Anne Arundel field hockey previews

September 03, 1997|By Glenn Graham

Annapolis Panthers

1996 record: 9-4.

Coach: Stephanie Rowland Hunt.

Top players: Mattie Phillips, Jr., A; Kaitlin Stone, Jr., A; Amy Deans, Sr., D; Susan Wynkroop, Sr., D; Emily Childs, So., G.

Outlook: Talk to Hunt about the upcoming season and time and time again she'll mention how excited her Panthers are to get things started. Last year's 9-4 season -- Hunt's first as head coach -- is a big reason why. The 11 varsity players returning from that squad is another. A strong defense played a big role in last year's success and with Deans and Wynkroop back to lead the way, along with the emergence of Childs in goal, it will once again be a tough chore for opposing offenses to score goals. Some players have changed positions, but Hunt has been impressed with how well the team is jelling. Offensively, the Panthers will likely spread out the scoring with Phillips and Stone proven finishers. Both scored five goals last season.

Archbishop Spalding Cavaliers

1996 record: 2-9-1.

Coach: Mary Pat Bozel.

Top players: Malia Swieconek, Sr., G; Kat Brady, Sr., A; Katie O'Connell, Jr., A/MF; Nicole Bezelik, Sr., MF; Michele Grimason, Sr., MF; Beth Pryor, Sr., A; Nicole Costa, Sr., D; Julia Forman, Sr., D; Kristen Walker, So., D.

Outlook: After competing as an independent prior to last year, the jump to the AIS A Division was a bumpy one for the Cavaliers in 1996. But Bozel and her team now have a better idea of what they're getting into, which should produce better results. "The biggest adjustment was every single game was so intense," Bozel said. "It was a tough year, but the kids played well and we had some shining moments. This year, we anticipate doing a lot better." The Cavaliers have seven seniors with extensive varsity experience and five other underclassmen returning. The starting point is in goal with Swieconek, who saved 87 percent of the shots that came her way last season to earn second-team all-county status. "Malia is an extremely gifted player. She's the root of our defense and is a good controlling factor," Bozel said. Up front, Bozel is looking for big things from Brady and O'Connell.

Arundel Wildcats

1996 record: 4-6-3.

Coach: Clint Gosnell.

Top players: Jessica Hall, Sr., A; Meghan Sheperd, Sr., A; Cecilia Moreira, Sr., A; Casey Potter, Sr., D; Kelly Macdonald, Sr., D; Katie Stoddard, Jr., D; Michele Torrence, Jr., D; Jessica Moffett, Sr., MF.

Outlook: After going 7-3-1 in 1995, the Wildcats slipped under the .500 mark last year. Gosnell, in his eighth season, is counting on a strong returning nucleus to get the team back to where it was two years ago. "Last season, we started out with good intentions, but things didn't work out. So we figure we'll get 'em the next time around," Gosnell said. "We have a strong senior class this season with no big stars, which can be good." Hall, who spent her first three varsity seasons on defense, makes the switch to attack, with plenty of talent around her led by Sheperd and Moreira. Megan Tidwell returns in goal, with Potter and Macdonald anchoring a deep defense, while Moffett leads the midfield. Gosnell is preaching to his players to "walk and talk field hockey" this season and he's been impressed with their work ethic and how much fun they are having.

Broadneck Bruins

1996 record: 6-7.

Coach: Phoebe Kelly.

Top players: Ann Magee, Sr., A; Julie White, Sr., A; Korissa Faulkner, Sr., G; Whitney Nathanson, Sr., D; Justyn Kopack, Jr. A; Anne Lerina, Jr., A; Shannon Rigling, Jr., A; Andrea Schnell, Jr., MF; Courtenay Basile, Jr., A.

Outlook: A look down the Broadneck roster and you'll see a lot of two- and three-year varsity players, but the Bruins are still relatively young. It leaves Kelly optimistic about the upcoming season -- and the years to come. Of the four seniors on the squad, three -- Magee, White and Faulkner -- are in their third season of varsity, with Nathanson, a four-year returnee, anchoring the defense. A strong junior class led by Kopack, Rigling and Basile up front and Schnell at midfield also has plenty of experience. Last year, the scoring was spread out and most of the top finishers return so Kelly expects a lot of the same this year. Kelly would like to see her Bruins continue where they left off last season and take it another level. "It's a big plus having the positions already established," Kelly said. "They're able to read each other and that's a key component in establishing things. We'll be able to move the ball around that much better and also be able to apply more pressure."

Chesapeake Cougars

1996 record: 10-3-2.

Coach: Jerry Raab.

Top players: Kristy Baker, Sr., M; Lauren Boudra, Sr., M; Chrissy Franklin, Sr., M; Wendy Ison, Sr., M/A; Rana Schreiber, Sr., G; Jessica Jones, Sr., A; Lori Stewart, Sr., A; Sarah Wyant, Sr., A; Megan Skiles, Jr., D; Pam Hemmings, So., D/MF.

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