March 22, 1996|By Bill Free

Annapolis Panthers

1995 record: 16-2.

Coach: Dave Gehrdes

Top players: Amy Brew, Sr., M; Stephy Samaras, Sr., D; Becky Morris, Sr., M; Kristen Kapusta, Jr., M; Torrey Hunter, Jr., D; Abby Pheiffer, Jr., G; Ali Krieger, Sr., A; Kate Bjorke, Jr., M; Jen Jefferson, So., M; Kelly Dirks, So., A; Brooke Wagner, So., A; Susan Graf, Jr., D

Outlook: There just doesn't seem to be any weaknesses on this Annapolis team, which appears to be the class of the class in talent-rich Anne Arundel County. Brew is coming off a 39-goal, 10-assist season and Morris scored 19 goals and had 12 assists last year. Samaras is a three-sport standout who is a superb defender. All three are part of eight starters returning to the Panthers' lineup. Four other returning players have moved up to starting positions this season for the defending county co-champions with Severna Park and 3A-4A East Region champs. South River coach Paula Tobin was exasperated after scrimmaging Annapolis a few days ago, saying: "There was no stopping them." Gehrdes, trying not to get too excited about his team this season, did say "We're pretty experienced." The Panthers lost to powerful Mount Hebron, 13-11, in the 3A-4A state tournament semifinals last season after beating Severna Park, 11-9, in the 3A-4A East finals. The win over the Falcons atoned for a regular-season loss to Severna Park. Other standout players on the team that finished fifth in the Baltimore metro area poll last year are Susan Berotti, Kate Wagner, Lauren Gulotta and Kristen Booty. Gulotta and Booty join Pheiffer as three outstanding goalkeepers.

Archbishop Spalding Cavaliers

1995 record: 10-6.

Coach: Mary Pat Bozel

Top players: Stephanie Paxson, Sr., M; Shannon Cashour, Sr., D; Gilda Zoccolla, Sr., M; Bridget McGeady, Jr., A; Megan Sheperd, So., G; Kat Brady, So., A; Amy Sledgeski, Sr., A.

Outlook: Bozel thinks her team is on the verge of returning to the glory days of 10 years ago when the Cavaliers were one of the stronger squads in the area. Spalding will play an independent schedule this season before moving into the AIS B Conference next year. Sixty-seven girls came out for the team this year and Bozel said: "We're a very, very good team with a lot of depth. We're doing things this year we've never done before." Paxson and McGeady should be the big scorers, coming off a year in which they combined for 64 goals and 18 assists. Shepherd has confidence in the goal, said Bozel, and will be backed up by Amy Speargas, a transfer from Old Mill. "Hopefully in the next few years we could be considered among the top teams in the county, but right now we're still with the middle of the road teams," said Bozel.

Arundel Wildcats

1995 record: 8-6.

Coach: Christine Fellona

Top players: Carla Navarro, Sr., M; Jeni Miller, Sr., M; Lisa Howard, Sr., D; Megan Crouse, Sr., D; Amanda Sites, Jr., A; Megan Miller, Jr., M; Jill Jones, Jr., A; Kerci Hodges, Jr., A; Lisa Gibbons, Jr., M; Karen Diacont, Jr., M.

Outlook: There's a lot of excitement around the Arundel camp this spring, with the team possessing more balance and overall talent than in past years and Lee Rogers becoming an assistant coach to Fellona. Rogers just finished coaching Arundel to the school's first-ever state girls basketball championship and he will now coach defense to the girls lacrosse team. "We'll be using Lee's knowledge of basketball to teach defense," said Fellona. "There are so many similarities between the two sports. Lee brings a lot to our team. The girls respect him a lot and are excited to have him with us. He's intense and he's used to winning." Fellona said all three of her junior attackers, Jones, Hodges and Sites, can score. "This is the first year I've been here that we haven't had a big-name player," said Fellona whose two top scorers, Kristen Wolff and Tara Surlis, have graduated.

Broadneck Bruins

1995 record: 10-5.

Coach: Jennifer Shuck

Top players: Megan Santacroce, Jr., M; Josalyn Powers, Sr., A; Carrie Birely, So., M; Corinne Shuck, So., M/D; Molly Branning, Sr., M/D; Jenna Bajus, Sr., M; Lisa Foertsch, Sr., M/A.

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