Hammond's Samantha Andersch, one of the most highly recruited soccer players in county history, has added another prestigious award to her star-studded resume.
Parade magazine has picked her for its All-America team -- one of 29 female soccer players from 17 states. She was the only Maryland player selected.
This is the first year Parade has selected a girls team. Shane Dougherty of Fallston was picked for the boys team. Clint Peay (Oakland Mills), Todd Haskins (Howard) and Steve Sietsema (Howard) have made the team in previous years.
"It's quite an honor for her and says a lot about the quality of the entire Howard County program," Hammond coach Dave Guetler said.
Andersch has been recruited by schools from California to Florida, but has narrowed her list to N.C. State, Virginia, James Madison, Boston College and Maryland.
"Her stock probably went up another notch because of this award," Guetler said.
Andersch was a four-year starter for Hammond, in which time the team won two state championships and compiled a 47-9-2 record.
She scored 61 goals and had 48 assists for her career, including 19 goals and eight assists last fall.
She is also a two-time All-America selection by the National Coaches Association, a three-time All-Metro selection by The Baltimore Sun, and is the No. 1-ranked player in Maryland by the Maryland Association of Coaches of Soccer.
Andersch is a member of the U.S. under-19 regional team and will travel to England with the team for two weeks at Easter. She is also a member of the U.S. under-19 national pool.
For the past eight years she has played for the Columbia Crusaders, a club team that has been to the regional playoffs four times. That team has played in the Dallas Cup in Texas and the Orange Bowl in Miami, two top tournaments in the country.
The 18-year-old senior will study secondary education, and she has her eye set on coaching after college.
"I want to be involved in soccer for as long as I can," she said.
Andersch also plays for Hammond's defending state champion basketball team and has excelled at running distance events for Hammond's outdoor track team.
She is co-editor of the school yearbook and a member of the senior class council.