Local Sports: High School Field Hockey Preview

August 29, 1996|By Glenn P. Graham

Francis Scott Key Eagles

1995 record: 6-7.

Coach: Mindi Wagner.

Top players: Heather Arnold, Sr., MF; Jen Parrish, Sr., F; Renee Riggs, Sr., G; Christa Schroder, Sr., F; Kelly Whitfield, Jr., D; Mattie White, Jr., D.

Outlook: The Eagles saw their string of 10 straight region titles stopped last season with an opening-round playoff loss to Poolesville. They will try to start a new run with more overall balance in 1996. Three-time All-Metro forward Stacey Greene and her 57 career goals over four years are off to Lock Haven (Pa.) University, leaving the Eagles with an immediate void to fill. Wagner believes some of the answers start with Parrish, who scored 12 goals and had four assists last season to earn first-team All-County honors. Schroder and Arnold, a second-team All-County pick at link last year, also will help. "We have a lot of goal-hungry players both up front and at link so we should be OK -- we'll find a way," said Wagner. A full year of Riggs in goal will help solidify the defense. She started the last half of the season for the Eagles in 1995 and Wagner says she brings good quickness and a winning attitude to the team. Defenders Whitfield and White both started as sophomores last season with Laurie Bounds, also a junior, taking over at sweeper this season after seeing limited playing time at the varsity level last year.

Liberty Lions

1995 record: 10-3.

Coach: Courtney Vaughn.

Top players: Alisa Vorderbrueggen, Sr., F; Ashley Meehan, Sr., D; Carrie Buppert, Sr., F; Liz Armstrong, Sr., MF; Jean Tringali, Sr., F; Carrie Thompson, Sr., D.

Outlook: The 1996 Lions have some quality, but not a lot of quantity, putting the emphasis on staying healthy throughout the season. Vaughn has 10 seniors -- eight with varsity playing experience -- and just one junior, forcing her to bring up some underclassmen a little before they may be ready. A plus is the group's willingness to work hard and learn. A good part of the experience is up front with Vorderbrueggen, Buppert and Tringali. "The offense saw a lot of time last year, and it's an aggressive bunch inside the circle," Vaughn said. Armstrong, at link, and Thompson in the middle defensively provide a good part of the leadership with Meehan another reliable veteran in back. Paige Bankert, the lone junior on the roster, is the likely replacement for graduated goalie Heather Carter, a first-team All-County selection last season. The returning talent, limited as it is, makes it difficult to call this season a rebuilding one for the Lions, but they will need to have a couple of the underclassmen step up.

North Carroll Panthers

1995 record: 11-4.

Coach: Denean Koontz.

Top players: Becky Bosley, Sr., G; Annie Eggers, Sr., F; Ericka Fulton, Sr., F; Diana Vaughan, Sr., D; Heather Lynch, Sr., MF; Kristen Dowlin, Jr., D.

Outlook: No other team in the county has more returning talent throughout the lineup than the Panthers, who lost only two seniors from last year's team that reached the region title game. It starts in back with Bosley, who kept the Panthers in a lot of games last season with her strong play in goal. She finished '95 with 72 saves and allowed just four goals to earn first-team

All-Metro honors. "She's aggressive and strong and just doesn't like to lose. She will do anything to keep the ball in front of her," Koontz said. There's plenty of help in front of her on defense with Vaughan returning as a first-team All-County selection. Scoring always seems to be a concern with Koontz and this season is no exception. Eggers, a second-team All-County choice last year, emerged as a clutch scorer in the region playoffs, scoring game-winners in 1-0 wins over Liberty and Thomas Johnson. She'll get help from Fulton with Lynch the key at midfield. "Once again, it will come down to whether we put the ball in the cage, so we'll need some players to step up and score. Experiencing some scoring will bring confidence," Koontz said.

South Carroll Cavaliers

1995 record: 4-9.

Coach: Stacy Stem.

Top players: Chrissy Nichols, Sr., F; Jaime Yokay, Sr., F; Sarah King, Sr., D; Brandy Jackson, Sr., G; Lori Hershberger, Sr., MF.

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