Severna Park appears headed back to the top Old Mill, Chesapeake, Broadneck to be strong, too 1993 high school girls soccer preview

September 08, 1993|By Doug Brown | Doug Brown,Staff Writer

It has been three years since Severna Park won a state championship, and that does not sit well with the Falcons. They won titles in 1988, '89 and '90, but lost in the semifinals last year.

"We're never happy unless we go all the way," said Joyce Stefancik, who, in her 15th year, is the dean of Anne Arundel County's girls soccer coaches.

No matter what, Severna Park again appears to be the top team in the county. Old Mill, Chesapeake and Broadneck also are likely to be strong.

Annapolis Panthers

Annapolis coach Rick King considers his bench a "mix of old and young." The bench, in his opinion, is the team's main strength.

"If every senior was out, we could fill the field with solid underclassmen," King said. "At the start of last season we had only one senior with a lot of playing time. Now, partly because some of our players went to spring and summer camps, the skill level of our bench players as well as our starters is up."

In posting a 5-7 record last year, Annapolis scored 11 goals, which King called "pretty good," although "about 20" would have been more like it.

"I thought we could finish at .500, but we lost a few close games," King said. "That's the key this year; we need to score more than we have in the past. I'd like to see 20 goals spread among five girls."

Almost all of the starters are back, including senior co-captains Kristina Muir, Sabrina Sander and goalkeeper Cristi Samaras. Other returnees include Jessie Kerr, Courtney Hackett, Dana Curran, Shaila Kulkarni, Emily Lowe, Mary Newman, Kirtsen Ostrom and Jamie Hennessey. Kulkarni is a forward and the reserve goalie.

Lowe, a junior midfielder, is the top returning scorer with five, prompting King to remark, "So you know we didn't score a lot." King is looking for Curran, a junior forward, to contribute goals, as well.

"With the talent we have, we can get the ball to Dana and Emily more," said King, who's in his 14th year of coaching. "This is Dana's third varsity season, and she has scored a few goals each year."

The Panthers' newcomers include Stephy Samaras, Amy Brew, Nikki Leroux, Shannon McDonnell, Angie Ault and Angie Marhefka.

Archbishop Spalding Cavaliers

Gino Drury, in his first year at Archbishop Spalding, inherits a team that finished 4-11. What inspires him is the talent in the freshman and sophomore classes.

"They had a dynamite freshman class last year and another this year," Drury said. "In another year or two, we'll be very competitive.

"There are a lot of girls in community programs in the county, and this increases the number of skilled players available in the ,, high schools. Schools that were getting one or two a year from these programs are now getting three or four. That makes a big difference, having kids come in with skills. That's how you build."

Drury labels senior forward Kari Thompson as "maybe the best all-around athlete on the team," adding that she has college potential.

"She has that fire in her belly," Drury said. "She wants to play."

Three sophomores are definite starters -- halfback Jen O'Neil and fullbacks Allison Tirdil and Mariso Tatique. Another halfback, senior Mary Babington, is "truly a player," Drury said. As a goalie, junior Nicki Trumpler "has the total package."

In assessing Spalding's strength, Drury said, "It's up the middle -- halfback, forward, goalie. I hope we can control the middle of the field. Of course, like most teams at this level, we need to work on skills, ball-handling and control."

Arundel Wildcats

Paul Yannuzzi, chairman of Arundel's science department, has coached a variety of sports in the county, including JV baseball and golf at Old Mill and JV and varsity softball at Severna Park.

Now he is in his first year as soccer coach at the high school level.

He begins with a team that went 6-6 last year and missed the playoffs.

"That was disappointing," Yannuzzi said. "They thought they had enough quality players to make the playoffs. They lost some close games at the end."

Starting Aug. 14, Yannuzzi conducted two-a-day workouts, leading him to two conclusions: The players are in shape, and they're coachable.

"A lot of them went to summer camps, so they're passing and handling the ball well," Yannuzzi said. "That's so beneficial. They're ahead in their understanding of the game."

Arundel's top player is Barb Muller, a senior forward adept at dribbling and handling the ball.

"I call her the Stan Stamenkovic of the team," Yannuzzi said, referring to the former Blast player who was a magician with the ball.

Junior sweeper Kim Kesselman anchors the defense and sophomore goalie Sara Brugger moves well and doesn't hesitate to dive for the ball in attempting to make a save. Shauna Donohue is a fixture at forward.

"We need to be more aggressive and score more," Yannuzzi said. "We sometimes do a lot of fancy passing, but don't finish by putting it in the goal."

The team has two goals: Post a winning record and advance to the playoffs. One thing's certain, Yannuzzi said: "No one can work any harder than these girls do."

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