1997 Baltimore County girls soccer previews

September 03, 1997|By Katherine Dunn & Rich Scherr

Carver A&T Wildcats

1996 record: 6-5-1.

Coach: Russ Harless.

Top players: Heather Ng, Sr., M; Erin Pearson, Sr., D; Austin Kirby, Sr., M; Sandy Schmidt, Jr., D.

Outlook: The Wildcats lost only four seniors from a team that posted one more win than the previous year. The attack looks strong with speed up front, especially in Ng, a three-year starter. However, the defense needs some fine-tuning. The Wildcats have switched divisions this season, moving into Baltimore County's Division I. Although the county's top two divisions were realigned to give them more balance, the Class 2A-1A Wildcats find themselves in with the top guns -- Dulaney, Franklin and Loch Raven.

Catonsville Comets

1996 record: 4-8-2.

Coach: Bob Greenwalt.

Top players: Sarah Giardina, Sr., M; Melissa Vega, Sr., M; Jan Wilson, Sr., F; Michelle Stagmer, Jr., D; Meredith Holmes, Sr., G; Connie Roussey, Sr., F.

Outlook: : With a senior-laden team, the Comets should be better than last year, but they also will face tougher competition in Division I. Veterans Giardina and Vega provide a strong foundation in the midfield and the defense appears better than last year.

Dulaney Lions

1996 record: 9-3-1.

Coach: Stacey Hachenberg.

Top players: Tricia Dabrowski, Sr., G/F; Janna Smith, Sr., D; Brooke Russo, Sr., D; Laurel Kozlakowski, Sr., D; Shannon Truxel, Sr., F; Marlena Wittelsberger, So., D.

Outlook: Hachenberg lost most of her line and midfield to graduation, but she had such a tremendous turnout -- in both talent and numbers -- that she expects to be able to reload quickly. Although as many as five freshmen could see significant action, the Class 4A-3A Lions should be right back in the hunt for the county's Division I title if they can jell as quickly as their coach expects.

Dundalk Owls

1996 record: 2-11.

Coach: Michael Vetri.

Top players: Debbie Post, Sr., G; Avia Kay, Sr., M; Autumn Johnson, Jr., F.

Outlook: In winning only three games in the county's Division II the last two years, the Owls have struggled with inexperience and lack of depth. Those problems still linger as the Owls move into Division I, although four strong freshmen have come into the program. The attack should be more balanced. A .500 season is possible with the addition of some Division III teams to their schedule.

Eastern Tech Mavericks

1996 record: 7-5.

Coach: Wendy Butz.

Top players: Jessica Schmidt, Sr., D; Beth Thomas, Fr., M; Andrea Wilson, Sr., D; Andrea McNew, So., M; Amy Wallner, Jr., )) G.

Outlook: The Mavericks return all but two starters from a team that jumped over .500 for the first time last season. With five starting underclassmen, the Class 3A-2A Mavericks are still young, but they have drive and the determination to go with it. Look for the Mavericks, who move to the county's Division I, to be stronger on defense and in the middle.

Franklin Indians

1996 record: 9-4.

Coach: George Wagner.

Top players: Sara Gustafson, Sr., M; Missy Farrell, Jr., F; Candice Doten, So., G; Megan Myers, Jr., G; Lindsay Sproul, So., D; Cathy Olson, Sr., D.

Outlook: The Indians allowed only 12 goals last season despite ++ rebuilding their defense and Wagner looks for an even better stand this season. With the defense nearly intact and plenty of scoring potential in All-Metro halfback Gustafson (14G, 12A) and striker Farrell (17G, 7A), the Indians should be among the top contenders in the county's Division I as well as the Class 3A-2A West region. Gustafson, a three-time All-State pick who scored 30 goals as a sophomore striker, will be the central cog.

Hereford Bulls

1996 record: 12-3-1.

Coach: Steve Power.

Top players: Melissa Mueller, Jr., F; Jessica Fisher, Jr., D; Jenn Cox, So. M.

Outlook: Time has taken its toll on the Class 2A-1A Bulls. They graduated seven starters, including three-time All-Metro keeper Kate Macfarlane and three of those openings will be filled by freshmen or sophomores. Power, whose team will compete in the county's Division II, said the biggest test will come on defense. The offense, led by all-state Mueller, should be fine.

Kenwood Bluebirds

1996 record: 3-9.

Coach: Jodi Brush.

Top players: Jen Birchfield, Sr., G; Heather Backof, Sr., D; Jaime Wolf, Sr., F; Jessica Todd, So., M; Katie Zielinski, Jr., M.

Outlook: Brush is optimistic in her first year at the helm. The Division II Bluebirds had a large turnout and will feature some solid talent down the middle of the field. Their Achilles' heel could be youth, with seven freshmen and five sophomores in the mix.

Lansdowne Vikings

1996 record: 7-6.

Coach: Terry Lathroum.

Top players: Katie Bouchat, Sr., D; Jen Noble, Sr., M; Jen DeMuzio, Sr., F.

Outlook: The Vikings are in for a challenge this season, making a jump in class to Division II. Much of their success depends on how quickly they adapt to Lathroum's new defense-oriented system.

Loch Raven Raiders

1996 record: 17-1.

Coach: Debbie Konschak.

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