Graduation drains county powers of major talent

March 23, 1995|By Roch Eric Kubatko | Roch Eric Kubatko,Sun Staff Writer

The county's leading scorer from last year is at Princeton. Its best goaltender is in Massachusetts. Its most gifted defender landed at William and Mary. And its most versatile player, and one of the greatest ever to pass through here, wound up at Loyola.

In all, 11 of last year's 14 All-County players have graduated, including five All-Americans and three honorable-mention All-Americans.

Annapolis coach Dave Gehrdes bears the heaviest burden. He must replace All-American Cristi Samaras (78 goals, 38 assists), who led the county in scoring the past three years, and second-team All-Metro keeper Kate Brew (146 saves). Together, they helped the Panthers end Severna Park's winning streak at 42 games with a 6-5 victory in the Class 3A-4A East Region final, denying the Falcons a chance at their fifth consecutive state championship (they had won three straight 4A state-regional titles before that).

Brew was an honorable-mention All-American.

"They both were excellent leaders; one at one end of the field and the other all over it," Gehrdes said.

Severna Park coach Carin Peterson is accustomed to losing athletes who seem irreplaceable, but Erin Wylde (28 goals, six assists) was no ordinary player. She was a three-time All-American and All-Metro selection who could fill any position and mark the opposing team's most dangerous scorer.

"We've lost great ones before and seem to come back," said Peterson, who also must replace second-team All-Metro picks Colleen Gately (33 goals, 11 assists) and Kathy McCafferty (28 goals, 13 assists), plus Tressa Campbell (23 goals, six assists) and Mary Jo Mahoney. "It hurts every year, but other people are in the same boat."

All-American defender Katy Kemerer (11 goals, six assists, 96 ground balls, 19 blocks, 15 interceptions) has left Broadneck. In doing so, she also left coach Jennifer Shuck with a huge void.

"She's difficult to replace," said Shuck, who also lost second-team All-Metro midfielder Jessica Schmidt (five goals, one assist, 77 ground balls, 23 blocks, six interceptions). "She's such a great athlete. We'll miss that."

Arundel made its first trip to the 3A-4A East Region playoffs last spring, then bid farewell to leading scorer Katie Hanburger (42 goals, seven assists, 35 ground balls). She also led the Wildcats in draws.

"Besides her playing ability, her attitude was awesome," said coach Christine Fellona, whose team was beaten by Severna Park in the 3A-4A East Region semifinals, 19-3, as part of a season-ending three-game losing streak. "She's hard to replace

as a person."

The Wildcats were even better last year than their 10-5 record indicated. All of their defeats came against playoff teams. One loss was by one goal, another by two.

"We're hungry this year for Broadneck, South River, Severna Park and Annapolis," said Fellona, who played three years at Broadneck. "I don't think we've ever beaten Broadneck and the girls really want them because they're tired of hearing me talk about how awesome they are."

South River and Southern will try to get back into the Class 1A-2A East Region playoffs. Last year, South River defeated Southern in the region final, 14-10, then lost to Liberty in the state semifinals, 20-9.

The county has four new coaches, including Linda Kilpatrick, who returns to Southern after a one-year absence.

"I missed it last year," she said.

Former Severna Park and Loyola standout Erika Mawhorr has taken over for Tina Lewnes at St. Mary's, Priscilla Diacont has replaced Bill Zaetz at Old Mill, and Michele Albert has inherited Severn's program from Cathy Carper.

Albert coached in Ohio for six years. "This is a lot different. It's not as intense in Ohio," she said.

Diacont coached the JV team at Arundel for two seasons. Her daughter, Karen, is a sophomore midfielder on the Wildcats' varsity.

"We'll have a nice little rivalry going," she said.

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