Krueger makes it to top by knocking people down Player of the Year 1993 ALL-HOWARD COUNTY BOYS LACROSSE TEAM

June 02, 1993|By Gary Lambrecht | Gary Lambrecht,Staff Writer

One way to measure midfielder Werner Krueger's contribution to Centennial's lacrosse program was to watch him in action in last week's Class 3A-4A state semifinals.

Centennial was trailing Broadneck by 10 goals in the second half of a game the Eagles had no hope of winning. But you couldn't tell that by the way the 5-foot-7, 160-pound Krueger tried to come up with ground balls by barreling into crowds of bigger Broadneck players.

"He's always been a really tough kid. He's played that way his whole career," Centennial coach Mike Siegert said of Krueger, The Baltimore Sun's Howard County Player of the Year.

Krueger ended a terrific, four-year varsity run by leading Centennial to its best season in 12 years. The Eagles went undefeated against the county to win the league championship, advanced to the state playoffs for the second straight year and wound up with a 14-2 record.

What didn't Krueger do for the Eagles?

He gave them scoring, as his 38 goals attest. He gave them great passing, evidenced by his 35 assists. Need a ground ball? Krueger was your man. He wound up with a school-record 204. Need an offensive spark? Krueger won 108 of 157 faceoffs, or 69 percent.

Krueger brought a mixture of work ethic and flash to the field consistently. One minute, he would score on a behind-the-back shot or make a spectacular pass to a teammate. The next minute Krueger would get his hands dirty in a battle for a ground ball. It wasn't uncommon to see him knock down bigger players and emerge with the ball.

"He's a coach's dream, a kid who does much more than any coach could ask him to do. He could have done more scoring this year if he wanted to, but his game is all about consistency and unselfishness," Siegert said.

"He's the total package of effort, ability, physical tools and the will ingness to work," he added. "This is not a kid you have to push at all. If all of our kids had his approach against Broadneck [which beat Centennial, 15-3], we might have won that game."

Krueger often came up big when Centennial needed him the most. During a crucial week of regular-season victories over Mount Hebron, Oakland Mills and Westminster, he combined for 12 goals and 11 assists. He followed that up by setting the school record for ground balls in a game, when he scooped 24 in a victory over Hammond.

As a freshman, Krueger was a tiny midfielder who showed such great field sense that Siegert could not demote him to the junior varsity. He became a starter that year. During the next three seasons, Krueger was a key part of Centennial's climb to the top of the league.

Many people noticed Krueger early. Before the season, he signed with Johns Hopkins.

"If you're lucky, kids like him come along occasionally in a career," Siegert said.

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