St. Mary's girls lacrosse coach Tina Lewnes says her team "leaned pretty heavily" on senior attack wing Randall Goldsborough this season. Defender Kristine Manning says the Saints used Goldsborough "as a crutch" during the year.
And this is a player who didn't even make the All-County first or second team as a junior.
One year later, Goldsborough is coming off a 52-goal, 20-assist season and selection as the Anne Arundel County Sun's Girls Lacrosse Player of the Year.
South River's Paula Tobin, who led the Seahawks to their first playoff appearance since 1987, was chosen Girls Lacrosse Coach of the Year.
Goldsborough developed into an excellent support system for the Saints -- something she never figured would happen, even after scoring 25 goals last season.
"When we were down in any game or needed to be picked up, she would be there," Manning said. "She would go get a goal or do something for us. We always knew we could look to her. It didn't seem like that big a deal for her."
It was a big deal to the Saints, who won 12 games and were ranked No. 7 in the metro area.
Goldsborough credits an an improved shot, aimed low and at the corners, for her prolific scoring.
"In practice, I tried a lot of different shots. I found one that worked," said Goldsborough, who netted a goal in the Lacrosse for Leukemia all-star game earlier this month. She was chosen to play in the Hall of Fame Lacrosse Classic on Saturday at Johns Hopkins University.
"I started using the shot, and it got my confidence up. And the season went on from there. I never thought I could score 52 goals in one season, though. It just happened," she said.
Goldsborough carried the added burden of having already accepted a lacrosse scholarship to the University of Maryland last November after gaining some notoriety by leading her team to the championship of a 3-on-3 tournament at College Park.
Her production against Southern and Severna Park this season spoke volumes about her future in the sport. Facing two perennial playoff teams -- the Falcons recently won their sixth straight Class 4A-3A state championship, while Southern reached the 2A-1A state semifinals -- Goldsborough totaled 16 goals in a pair of close losses.
"She really dominated our game," said Severna Park coach Carin Peterson, who watched the 5-foot-6 redhead score seven goals and assist on another in the Falcons' 17-13 win.
"The kid's an athlete, just an outstanding athlete," Peterson said.
Goldsborough did more than just score this season.
"She's definitely an all-around team player," Lewnes said. "If the need was there for more defense, Randall would go down and help. If someone needed a double-team, she was there for that. )) She played the whole field for us."
One rival coach who didn't have to worry about Goldsborough this season was Tobin. Her team's game against the Saints, scheduled for May 6, was canceled because it would have taken place one day after the cutoff date for regular-season contests.
By then, the Seahawks stood at 8-3 going into their Class 4A-3A Region IV semifinal game at Annapolis. But with injuries to midfielder Peggy Schreiber and attacker Tiffany Eschabacker, and a rainstorm that delayed the start for more than an hour, "the kids just came apart," Tobin said.
But even a 13-4 loss to the Panthers didn't leave Tobin with many regrets. As she had hoped, the season's defeats were confined to the league's three powers -- Annapolis (twice), Severna Park and Broadneck.
"And this year, we started winning the harder games, the ones we weren't expected to win," she said.
The Seahawks rallied from a four-goal deficit to beat Old Mill, 8-7, in late March. And a couple of weeks later, they broke a 12-12 tie in the last five minutes to defeat Chesapeake, 15-13.
"Those were the kind of games that we lost a year ago," said Tobin, who assisted Jim Shuck the past three seasons. "When I saw that, I thought maybe there was a chance here for us to make the playoffs.
"I always knew this team had a lot of talent. It was just a question of pulling together and working hard enough to get there."
Tobin saw the need for more discipline, something her players had to adjust to quickly.
"When she got fed up with us during practice, that's when we did well in games," said senior attacker Kristy Moltz.
Tobin said, "I tried to bring a different aspect into the girls program. I'm not as laid back. I demanded certain things from DTC the players as athletes. They knew if a player broke the rules or didn't meet what I proposed to them, I wouldn't stand for it. And yet, I still wanted them to have the fun and enjoyment.
"There's still a lot of work to be done, but we're on our way."
All-County Girls Lacrosse Teams
Player .. .. .. .. .. ..School .. .. Year ..Position
Randall Goldsborough .. St. Mary's ..senior attack
Cristi Samaras .. .. .. Annapolis .. soph. .attack
Kristy Moltz .. .. .. ..South River .senior attack
Liz Warfield .. .. .. ..Severna Park junior attack