Coach of the Year
Chris Robinson, Mount Hebron: Many thought this could be a down year for Mount Hebron. After all, the team lost seven starters, including the top four scoring leaders, from last year, and coach P.J. Kesmodel, who began the girls program in 1988, retired after winning four state, seven county and eight regional titles. Robinson had other ideas, and returned Mount Hebron to a fifth-straight championship game. The Vikings (17-2) lost in sudden-death overtime to No. 1 Annapolis and finished the year No. 3, but the fact they were there was testimony to what Robinson and his assistant coaches -- Nicole Moree, Scott Robinson and Scott Reuhl -- were able to accomplish. Robinson, an assistant coach at Mount Hebron for four years, also credited his four captains -- Julie Kickham, Brigitte Goss, Kristin Midura and Christina Eberhart -- with making the coaching transition very smooth.
Player of the Year
Julie Kickham, Mount Hebron, senior, midfield: An all-county defensive player last year, Kickham moved to center this season to lead the Vikings' attack. An excellent all-around player, the North Carolina-bound Kickham responded with 38 goals and a team-high 24 assists. She also set a school record with 124 ground balls (the old mark was 100) and led the team's "DIBs" category (deflections, interceptions, batted balls) with 36. "She was definitely one of the strongest players at her position in the state," said Mount Hebron coach Chris Robinson. Kickham started playing lacrosse in ninth grade and slowly it overtook soccer to become her top sport. She has developed her skills, knowledge and passion for the game to become not only one of the state's best players, but recently was named an All-American.
The First Team
Allison Altscher, Centennial, senior, midfield: field: The Rutgers University-bound Altscher had 29 goals, 24 assists and a team-leading 88 ground balls. "She was probably the most complete player on the team," said Centennial coach Gail Purcell. Altscher is strong both offensively and defensively and has a never-give-up attitude. "She is the epitome of a team player," Purcell said.
Becca Armiger, Centennial, senior, attack: A three-year starter and two-year captain, Armiger had a team-high 49 goals and added 16 assists. Armiger, headed to Hobart and William Smith, has "one of the most powerful shots in the county," said her coach, Gail Purcell. Armiger always put the team ahead of herself, Purcell said, and was the "backbone of the team."
Erin Curran, Mount Hebron, senior, defense: fense: Mount Hebron allowed only 4.68 goals per game, and Curran was the defensive leader. The Virginia Tech-bound Curran led the team in charges taken with 21. She also had 66 ground balls, six goals and two assists. Her smooth footwork, good positioning and smart play made her one of the top defensive players in the county.
Angel Farace, Glenelg, senior, goalie: She played every minute of every game for the past three seasons. The Frostburg State-bound Farace had a school-record 256 saves this year and finished with a school-record of 683 for her career. She's very mobile, can read and anticipate what the offense is trying to set up, and clears well.
Brigitte Goss, Mount Hebron, senior, defense: fense: Extremely fast, Goss usually was assigned to the opponent's leading scorer or fastest player. "She did a tremendous job of denying the ball," said Mount Hebron coach Chris Robinson. Goss, headed to Vanderbilt University, has good footwork and is very aggressive.
Kathy Hurley, Oakland Mills, senior, attack: tack: Has led the Scorpions in scoring the past three years, and this season VTC finished with 38 goals and 10 assists. "She gave us the goal when we needed it," said coach Oakland Mills coach Chris Marsiglia. A four-year starter who started her career on defense, Hurley is headed to Towson State.
Erica Hensley, Howard, senior, midfield: A four-year varsity player, she led her team with 40 goals, 12 assists and drew 12 charges on defense. Hensley, headed to Mount St. Mary's, captained the Lions and was a "quiet but strong leader," said coach Pat Becker. Hensley took all draws and her offensive and defensive skills made her a very complete player.
Elizabeth Koza, Oakland Mills, senior, midfield: Headed to Johns Hopkins, Koza led the team in ground balls and draw control. She also was the second-leading scorer with 32 goals and 10 assists. Koza became more aggressive this season and with her excellent skills did a solid job controlling the midfield for the Scorpions.
Chrissy Lombard, Mount Hebron, junior, midfield: The fastest player on the team, according to coach Chris Robinson, Lombard used her speed to help control the midfield and create many scoring opportunities for herself and her teammates. She had 31 goals and seven assists and was second in ground balls behind Julie Kickham with 107.