1997 Girls soccer previews CARROLL COUNTY SOCCER

September 03, 1997|By Jeff Seidel

Francis Scott Key

1996 record: 4-8-1.

Coach: Joe Linthicum.

Top players: Vallie Lewis, Sr., D; Laura Shanholtz, Sr., D; Erin Norris, Sr., GK; Sindi Stem, Jr., M; Melissa Merson, Jr., F; Suzanne Miller, Jr., M; Jamie Glove, Jr., F/D.

Outlook: There's an interesting mix here. Lewis, Shanholtz and Libby Johnson lead an experienced defense while Merson and Stem were two of the top scorers last year. But preseason injuries have hurt, including the loss of Amber Bowman (who scored four goals in the team's final two games last year) with a fractured growth plate in her hip. She'll be out 2-to-6 weeks. There are six players coming up from the junior varsity plus a transfer. The question is how well everyone works together. The Eagles came on strong at the end last year, and Linthicum hopes that momentum carries over.

Liberty Lions

1996 record: 15-0-3

Coach: Sam DeLaurance.

Top players: Trish Young, Jr., M; Tiffany Williams, Sr., F; Michelle Allen, Soph., F; Colleen Cox, Jr., D; Erica Gordon, Sr., D; Kelly Knutson, Sr., D; Jen Berarducci, Jr., D; Jessica Roguski, Soph., M.

Outlook: The Lions have lost some big guns from their Class 2A-3A co-state championship team of a year ago. Player of the Year Shanna Ziegenfuss and Haley DeLaurance have graduated after leading the Lions to a share of the crown with South River. This year's team has plenty of talent but will sport a different look. Defense is going to be the biggest asset for this season's Lions. They'll win more 1-0 and 2-1 games rather than the 4-2 decisions of a year ago. Gordon and Cox should lead the defense, which will benefit from a lot of speed. That also should help the offense fill the holes left by the loss of Ziegenfuss and DeLaurance. Ziegenfuss led the county in scoring and repeatedly came up with big goals, but Williams and Allen will be forces this season. DeLaurance said he's looking to develop this team for the playoffs. The Lions' early schedule is tough, with games against St. Mary's, Broadneck, Fallston, Glenelg and Severna Park. But DeLaurance said it will help his team grow. He's right, and if everything comes together, the Lions should once more be a force.

North Carroll Panthers

1996 record: 6-7.

Coach: Jim MacDonald.

Top players: Danielle Shearer, Jr., F; Stephanie Rogers, Jr., F; Emily Gomez, Sr., M; Laurie Kiler, Sr., D; Kristina Thompson, Sr., M; Kellyn Hentz, Jr., D.

Outlook: The offense has its top three scorers back -- Rogers, Shearer and Gomez. Shearer made first team All-CMC while Rogers and Gomez were second-team picks. The defense is young and needs some time to adjust to varsity play. Ten players return from last year's team, which suffered some tough close losses. The Panthers fell to county and co-state champion Liberty as well as South Carroll in overtime. They also gave Liberty a fight before losing 2-0 in the region playoffs. They've lost nine straight to Liberty plus seven in a row to South Carroll. Like last year, North Carroll should be a tough, hard-marking team that makes its opponents work for everything. If the younger players step up, the Panthers could have some fun this season.

South Carroll Cavaliers

1996 record: 11-2-2.

Coach: Jim Horn.

Top players: Mandy Hughes, Jr., GK; Jodi Baier, Jr., D; Sandy Lagana, Soph., D; Brooke Maynard, Sr., M; Heather Stoetzer, Sr., M; Courtney McCray, Jr., F; Steph Wilson, Jr., F; Kristin Swinimer, Sr., D.

Outlook: After making the region finals for the second straight year, the Cavaliers were crunched by graduation. Horn has lost more than 80 percent of his scoring and has a completely new front line. There are no proven scorers yet, and the Cavaliers need people to step up and put the ball in the goal. But defense also will be important. Hughes was all-county and all-CMC and is solid. Baier and Lagana will help and Swinimer moves to defense from halfback. Like Liberty, South Carroll fields a brutal early schedule. The Cavaliers take on Severna Park, Glenelg, Howard and Broadneck or Liberty. This is a young team, with eight sophomores, and the question is how well the new people can do.

Westminster Owls

1996 record: 8-8.

Coach: Bryan Shumaker.

Top players: Courtney Bierne, Sr., F; Michelle Payne, Jr., F; Mandy Komar, Soph., F; Abby Cooper, Sr., M; Amy Vagnoni, Soph., M; Julie Cooper, Sr., M; Thea Bayly, Sr., D; Amanda Cofflin, Jr., GK.

Outlook: The Owls should be able to score goals for new coach Shumaker. Bierne had 12 goals last year with six assists and, with Payne, gives the team some good offensive punch. The defense has worked hard in preseason practice and shown improvement. The team also has speed all over the field, which will allow for more aggressiveness, as their fleet-footed players can race back to cover on defense. The Owls also face a difficult schedule, opening with North Carroll and Liberty. They struggled in county last year, but hope for some more success this season.

Girls soccer poll

Preseason Top 15

1. St. Mary's

2. Catholic

3. Arundel

4. Loch Raven

5. Severna Park

6. C. Milton Wright

7. Fallston

8. South River

9. Liberty

10. Chesapeake-AA

11. River Hill

12. Mercy

13. Franklin

14. John Carroll

15. McDonogh

Preseason poll was chosen by The Sun staff after consulting with area coaches.

Pub Date: 9/03/97

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