First team at a glance
Giuliano Celenza, Curley, Jr., forward: Player of the Year for Baltimore City/County, his 20 goals and four assists carried the Friars to their MIAA A co-championship season. They tied with Gilman for that title. The 5-foot-5, 130-pounder was in on all but 10 of his team's 34 goals and scored in all but two games. He scored the game-winner in the semifinal against Calvert Hall. In three seasons he has 49 career goals and 19 assists. He was first-team All-Met last season. "He moves faster laterally than anyone I've ever coached," Curley coach Pep Perrella said. "His ball handling is incredible. He generates power on his shot that guys 6-foot-2 can't. And he's extremely accurate with his shots."
Mike Green, Howard, Sr., defense: A four-year starter, the 6-foot-3 1/2 , 180-pound sweeper is headed on a soccer scholarship to the University of Virginia, the four-time defending NCAA champs. He was one of their top four recruits. His leaping ability sets him apart. Although he'll play defense in college, he has the capacity to push forward. In a league-opening 2-1 win over Glenelg he scored both goals. For the season he scored four goals and had five assists. Another reason academic-minded Virginia wanted him is his 3.60 GPA. "He's the total package," Howard coach Brian Boussy said. "With him in the back it gives you the confidence to move other people forward instead of pushing everyone back." He's a member of the ODP regional pool.
Mike Griffith, Patapsco, Sr., goalkeeper: Griffith stopped 183 of 217 shots-on-goal and notched seven shutouts for the state Class 2A champion Patriots. Game after game, he was unafraid to do the necessary dirty work, turning in gritty efforts that frustrated skillful teams. He had 24 saves in the state Class 2A semifinal, repeatedly snatching balls from the feet of Bethesda-Chevy Chase players or plucking crosses from the air. He survived a kick in the face and a nasty collision with a post to record 10 saves in the championship game against Wilde Lake.
Pat Halter, Mount Hebron, Jr., midfield: He scored the game-winning goal in five Howard County league wins, including 1-0 victories over No. 12 Oakland Mills and No. 9 Hammond, as the No. 4 Vikings (8-4-1) posted their best league record (6-1). Mount Hebron had never beaten Oakland Mills. One of the league's most competitive players, he has superb field vision, is strong in the air and is a great counterattacker. He scored nine goals and had six assists. He's a regional ODP pool player. "He can attack at full speed and switch the point of attack quickly," said coach Scott Conroy. "He takes all of our free kicks and defends the other team's top player on their free kicks and throw-ins."
Rich Kuhn, Chesapeake-AA, Jr., midfield: With injuries slowing teammate Ryan Frommelt, Kuhn emerged as one of the most feared offensive players in Anne Arundel County. He led the second-ranked county champion Cougars (17-1) to their finest season with 14 goals and four assists. The 14 goals tied for the county public school lead. "He has an uncanny knack for finishing," coach Earl Eckhardt said. He is Chesapeake's all-time leading goal scorer with 22. Seven of this season's goals came in the air. "He's great in the air," Eckhardt said. "And he's one of the best I've ever had at ball control. He had an uncanny knack for finishing. He was our go-to guy." Kuhn had two-goal games against Broadneck, Meade and Annapolis.
Matt Laycock, Centennial, Jr., midfield: He finished second in the Howard County league in scoring with 13 goals and seven assists. Strong in the air at 6-foot-2, he excelled at dissecting opposing defenses with sharp passes and will be remembered best this season for his rocket 30-yard game-winning goal in the state championship game. He's in the national ODP team pool and represented the national under-17 team in the World Cup last August in Ecuador. "He's a very mature player who has a knack for setting up people," coach Bill Stara said.
Eric Lenfest, Severna Park, Sr., defense: His coach, Don Gregg, considers him one of the finest sweepers he has coached in 22 years. "He was indispensable, the consummate sweeper," Gregg said. "He thinks ahead, is technically sound, comes out of the box well, has good speed and makes good decisions." A Falcon co-captain, Lenfest anchored a defense that allowed 16 goals in 17 games. His ability to redirect balls upfield kept the Falcons competitive in close games. They won nine games by one goal. The two-year starter had one goal and one assist.
Dino Pusinsky, Patapsco, Sr., forward: Pusinsky (10 goals, 14 assists) was unselfish, skillful and gutsy. Despite a hamstring injury over the final three games, he scored the game-winner against North Harford on an unassisted corner kick, assisted on the game-winner against Bethesda in a 2-1 overtime win, and had the game-winner in the 2A state title win over Wilde Lake.