute, contributing six assists and providing a strong one-two punch with teammate Jenny Landsman. A second-team All-State selection, Belitsos is a member of Team Maryland.

Erin Coberth, Catonsville, senior, midfield: Baltimore County's top player, Coberth controlled the midfield for the county champion and No. 11 Comets (14-2). Her combination of stickwork, agility and field vision made her a top-notch distributor and the catalyst on transition. Coberth, who rebounded from a torn anterior-cruciate ligament at the end of last season, scored three times and has two assists. She is honorable-mention All-State.

Catie Corbin, Garrison Forest, senior, goalie: The Grizzlies' only goalie the past three years, Corbin set a school record for shutouts this fall with 13 and finished her career with 35 shutouts in 49 games. This season, she posted a 92 percent save rate, allowing just eight goals against 100 shots on goal. Quick and able to read the offense, Corbin excelled one-on-one and proved adept at recovering.

Katie Coyne, Bryn Mawr, senior, goalie: A second-team All-Metro pick last year, Coyne allowed only three goals and had 14 shutouts. She finished the season with a 96 percent save rate, stopping 69 of 72 shots on goal. In her two-year Mawrtians career, Coyne gave up just seven goals and recorded 32 shutouts. With outstanding quickness, she excelled at recovering quickly. In the IAAM final, she made four game-saving stops. The first-team All-State pick will attend Princeton and plans to play lacrosse and field hockey.

Caroline Cox, Garrison Forest, senior, forward: A smooth, front-line player, Cox emerged as the Grizzlies' top scoring threat. Although she was primarily a feeder early in the season, she ended up contributing to a third of the Grizzlies' goals with six goals and four assists. Excellent in one-on-one situations, Cox used speed and stickwork to make things happen whether on the fast break or on set plays. The honorable-mention All-State pick is playing for Team Maryland.

Carey Fetting-Smith, Bryn Mawr, junior, midfield: One of the most skilled players around, Fetting-Smith demonstrated exceptional stickwork, anticipation and passing skills. She contributed six goals and nine assists. A second-team All-Metro pick last year, a two-time junior Olympian and Under-16 national team player, she was one of only six players selected to the USFHA's A camp, the pool from which the national teams are chosen. A first-team All-State pick, she is playing at the Hockey Festival with a Pennsylvania club team.

Allison Higgins, Roland Park, junior, forward: A second-team All-Metro player last year, the left inner scored the big goals in the big games, including the penalty stroke that beat No. 1 Bryn Mawr during the regular season. She led the No. 4 Reds (12-4-3) with 14 goals and six assists. A finesse player with good speed and stickwork, she combined her finishing skills with equally deft ability to move the ball down field and set up her teammates. A member of Team Maryland, she was named first-team All-State.

Shannon Kron, Maryvale, senior, forward: A finesse player with plenty of speed and endurance, Kron was the Lions' offensive spark. The left wing scored 11 goals and had three assists. Quick to the ball and strong on the interchange, Kron could control the ball with her stickwork and then make things happen with smart passing. A leader by example, she was named honorable-mention All-State.

Jenny Landsman, St. Paul's, senior, forward: The most explosive player on the first team, Landsman combined speed and excellent stick skills to be a constant break-away threat. An All-Metro second teamer last year, Landsman led her team with 14 goals and nine assists. She scored the Gators' only goal in the IAAM title game and had four game-winning goals. A first-team All-State selection, she is playing for Team Maryland and has committed to play hockey next year at Virginia.

Courtney Shay, Bryn Mawr, senior, defense: The top team's top defender, Shay led a stingy unit that allowed just seven goals and notched 16 shutouts. No team scored more than once against the Mawrtians. At left halfback, Shay showed excellent stick skills and ability to move the ball down field. Strong at block tackles and tough to beat on the break, she often brought the ball out of the defense to set the transition moving. She is playing for Team Maryland.

Kelsey Twist, Roland Park, junior, defense: A dominating player in the backfield, Twist combined explosive speed, aggressiveness and good field sense, emerging as one of the most difficult defenders to beat in the IAAM. At center back, she covered a lot of ground, intercepting passes and blocking up balls. She was also quick to recover when the ball got past her. Twist, an All-State first-teamer, also contributed two goals and two assists.

Miles Whitman, Bryn Mawr, senior, forward: One of the fastest players around, Whitman excelled at moving the ball down the wing and sending it to her teammates in the middle. She set up the game-winning goal in the IAAM tournament championship with a drive into the circle from the right wing. Tenacious and persistent, Whitman also could finish, leading the Mawrtians in scoring with 15 goals and seven assists.

Team selection

The Baltimore Sun 1999 All-Baltimore City/County field hockey team was selected by Katherine Dunn after consultation with The Sun staff and area coaches.

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