1994 All-Carroll County Girls Lacrosse Team

May 31, 1994|By Bill Free

COACH OF THE YEAR

* Courtney Vaughn, Liberty -- This no-nonsense coach has built a girls lacrosse dynasty in Carroll County, winning five straight county titles and compiling a 66-26 record in seven seasons at Liberty. This season Vaughn took the Lions a step beyond their county domination with three convincing playoff victories (63-24 margin in goals) to reach the state 1A-2A championship game against powerful Loch Raven. Vaughn predicted before the season started that Liberty would be meeting Loch Raven for the title, but she obviously figured her team would give the Raiders a better game (19-7 loss). Moments after that setback, Vaughn said Loch Raven took Liberty out of its renowned transition game by slowing the ball down and running its offense. "That's how the game is played at the next level," she said. Vaughn will be out to take the Lions to that next level next season. Liberty is 29-3 over the past two seasons and will upgrade its schedule next season to prepare for the likes of Loch Raven (99-2 in past seven years).

FIRST TEAM AT A GLANCE

* Debbi Bourke, Liberty, Jr., midfield -- One of many Liberty players with top-notch speed, Bourke has the entire package to make her an exceptional player. If Bourke (5 feet 4) were a little taller, she might be unstoppable at any position. This junior can play attack, midfield and defense and makes things happen. "Debbi is small but plays big," said her coach, Vaughn. "She won't back down from anybody and knows just how far to give ground when defending a player. In the midfield she creates and on attack she could be a big-time scorer if we needed her." Bourke played attack as a sophomore before moving to defense and midfield this season, and she could be going back to attack next season when the Lions lose Nathalie Skovron, Megan Horneman and Kym Frey, who combined for 190 goals this season.

* Tracie DiDio, South Carroll, Sr., midfield -- One of the best athletes to play for South Carroll coach Stacy Stem, DiDio was a marked girl from the first day of the season to the last. She was double- and triple-teamed after leading the Cavaliers to the state 3A-4A girls lacrosse championship game last year. It took awhile for DiDio to adjust to all the pressure in lacrosse after facing the same kind of pressure in field hockey last fall. She came on to score 40 goals and hand out 15 assists and helped the Cavaliers (8-6) make the 3A West Regionals. Off the field, DiDio compiled a 4.0 grade-point average and received an academic scholarship to the University of Maryland, where she will play field hockey. "Tracie is the one you want to have the ball in a crucial situation," said Stem. "She has so much talent. It's incredible to watch her play."

* Carey Epler, Liberty, Jr., defense -- Two years ago, no one would have expected this girl to be making first team All-County. She started to play lacrosse in the ninth grade, but has improved immensely every day to become one of the top two defenders on a 16-2 team that was ranked as high as No. 5 in the metro area. Epler is very quick, good on ground balls, sees the ball well on opposing attackers and has surprising strength for her size (5 feet 3). Her coach, Vaughn, said Epler can "come out of nowhere to make a big defensive play."

* Kym Frey, Liberty, Sr., attack -- It's hard to imagine how a player can score 56 goals and also find time to hand out 59 assists. But Frey is one of those special high school players who thinks as much about passing as shooting. She is strong enough to beat defenders one-on-one and send a cannon shot into the net, clever enough to pass the ball just at the right moment and seems to see every open teammate. The amazing thing for Frey is that she had a better season this year statistically than last, when she was Carroll County Player of the Year, but couldn't win the award again because of the all-around super season of teammate Megan Horneman. Frey had 37 goals and 41 assists as a junior in 14 games. She most likely will attend Frostburg State and play lacrosse.

* Natalie Hannibal, Liberty, Jr., defense -- One of the fastest players on a team that thrived on speed, Hannibal was able to stay in the spotlight even though she played defense. It was impossible to overlook No. 13, who was constantly harassing the top offensive gun for the other team. Hannibal already has

established herself as the top defender to play at Liberty in the seven years the school has fielded a girls lacrosse team. She led the team in interceptions, was superb at playing denial defense and had a great field sense, according to her coach, Vaughn. Hannibal is considered a potential Division I college player.

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