1994 All-carroll County Boys Lacrosse Team

June 01, 1994|By Glenn Graham

COACH OF THE YEAR

* Jeff Alisauckas, South Carroll -- The pressure was on. Everyone associated with Carroll County lacrosse knew what first-year coach Jeff Alisauckas was getting into. The Cavaliers under former coach Gene Brown had a string of seven county titles and eight region playoff appearances.

"There's pressure, I know I'm filling big shoes," is what Alisauckas said going into the season.

After opening the season with a 13-5 loss to Centennial followed by a 7-6 heart-breaker to Westminster -- South Carroll's first loss to the county rival Owls since 1986 -- the Cavaliers found themselves in unfamiliar territory at 0-2.

"I'm thinking new young coach, what are the players thinking," Alisauckas said after the season.

Alisauckas made some adjustments up front and the Cavaliers won their next five in a row before finishing the season 7-4. They also won their remaining five county games -- the last being a 12-11 come-from-behind overtime win against second-place Liberty to keep their streak of county titles intact. The Cavs didn't qualify for the region playoffs, however, missing the fourth seed by percentage points.

PLAYER OF THE YEAR

* Dan Hughes, South Carroll, junior, midfield -- The designed plays were being made for Hughes before he even stepped on the field at the varsity level. First-year coach Jeff Alisauckas knew all about Hughes after coaching him on junior varsity last year and had big expectations. Hughes met them all, finishing the season with 24 goals and five assists, and, just as important, carrying the ball up the field most of the time for the Cavs, orchestrating the offense.

"He's a heckuva ball player and a great kid," Alisauckas said. "We had a lot of confidence with him bringing the ball up field for us -- he did a great job."

Hughes came up particularly big in county play, scoring 14 goals and adding four assists. He saved his best for last with a four-goal effort in the Cavaliers' 12-11 overtime win against Liberty with the county title on the line.

FIRST TEAM AT A GLANCE

* Brendon Bengermino, Liberty, senior, attack -- The biggest question going into the Lions' season was who would step up offensively to pick up the slack left behind by the graduated Ross Yastrzemsky. Bengermino did more than his share. He scored a team-high 14 goals and added six assists as the Lions reached the region playoffs and also came within an overtime session of ousting South Carroll for the county title. First-year coach Troy Barnes said Bengermino got stronger as the season progressed and was a major presence in the team's 4-2 record in county games. "He became more aggressive toward the end of the season, going to the goal very aggressively and playing big in county games," Barnes said.

* Paul Binetti, Westminster, junior, midfield -- He didn't score a lot of goals or rack up a whole bunch of assists, but Binetti's value to the Owls was not measurable with numbers. The scrappy, defensive-minded Binetti had the ability to control a game with his consistent ability to win faceoffs. Just ask the South Carroll Cavaliers, after Binetti won draw after draw in the Owls' 7-6 win March 31. The biggest faceoff came with 25 seconds left in regulation after the Cavaliers closed to within 7-6. It enabled the Owls to run out the clock and give them their first win over South Carroll since 1986. The two-year starter missed three games in the middle of the season with a shoulder injury, but returned to give the Owls a lift down the stretch.

* Chris Grubb, Liberty, senior, defense -- There wasn't a more consistent defender in the county this season. The Lions' two-year starter also was the best take-away checker in the county and always covered the opponent's top offensive threat, a challenge he thrived on. "He's a tough defender," said Lions coach Troy Barnes. "He did what we asked and then some. If we could identify [the opponent's] top attacker, [Grubb] was on him." One of Grubb's better efforts came in a win at North Carroll when he held the Panthers' top threat, Sam Seashole, scoreless.

* Ben Heslin, Westminster, junior, defense -- A crafty stick handler and strong position defender, coach Jim Peters likens Heslin to former Owls standout Mike Bolesta, who graduated last year and went on to Villanova. At 6-3, Heslin has the same physical stature as Bolesta and Peters says he plays with the same kind of intelligence.

* Paul Lichtinger, Liberty, senior, goal -- Lichtinger was the backbone of the Lions' defense and saved a solid 63 percent of the shots fired at him. Selected to the 13th annual Lacrosse for Leukemia game last Friday, Lichtinger was a strong leader and did a good job of distributing from the back.

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