Player of the Year
Christina Restivo, Hereford: Without Restivo in the goal, the Bulls simply would not have their state Class 2A championship trophy. The senior goalie carried the No. 5 Bulls (12-3-3) through two playoff shootouts, including an upset of No. 1 Towson and made 13 saves to preserve at 1-1 tie with six-time defending champion Bethesda-Chevy Chase in the state final. A quick, athletic goalie who posted a 93 percent save rate and 14 shutouts, Restivo excelled in one-on-one situations. She did not allow a single goal against any of 13 penalty strokes she faced. "She's just been amazing," said Bulls coach Tammy Mundie. "She just fuels off pressure situations like that. She has become very settled and very focussed in her position." Restivo faced six strokes in regular-season games and seven in the playoffs -- three in the regional final win over Towson and four in the state semifinal against Centennial. Her aggressive style often had her all over the ground, doing anything she could to stop a goal. "She wants to be involved in the game. She doesn't want to sit back and wait," Mundie said. "She's on the ground a lot, forcing the issue to get into the game, but she's learned to recover and get up quickly." Involved in the United States Field Hockey Association's Olympic-development style Futures Program, Restivo played for Team Maryland at the National Hockey Festival in Palm Beach, Fla., last weekend.
Coach of the Year
Jeanette Budzik, Bryn Mawr: Even though the Mawrtians tied for the Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland A Conference championship with St. Paul's, this ranks as one of the most precious titles of all for Budzik. By mid-October, no one really expected the Mawrtians to be around at the end. In a 12-day skid, Bryn Mawr went four straight games without scoring and went 0-2-3, including a loss and two ties against unranked teams. After that, Budzik changed the Mawrtians' system from four forwards to three and added that extra player to the back. They did not lose another game. "That gave us an extra defender and more mobility, more freedom to play on the forward line," Budzik said. "When you're trying to mold a young team, you don't know what's going to work and, sometimes, it takes a while." The Mawrtians won eight straight games before tying No. 4 St. Paul's, 0-0, in the final. The title continued a remarkable run for the Mawrtians, who have won five straight private school championships -- three outright and two shared. "They're all unique, but this year, knowing -- and the kids knowing -- they were going to have to work hard to rebuild, was special." said Budzik, the 1999 All-Metro Coach of the Year. This fall's 14-4-5 finish boosts her career record to 177-33-45 with six titles in 17 years at Bryn Mawr.
Molly Ahearn, St. Paul's: The most dominating midfield presence in the area, the senior set the pace for the IAAM co-champions. She simply made things happen. Always attacking, the Futures veteran excelled at coming up with the ball and redistributing it in the midfield. Her game combined speed, stickwork, and great ball control with an intrinsic feel for the game. A first-team All-Metro pick and Team Maryland player in 2000, Ahearn signed early to play lacrosse at Georgetown, where she will also play field hockey.
Megan Burker, Bryn Mawr: A second-team All-City/County selection last year, the senior emerged as the central cog in a rebuilding team. Her leadership and versatility were keys behind the Mawrtians' recovery from a bumpy early season to become IAAM co-champions. Burker converted from sweeper to center midfielder this fall and controlled the transition game. She also contributed six goals and three assists. A Futures veteran and two-time Team Marylander, Burker signed early to play lacrosse at Stanford.
Erica Chan, Garrison Forest: The leading scorer for the No. 10 Grizzlies (12-4-3), the senior had 10 goals and one assist. A sure finisher, Chan provided leadership and motivation through word and deed. Her strong stickwork combined with poise and good field vision made Chan a threat in any situation. Even with so many goals, Chan remained a team player. The Futures veteran enhanced her own skills by using them to make other players look good whether putting a pass into the circle for someone else or backing someone up.
Claire Edelen, St. Paul's: Speed may have been the most noticeable part of the junior forward's game, but she had the skills to back it up. With her game sense, stickwork and ball control, Edelen proved nearly impossible to stop when carrying the ball down the wing. She then used a strong drive to nail the ball to the middle for her teammates to convert. If they couldn't score quickly, she could be in place in no time to divert a pass for a goal of her own. The Futures veteran had a team-high 10 assists and also contributed six goals.
