1996 All-Anne Arundel field hockey team

November 20, 1996|By BILL FREE

Player of the Year

Amy Noble, Severna Park: She scored 29 goals and had eight assists in a farewell senior season that gained her national attention on ESPN and a scholarship to Duke to play field hockey and lacrosse. "Amy's right up there with the best I've ever had," said coach Severna Park coach Lil Shelton, who has seen a lot of talent in her program in 22 years. "She proved this year she could pass the ball, as well as score. Her job was to get the ball out to the wings if she was covered, and she did it time after time." This is the second straight Anne Arundel County Player of the Year award for Noble, who tasted defeat only twice in 51 games over three seasons. Both losses came in a 15-2 senior year, when the Falcons had a 54-game winning streak stopped and a four-year reign as state Class 4A champions ended.

Coach of the Year

Lil Shelton, Severna Park: This was probably Shelton's most challenging season in a 22-year run as the Falcons' boss. She had to nurse her team back mentally from a devastating 1-0 loss to Severn in the season opener, and she had to help her players deal with a 2-1 overtime setback to Westminster in the state Class 4A championship game. In between those two losses were 15 victories. Shelton said the Severn loss, which ended a 54-game win streak, was the "best thing that could happen to us because it woke us up," but the Westminster setback was "a shame." Shelton wanted a fifth consecutive state Class 4A title and 10th overall badly. "Westminster made some great defensive plays to stay in the game, we missed a chance to win it at the start of overtime, and then they scored the winner on an unbelievable goal," said Shelton, whose career record of 288-38-5 includes 18 county, 16 regional and nine state championships.

The First Team

Ryane Bellarin, Chesapeake, senior, defense: fense: Her right knee ached at times, but the two-time Anne Arundel County first-team defender still performed at a high level all season, no matter where coach Jerry Raab asked her to play. Bellarin even went in the goal for 15 minutes against Severna Park and held the Falcons scoreless. Chesapeake (10-3-2 this season) lost that game to Severna Park, but Bellarin went a long way toward proving Raab's contention that "Ryane could do anything."

Krista Bowerman, Severna Park, junior, defense: Bowerman was named first-team All-State and earned a coveted spot on Team Maryland. Her defensive excellence helped Severna Park shut out 12 opponents this season and allow only six goals while scoring 63. The two-year starter was presented a rock at a team post-season dinner for her steady play for the 15-2 Falcons.

Natalie Brookman, St. Mary's, senior, attack: tack: When the Saints rose to the No. 1 ranking in the Baltimore metro area midway through the season, it was Brookman who led the way with several big goals on fast breaks. Her quickness and nose for the ball helped her score 13 goals and give seven assists for a 19-5-1 team. Brookman moves up to first-team All-County from a second-team position last season.

Kristin Crawford, Severna Park, senior, attack: A speedy left wing who loved to work the give-and-go with teammate Amy Noble, Crawford, in the state title game, gave the Falcons a first-half 1-0 lead over Westminster with a goal off a pass from Noble. Crawford wound up with 10 goals and five assists.

Jenn Dunham, Severna Park, senior, defense: fense: Renowned

for her strong drives up field, Dunham was the table setter for the Falcons in a 3-0 romp past Dulaney in the state Class 4A semi-final. Dunham is a repeat first-teamer from last season, getting two assists this year. She is also a member of Team Maryland.

Bess Freedlander, Severn, senior, midfield: field: Freedlander scored the lone goal in the 1-0 win that broke Severna Park's 54-game win streak and also scored the winning goal against McDonogh in the opening round of the AIS A Conference Tournament and finished the season with five goals and five assists for the 8-4-7 Admirals.

Amy Galebach, Severn, senior, defense: Her flashy stickwork and endurance made it tough for opponents to develop much offensive rhythm against the stingy Admirals. She also was adept at keeping the ball on the front line for scoring opportunities.

Amanda Gibboney, Spalding, senior, defense: fense: A four-year starter, Gibboney was one of the few bright spots for a 2-9-2 Spalding team that made its debut in the AIS A Conference this season. She was the team's striker on corners, rushed on opponents' corners and took all the free hits in addition to her sweeper duties. Gibboney is known for her ability to play the open spaces and get free balls.

Lauren Hancock, Severna Park, senior, midfield: She not only has speed but loves to mix it up with three and four players to get the ball and send it up field. Hancock had 10 assists and 1 goal and is a member of the prestigious Team Maryland squad.

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