Champ Fallston has competition this season High school girls lacrosse preview

March 28, 1993|By Katherine Dunn | Katherine Dunn,Staff Writer

Fallston has dominated Harford County girls lacrosse for th past five years, but this year, the Cougars are rebuilding. It might be time for someone else to rise to the top.

C. Milton Wright and Joppatowne return a lot of strength and either could give the Cougars a run for the title.

Still, the Cougars have a habit of reloading quickly, so no one is counting them out just yet.

"No one can beat Fallston," said C. Milton Wright coach Kathy Breymaier. "They always have a lot of talent. But my kids, that's all they want to do. I have to get them to take each game at a time. Last year, my team was very young and inexperienced. I was proud of how they came through the season. This year, we could give Fallston a run for their money."

So could Joppatowne, which tied the Mustangs for second place in the county last year. With a strong mix of talented seniors and sophomores, the Mariners travel to meet the five-time defending county champs on Tuesday. "That will be our big test," said Joppatowne coach Pam Reich, whose squad also plays Fallston a second time.

Another county team to watch is John Carroll, which moves into the Association of Independent Schools A Division. Although the competition is much tougher, the two-time B Division champs return enough talent to give the A teams a battle.

Aberdeen

Only three starters return to a team that finished fourth in the county last year.

The Eagles should be strongest down the middle with their returning starters, senior Sarah Loper at third home, junior Becky Mortus at center and senior Katie Magee at cover point. But there are so many holes to fill that this squad will have a tough time matching last year's 6-7 record.

"It's definitely a rebuilding year," said coach Ken Zorbach. "We only have one really good person on defense and our offense is full of people who have just filled in before. It's going to be a matter of how well they start to play together.

Three other returnees, senior attacker Cathy LaRuffa, junior midfielder Tanya Wetherall and junior defender Jen Burch have a jump on the competition coming up from JV and should win starting assignments.

A. J. Poper, a junior transfer from Edgewood, also could find a starting spot on defense. Senior Jeanne Zdon, junior Michele Chevannes and sophomores Mary Ishibashi and Jennifer Holliday also will see action on defense.

Juniors Loretta Anderson, Shannon Edie and Maria Nasidka and sophomore Melissa Bender will vie for time on attack.

Bel Air

After a 3-9 season, the Bobcats return most of their strength on offense. But they will have to score a lot of goals to make up for a rebuilding defense if they plan to improve on that record.

All-County attacker Lisa Thomas leads the returnees. A strong all-around player who led the team with 31 goals and 18 assists, Thomas could play anywhere down low or at midfield.

Two other seniors, Cathy Adams and Jen Emig, return to starting spots on attack while seniors Jen Jankowski and Renee Kuhn and juniors Amy Rafalski and Kelly Christ also should see action.

Senior Heather Lloyd is the lone returnee to the defense, but her twin, Melissa, also plays strong defense as the only returnee other than Thomas in the midfield.

"Our midfield is where we need to do some work," said coach CarolBarker. "That was our biggest weakness last year. We stopped the shots or intercepted the ball in the defense, but we couldn't seem to make the connections to get the ball up field to the offensive end."

Defensively, seniors Katie Levett, Kristen Romano and Laura Casey as well as junior Melissa Scharoun will see plenty of playing time.

C. Milton Wright

With nine starters back, the Mustangs return more experience than anyone else in the county.

If Breymaier can turn some of those talented athletes into aggressive, smart shooters, the Mustangs will be in the hunt for the county championship.

"Last year, we looked good running down the field, but all we did was shoot at the goalie. We have to place the ball," said Breymaier. "We need to get people I know can score and we haven't had that in a few years."

Topping Breymaier's list for promising scorers are seniors Amanda McCulloch and Julie Jakum. McCulloch, who can play anywhere, was a catalyst for the offense last year. Breymaier often had McCulloch mark a team's top scoring threat. But if her team couldn't get its offense working, Breymaier could count on McCulloch for a few goals.

Jakum, also a strong defender at center, will get more into the offense this year. Returning seniors Kim Dribnack and Sara Pokrywka also could score more.

Defensively, the Mustangs appear solid with All-County picks McCulloch and senior defense wing Debbie Keiser back. Senior Julie Smith and juniors Kristin Schrader and Willow Waldrop also return along with goalkeeper Carmen Kinard. Sophomore Kim Kalista will battle Kinard for the starting spot in the nets.

Edgewood

The Rams have won just two games the past two years, but first-year coach Michelle McGinley expects to do better.

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