1993 All-Carroll County Field Hockey Team

November 22, 1993|By Bill Free

PLAYER OF THE YEAR

* Jill Ballard, North Carroll, junior, midfielder -- This multi-talented senior was the primary reason North Carroll allowed only two goals all season, said Panthers coach Denean Koontz. "Jill controls the field," said Koontz. "Hardly anybody ever got by her. She has great ball sense, great perception of the game and always knows where the ball is. She is just an outstanding athlete who can do everything." In addition to keeping opponents away from the North Carroll end of the field, Ballard scored three goals and had two assists and twice came within a judgment call of winning the state class 2A West regional final against Liberty with a goal. Ballard had two goals disallowed by infractions in that loss, 1-0, on strokes to Liberty, a setback that left the Panthers with a 11-2-1 record and no berth in the state semifinals. The only goals scored against Ballard and North Carroll this season were by Westminster in a 2-1 win over the Panthers. North Carroll played Key to a scoreless tie.

COACHES OF THE YEAR

* Sue Hooper and Brenda Baker, Westminster co-coaches -- The deans of field hockey coaches in the county turned in what just might be their greatest coaching performance ever this season. Coaches usually don't lose an entire starting team at the tough 4A level and come back with a 12-3 season and a berth in the state semifinals. Making their job even more incredible is the fact that their top players were considered not to match past Westminster greats. But Hooper (22 seasons at Westminster with a 239-55-12 record and four state titles) and Baker (11 seasons at Westminster with a 122-26-5 record and three state championships) soon turned those players into an aggressive team that was unbeaten through the first seven games of the season.

* Amber Bosley, North Carroll, junior, forward -- Bosley and Ballard sent chills through opponents all season long as the Panthers won the county championship by a half-game over Westminster and appeared to be strong enough to go all the way to a state 2A title before being stunned on strokes by Liberty in the 2A West semifinals. Bosley incurred a quad strain in that loss to Liberty but came back out on the field to play the second half and overtime. Bosley could not only play with pain, she had a quick stick, beat most people to the ball and had a hard drive. She scored eight goals and had three assists. When North Carroll coach Denean Koontz was asked which game was the best for Bosley this season, the coach responded: "All of them."

* Laura Burkhouse, North Carroll, senior, midfield -- It was easy for Burkhouse to get lost on a team with as much talent as the Panthers because she did a lot of the little things that don't get noticed. Burkhouse set up the offense with long hits, was an accomplished defensive player and never stopped working hard practice or a game. She was one of the tri-captains on a team that just might be the strongest squad in the school's history that did not make it to the state final four. North Carroll coach Denean Koontz said Burkhouse, in addition to her talents on the field, was an exceptional person off the field.

* Tracie DiDio, South Carroll, senior, midfield -- The only repeat first-team player, DiDio was a marked person everywhere she went on the field, and the constant double-teaming took its toll on her. DiDio was limited to five goals and four assists, after entering the season as the most celebrated player in the county. But she didn't have enough help from her teammates to burn the double- and triple-teams, making it a rather long season for DiDio and the Cavaliers (4-8). But South Carroll coach Stacy Stem said DiDio still flashed all her skills on occasion. "Her stickwork is phenomenal, she has fantastic speed, super skills, knows the game and made at least one big play every game," said Stem. "It was just that everybody was out to stop her. They felt if they stopped Tracie they would beat South Carroll." However, DiDio and South Carroll almost made it back to the regionals this season, losing out on the points tiebreaker system to Howard, which won two games in two days to make the regionals.

* Stacey Greene, Francis Scott Key, sophomore, forward -- Greene is one of those players all coaches dream about. She has super sprint speed (6.91 seconds in 50 meters), superb instincts on offense and defense and knows how to score. All those talents enable Greene to take over a game. She had 12 goals TTC and three assists for the state Class 1A champions and was credited by coach Mindi Wagner for playing a major defensive role in the 1-0 victory over Pocomoke in the state title game. "She instinctively cut off Pocomoke's link [Jodi Byrd]," said Wagner. "When I called timeout, I told Stacey she was just where she needed to be. They were triple-teaming her but she still played a major role in our victory."

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