Annapolis, Severna Park: many happy returns County powers not lacking in experience and strength 1993 high school girls lacrosse preview

March 25, 1993|By John Harris III and Tom Worgo | John Harris III and Tom Worgo,Contributing Writers

Annapolis Panthers

On paper, it's hard not to predict another banner season for the Annapolis girls lacrosse team.

The 11-4 regional finalist returns the county's leading scorer along with a host of All-County-caliber talent all over the field.

Cristi Samaras (first-team All-County attack) returns after a sensational sophomore year (74 goals, best in the county). Annapolis' second-, third-, fourth- and fifth-leading scorers return seniors Shannon Cordell, Lauren Feinstein, Nicole Deschamps and Heather Knutsen. Other offensive players are juniors Tammie Phipps and Katie Colegrove. Sophomores include Karen Hunt, Erika Knutsen and Laura Zimmerman.

Senior All-County performers Cory Samaras and Emily Chones, along with Inga Fredland, will anchor the Panthers' defense with their experience. Joining them on defense will be juniors Kara Zimmerman, Courtney Hackett and Christina Muir, and freshman Ali Krieger.

"The good thing about these girls is that a lot of them have been playing since they were as tall as lacrosse sticks," said first year coach Dave Gehrdes, who replaces three-year veteran Sue Chittim.

"Overall, I'd say we have a good blend of experience and youth, and we have an excellent corps of sophomores and freshmen."

Senior goalkeeper Kate Brew, who split time with the now-graduated second-team All-County performer Carrie Lewis, gives Gehrdes plenty of confidence to face the county's toughest offensive teams.

"We brought Kate off of the bench last year. We let Carrie play the first half of every game, then let Kate finish them. I think it gave her the experience she needs," said Gehrdes, who also coaches wrestling and boys soccer at the school.

The Panthers will be tested early, as they open with defending state champion Severna Park.

"Playing Severna Park in the first game of the season is a good way to find out what you have and what the best competition is like," Gehrdes said. "It's hard to say what we'll look like. Who knows how ready either team will be?"

Archbishop Spalding Cavaliers

The Cavaliers' program doesn't get much respect.

Much respect can't be expected after going 21-36 the past five seasons, including 6-11 last year. Spalding allowed an average of more than 10 goals, but lost four contests by one goal.

But fifth-year coach Mary Pat Bozel believes this could be the year teams start taking Spalding seriously because it has 10 returning starters.

"I don't think we have earned it [respect]," Bozel said. "The main goal is to gain respect back for the program. It's the first year we can go into some games without introducing new players in the lineup. I would like to give the kids an experience of winning."

Midfield and attack return an abundance of players. Midfield starters include seniors Megan O'Brien (23 goals, 15 assists), Lori Grimes, Suzanne Harris and junior Courtney Markowski. Newcomer Cara Tracey, a sophomore midfielder, is a potential starter.

Alice Matos (28 goals, nine assists) keys the attack. The senior will be relied upon heavily with the graduation of All-County performer Marie Jamison (57 goals, 22 assists). Juniors Katie O'Brien, Jennifer Sparks and Emily McManus bolster the midfield. Depth is provided by sophomore newcomer Jami Duffy, a potential starter.

"We have more balance in our scoring ability and our transition game will be smoother this year because of a strong midfield," Bozel said.

Arundel Wildcats

Christine Fellona, who takes over for Sue Licameli as coach, was a member of the 1988 4A-3A state championship Broadneck squad and played at Frostburg State.

"We [the coaching staff] try to do a lot of teaching here. I think this year's team is very receptive toward learning. There all very coachable, and they're very intense -- very easy to work with," said Fellona, who will have former Broadneck teammate Kim Kemmer as an assistant.

The Wildcats return several veterans from last year's 5-9 contingent, including seniors Kathy Brady (goalkeeper), Kathy Aucock (defense), Tee Holmes (defense), Julie Benoit (attack), Cecelia Beach (defense), Julie Harmon (attack) and Heather Sinclair (midfield).

Arundel also features three returning juniors (Leslie Knowles, Katie Hamberger and Barb Muller) and two sophomores (Tara Surlis and Nicole Roth). The attack and midfield figure to be a crucial part of the Wildcats' rebuilding process.

"I'm not sure what they were used to, but this year we're trying to get them to think more in terms of setting up plays," said Fellona. "We don't just want to run straight down the field. We'd rather run a ball-control offense and get everyone involved. I wouldn't say that defense is our weak point, but we definitely have to take more time to set up the offense."

Two new sophomores who will see a good bit of playing time are attack Michelle Hanie and defender Kristen Wolff.

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