Roberts on track in 3 sports Senior shines in soccer, lacrosse ATHLETES OF THE YEAR

June 15, 1993|By Roch Eric Kubatko | Roch Eric Kubatko,Staff Writer

Stephanie Roberts was expected to be a major contributor to Severna Park's soccer and lacrosse teams during her senior year. And it didn't come as much of a surprise that she was named Anne Arundel County's top performer in both sports.

But not everything went according to plan for Roberts this year. She joined the Falcons' indoor track team this winter with the intent to stay in shape before lacrosse season. Nothing more.

Who thought she would end up dominating yet another sport?

Competing in the hurdles, high jump, 55-meter -- and 300 run, Roberts finished as Severna Park's leading point producer. She even tied with North County's Kenda Johnson for first place in the 300 run in the region championship with a time of 44.5 seconds.

"She's been an unbelievable athlete for us," athletic director Andy Borland said of Roberts, The Baltimore Sun's Female Athlete of the Year for Anne Arundel County.

"She's the kind of kid that just doesn't know how to back off. She just goes 100 miles an hour. That's why she's so good."

In the fall, Roberts led Severna Park's soccer team in scoring for the second straight year, with 22 goals and six assists. Playing striker, she developed a knack for coming through in the clutch.

Roberts scored twice during a regular-season matchup with No. 3 Chesapeake that ended in a 2-2 tie. Her second goal came with 1 minute, 30 seconds left in regulation, forcing two 10-minute overtimes.

In typical Roberts fashion, she used her blazing speed to race past a couple of defenders, and fired a shot into the net.

"That ball was hit so hard. I mean, it was a rocket," said Cougars coach Lin Sullivan.

Old Mill, another third-ranked team, also was victimized by Roberts this season. She scored twice and assisted on a third goal in the first half, and Severna Park coasted to a 5-1 victory over the previously unbeaten Patriots.

Coach Bruce Sponsler tried marking Roberts with two different players, but nothing worked. "I love it when people mark me. It makes me play harder," she said.

Then came the shootout with Old Mill in the 3A-4A, Region II semifinals, when Roberts scored the game-winner in Severna Park's 3-2 victory. She also gave the Falcons a quick 1-0 lead in the 3A-4A state semifinals against Centennial by gathering a pass from Amy Carnaggio in the middle of the field, cutting to her left and beating fallen goalkeeper Laura Bradburn. But Centennial won, 3-1.

"She really became mentally tough," said Severna Park coach Joyce Stefancik. "She knew the other team was going to mark her, and it didn't bother her. Even at times when people got pretty rough with her, she took it and she still came through."

She continued that trend as a defensive wing on the lacrosse team, leading Severna Park to its seventh consecutive 3A-4A title.

Named as The Baltimore Sun's All-Metro Player of the Year, Roberts scored 24 goals and eight assists, and became one of the area's top defenders after switching from attack wing. She was chosen as a United States Women's Lacrosse Association All-American.

As she did in the fall, Roberts always shined when the Falcons needed her most.

She scored four goals in Severna Park's closest game of the season, a 12-11 win over Broadneck.

In a 14-6 victory over South Carroll in the 3A-4A state-championship game, Roberts had two goals and one assist, and swung the momentum after the Cavaliers had taken three early leads.

"When she had the ball, it was tough for us to do anything," said South Carroll coach Stacy Stem.

Roberts said, "I felt like I had to take charge."

She always could be counted on to do that, both offensively and defensively.

Coach Carin Peterson called the 5-foot-7 Roberts "a true lacrosse player."

"She's a very unselfish player," said assistant coach Elaine Robertson. "This year alone, I think she's just grown tremendously. She really came through as a leader, both as a person and as a player."

Roberts will attend Loyola College, where she will be reunited with her sister, Gina.

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