Caroline Grumbine, Roland Park: The leading scorer for the No. 12 Reds (10-6-3), Grumbine combined a nose for the goal with fluent stick skills. The junior forward had an innate ability to be in the right place at the right time in scoring her six goals and seven assists. A three-year Futures player and Team Maryland member, Grumbine also proved adept at recovering the ball when it got away from the attack. Instrumental on offensive penalty corners, Grumbine hit the ball out and moved into position to score.
Kirsten Halle, Park: A repeat first team All-City/County selection, Halle did just about everything defensively. The junior back made five stick saves and played consistently strong in every game for the Bruins (7-7-2), who posted seven shutouts. Her stick skills and quickness complemented an innate ability to see the field and react well to every situation. She excelled at stripping the ball from an opponent and sparking the Bruins on transition. A leader by example, Halle also contributed two assists, one on a corner.
Emily Kolarik, Towson: A defensive-minded center midfielder, the senior played a pivotal role for the Baltimore County champion and No. 1-ranked Generals (15-1-2), whose only loss came in a penalty-stroke shootout against Hereford in the regional final. Kolarik's game brought together speed, quickness, agility, defensive skills, leadership ability and a keen knowledge of the game. The senior excelled at tackling and recovering and often jump-started the offense. She contributed three assists. A Futures veteran, Kolarik is a two-time Team Maryland player.
Hayley Mershon, Towson: The younger Mershon sister anchored a defense that allowed just two goals, posted 16 shutouts and suffered its only loss in a regional final shootout. Very little got past the junior back. Mershon often played on the left side and could take the opposition's speedy right wing out of the game. She had one of the best drives around as well as excellent defensive instincts. Mershon played key roles on offensive and defensive penalty corners. She scored all three of her goals on corners.
Whitney Mershon, Towson: Everything the Generals did revolved around Mershon in the midfield. Although she played on the left side, she seemed to be everywhere the ball was. Mershon proved a versatile player, combining skills and game sense with a strong competitive drive and never-ending hustle. The senior finished third on the team in scoring with six goals and five assists, but was even more important in her ability to spark transition. Able to block just about any ball and drive it cleanly, she also played key roles on defensive and offensive penalty corners.
Karrie Moore, Bryn Mawr: Moore made one of the most spectacular saves of the season against a high, looping deflection that she backpedaled to and batted over the cage to preserve a 1-0 win over Roland Park in the IAAM semifinals. She then made 11 saves in the final to preserve a 0-0 tie and a co-championship with St. Paul's. A Team Maryland selection, the senior notched 15 shutouts this season and allowed just seven goals. Moore has committed to Penn to play as a goalie -- in lacrosse.
Kinsey Morrison, Roland Park: In her second year as an All-City/County first-teamer, Morrison was the heart of a Reds defense that notched six shutouts. The senior proved difficult to get past and could jump-start the offense. She tackled back well and blocked the opposition's hits and passes. Her strong, accurate drives often switched fields and sent the Reds attacking down the side. Late in the season, Morrison moved up to center midfield, using her versatile skills to give her team more control and stability in the middle.
Jocelyn Paul, Towson: The junior right wing led a balanced offense that was so overwhelming it outscored the opposition 80-2. She topped the Generals' season scoring lists in all categories with 15 points on seven goals and eight assists. Lightening fast with excellent stick skills, Paul excelled at taking the ball down the wing and crossing it to her teammates in the middle. Her forte was assisting, but with her speed, she was always quick to get into the scoring action. Paul played for Team Maryland.
Allison Schindler, St. Paul's: The senior considered sitting out the field hockey season for surgery to repair a torn ankle ligament, but she decided against it. Good thing for the Gators. Schindler, a second-team All-City/County selection last fall, emerged as one of the top defenders in the IAAM. Her ability to control the ball and to cleanly drive it down field was one of the major reasons the Gators posted 12 shutouts and allowed just nine goals. Selected for Team Maryland, the Futures veteran skipped the trip to Florida so she could have that ankle surgery.
Sarah Tracey, Hereford: An attacking midfielder, Tracey controlled the Bulls' transition game. The junior excelled at establishing the pace and feeding other players to initiate the offense. Deceptively quick and sneaky with the ball, Tracey often outwitted opponents to maintain ball control, and she almost always came out of unsettled situations with the ball. She scored eight goals and had six assists. Two years ago, she was the first freshman ever on coach Tammy Mundie's varsity team. Involved in the Futures Program, Tracey also played for Team Maryland.