Mount Hebron remains team to beat HOWARD COUNTY GIRLS LACROSSE PREVIEW

March 21, 1994|By Katherine Dunn | Katherine Dunn,Sun Staff Writer

In Howard County girls lacrosse, everyone takes aim at Mount Hebron.

The Vikings have won five of six county titles, including the last three. In 42 league games, they have lost just once -- to Centennial in 1990.

In addition, the Vikings have won two consecutive state Class 1A-2A championships. Last year, coach P. J. Kesmodel dominated the competition with its second straight unbeaten season, but he graduated six, including All-Metro first teamers Lori Pasquantonio, Tierney Clark and goalie Ali True.

Centennial, which finished second last year, shows the potential to take a shot at Mount Hebron, but the Eagles are young.

They will have to mature quickly enough to be ready when they make their visit to Hebron on April 20.

Atholton Raiders

The Raiders return just three starters, but coach Carol Stevens said her youngsters are hungry and aggressive enough to make up for some of that inexperience.

The toughest thing to replace may be the scoring because two part-time starters, senior Lea Jones and junior Melissa Hill, return at the home positions. Junior Kelly Walsh could earn the third home spot.

At midfield, sophomore Sarah Bottomley will handle the draw at center. Juniors Paola Zbinden and Kelly Burke go at attack wing with senior Sandi Beaver and junior Kathryn Glasgow at defensive wing.

On line defense, the Raiders return senior Michelle Zick and junior Corrie Brian while junior Amrit Dhillon will join them in the starting lineup. Junior Jennifer Moran takes over in the goal.

A trio of reserve juniors, Havalah Nebochick (attack), Rachel Black (midfield) and Virginia Cheak (defense), also should see action.

In addition to finding new top guns on attack, the Raiders are working on improving their connections -- and not just in the midfield.

"The girls are getting to the point where they understand that you can't out-hustle somebody who can throw and catch the ball quickly," said Stevens. "They are more in tune with making sure they're throwing and catching more accurately."

The strength of the team appears to be on defense, where Stevens says Zick, Brian and Dhillon comprise one of the most solid defensive units she has had in a long time.

Centennial Eagles

Coach Gail Purcell can't contain her enthusiasm about this season, although she's trying to maintain a wait-and-see attitude.

"We're young and our experience is questionable," said Purcell, who will start three underclassmen. "It will take a while to jell, but the potential for this group is that we could be very good."

The Eagles certainly have a sound foundation, returning six starters from a 10-4 team that fell to South Carroll in the Class 3A-4A regional final. Both the veterans and the newcomers are skilled and versatile.

"The nice thing about this group is that we have some very strong athletes on the field," said Purcell. "They're hard workers and they work both ends of the field. They're not afraid to work offense and defense."

The heart of the experience is on defense, where three seniors return: Katrina Wolfe, Jamie Fontaine and goalkeeper Chantal Loomis. Senior Patty Lee and sophomore Tania Riismandel have the other starting spots.

At midfield, the Eagles have plenty of speed, led by returning junior Emily Ward at center. Senior Gretchen Heilman also returns while junior Chrissy Sfakianos and sophomore Liz Sturm will start, too.

The Eagles also bring back senior Jen Wienecke on line attack, where junior Shara Boonshaft and freshman Jen Simon will join her.

A solid corps of reserves will back up -- juniors Keri Jones and Andrea Allocco and sophomores Becca Armiger and Teresa Cabanilla on the field and junior Ellie Hunter in the goal.

Glenelg Gladiators

The Gladiators return just three starters, but coach Ginger Kincaid expects her youngsters to come along quickly.

"I think it will take a little bit to get going," said Kincaid, whose team finished fifth in the county last season. "It will take a few games to break in on the varsity level, but we're not lacking in talent. The young kids are going to be really good."

The senior returnees are concentrated in the middle of the field with Megan Lewis at third home, Katie Katzenberger at third man and Debbie West at defense wing.

Lewis makes the move from center so she can concentrate more on scoring. However, Kincaid said the Gladiators have a lot of offensive potential in the midfield, where even the defense wings will contribute some goals.

The rest of the midfield will include junior Julia Custer and sophomore Suzi Mundy at attack wing with sophomore Kelly Wasky at center. Freshman Camey Brian could start at the other defense wing. Senior Alison Mitchell and junior Kerrie Shumake should also see action.

Joining Lewis on attack will be senior Shannon Brunson and either junior Upkar Chara, junior Kristen Binck or sophomore Krista Mieklejohn.

Junior Natalee Green and sophomore Kristen Whitaker will round out the defense while sophomore Angel Farace takes over in the goal. Junior Melissa Bile will also see time on defense.

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