Stem plugs South Carroll gaps, fills up win column Coach of the Year 1993 ALL-CARROLL COUNTY GIRLS LACROSSE TEAM

June 02, 1993|By Bill Free | Bill Free,Staff Writer

She fights for every little edge for her team, gives impassioned half-time speeches, persuades a sophomore to play in goal, leaps into a pile of jubilant players to celebrate a berth in the state 3A-4A championship game and sometimes refuses to lose.

This is what Stacy Stem is all about and what makes her one of the most successful two-sport coaches in the state.

In less than nine months, Stem has taken the South Carroll girls lacrosse team and the field hockey team to second-place finishes in the state.

Neither team was expected to even make the regionals.

But Stem is making believers out of players, fans and parents with an ability to motivate the modern high school athlete -- one who is sometimes more laid-back than her predecessor.

That is why Stem has been chosen The Baltimore Sun's 1993 Girls Lacrosse Coach of the Year in Carroll County.

Her journey to that honor began when she had to convince sophomore Erin Nauyalis she should be the team's goalie.

Nauyalis, like many of her teammates, wanted to play on attack. To which Stem replied, "Everybody can't play attack."

Stem won the battle with Nauyalis, who said: "Stacy gave me a guilt trip and I decided to play goal. She's so nice. I just didn't want to play goal at first because you're the one who is responsible if a goal is scored. That is a lot of pressure."

As the season progressed, Stem had Nauyalis enjoying the pressure.

When it was time to face three-time defending state champion Severna Park in the Class 3A-4A championship game, Nauyalis was the one who kept the Cavaliers from being embarrassed by making 14 saves in a 14-6 loss.

"Erin's our hero," said Stem.

After the crisis in goal was over, Stem had another facing her. Two starting defenders, Hilary Griffith and Alicia Sievert, went down with season-ending knee injuries and a third player was academically ineligible.

Stem had an answer for that problem, too.

She went down to her junior varsity and found the likes of freshman Allison Cain, who would score five goals in a 15-14 upset victory over previously unbeaten C. Milton Wright in the 3A-4A semifinals.

But the 10-6 Cavaliers struggled through the first nine games (4-5) before going on a six-game winning streak that gave them a shot against Severna Park.

Yes, everything Stem touched this season seemed to turn to gold.

"I opened my speech to the players at the beginning of the season by saying, 'I'll give you respect if you respect me,' " said Stem, 28.

Stem says her players may not be as good or as fast as many of their opponents but "they never give up. I love my kids and I hope they all feel they same about me. I'd do anything for them."

Stem guided South Carroll to the first state tournament appearance for any county girls lacrosse team and her team was ranked in The Baltimore Sun top 15 for the first time in the school's history.

That is some pretty heady stuff for a team that was predicted to finish third or fourth among four teams in Carroll County this season.

1993 TEAM

Name ............ School ......... Year ... Position

Patti Duffy.. ..S. Carroll.. .. ..Senior.. ..Attack

Kym Frey.. .. .. .Liberty.. .. .. Junior.. ..Attack

Tammy Giffi.. ...N. Carroll.. .. .Senior.. ..Attack

Chrissy Primavera. Liberty.. .. ..Senior.. ..Attack

Tracie DiDio.. ..S. Carroll.. .. .Junior...Midfield

Kara Hedges.. ...Westminster.. ...Senior.. Midfield

Megan Horneman.. ..Liberty .. .. .Junior...Midfield

Tinah Houck .. ..Westminster .. ..Senior...Midfield

Beth Richardson..Westminster.. ...Senior.. Midfield

Krista Centofanti..Liberty .. .. .Senior.. .Defense

Julie Manley.. .. S. Carroll.. ...Senior.. .Defense

Heather Mauritz.. Westminster.. ..Senior.. .Defense

Dani Fostik.. .. ...Liberty.. .. .Senior.. ..Goalie

Player of the Year: Kym Frey, Liberty

Coach of the Year: Stacy Stem, S. Carroll

Honorable Mention: Candice Blanchette, Allison Cain, Tricia Fleming, Erin Nauyalis, South Carroll; Kerry Adams, Debbi Bourke, Natalie Hannibal, Amie Rose, Liberty; Danielle Fisher, Anitha Naganna, Westminster; Laura Burkhouse, North Carroll.

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