Player of the Year
Jacque Weitzel, Garrison Forest, senior, midfield: A Jacque of all trades, Weitzel could play any position on the field. Her stats -- 23 goals, 17 assists -- weren't overwhelming, but her presence certainly was. In one game, she would play line attack combining exceptional quickness and a powerful shot to baffle opposing defenders.
In the next, she would play line defense, using great positioning and a lightning-quick check to force one turnover after another. But Weitzel spent most of her time right in the middle -- of everything.
"Jacque plays the role that is necessary on a team," said Garrison coach Micul Ann Morse. "She knows the team's got to have the ball and she also respects the ability of her teammates. She looks for what everybody else can do for the team and she fills in where there are gaps."
An AIS All-Star, repeat first-teamer and 1995 All-Metro pick, Weitzel helped the South I team defend its national schoolgirl championship with a title-game victory over Pennsylvania I at the U.S. Women's Lacrosse Association tournament last weekend in Massachusetts. She will play next year at Dartmouth.
Coach of the Year
Mary Bartel, Notre Dame Prep: A former U.S. national team goalie, Bartel has been fielding highly competitive teams for most of her 15 years at NDP. This, however, was the most exceptional.
Despite a roster packed with underclassmen, the No. 5 Pirates ended Roland Park's five-year reign over the AIS with an 11-10 victory in the A Division tournament final. Their feat seems even more remarkable considering the balance in the A Division this year.
Six teams were ranked and at least seven seemed capable of winning the tournament. The Pirates (11-2-1) had a tough route to the championship game, coming from behind to beat Garrison Forest in the quarterfinals and Severn in the semifinals.
Those comebacks forced a rematch of the 1994 title game with the Reds. The seeds for this title were sewn after that loss two years ago.
"This team had a quiet intensity and they were very focused," said Bartel. "They knew what they wanted, and they weren't going to put up with getting anything less unless they knew they had spent everything they had."
The First Team
Lizzy Bennett, Roland Park, senior, attack: tack: A repeat first-teamer, Bennett had such an eye for passing through tiny openings that opposing defenses always had to be concerned with her. She finished with 29 assists and led the AIS A Division tournament runners-up in scoring with 47 points. Her great stickwork, ability to catch almost anything and team-leading 48 ground balls made her an AIS All-Star. She also played for South I and will join her sister, Ridgely, next year at North Carolina.
Melissa Coyne, Roland Park, junior, goalie: ie: Last year's All-Metro keeper posted a 60 percent save rate and excelled against 8-meter shots, but her ability to stop shots was just the tip of the AIS All-Star's talent. A veteran of South I and the U.S. Under-19 World Cup team, Coyne played with a poise and patience few high school goalies can muster. She came up with huge interceptions and made excellent clears. Under pressure, she could hit her teammates on a dime 50 yards away.
Emily Hickman, Bryn Mawr, senior, midfield: field: This repeat first-teamer was the key to everything Bryn Mawr did. At center, she ruled the draw helping the No. 11 Mawrtians set up one of the more potent offenses in the AIS. Hickman scored 32 goals and had 12 assists, but her forte was defense. A strong marking midfielder with terrific defensive instincts, Hickman drew some tough assignments and easily handled them. An AIS All-Star and South I selection, Hickman will move on to Duke.
Mills Hook, St. Paul's, junior, midfield: A steady, determined third home, Hook led a balanced team in scoring with 49 goals and 18 assists. She could catch anything thrown in her vicinity and with a smart shot and good speed, she was always a threat to score in close or on transition. A leader on the field, Hook also provided a defensive spark for the resurgent No. 12 Gators. An AIS All-Star and second-team pick last year, she played for South I.
Lauren Klein, Garrison Forest, senior, midfield: Already an accomplished attack player, Klein honed her defensive skills this year to become a complete player. With speed and endurance to spare, she remained a key to the No. 7 Grizzlies' transition. Klein vacuumed up the ground balls and scored 32 goals to go with 15 assists. Defensively, she double-teamed in the midfield, made good checks and could catch up with just about anyone. An AIS All-Star, Klein is headed for Brown.