Howard County girls soccer preview

September 04, 1997|By Stan Rappaport

Atholton Raiders

1996 record: 7-5-1 overall; 4-4-1 league

Coach: Wendell Thomas

Classification: 2A

Top players: Meagan Funches, senior, M; Jessica Grether, senior, M; Anne Greenfield, senior, D; Melissa Greczy, senior, D; Erin Lipple, junior, D

Outlook: Replacing goalie Julie Kapcala, last year's county Player of the Year, won't be easy. But Thomas said freshman goalie Jessica Obst has looked very good. "She has the potential to be a Kapcala," said Thomas, who added the Obst is a strong field player as well. Greczy is a strong defender, but Thomas hopes to use her at midfield when he can. She scored three goals and had four assists last year. Funches, who along with Grether and Greenfield serve as captains, led the team with four goals last year. The Raiders return two starting forwards, senior Kendra Terry and junior speedster Aleah Zinalabedini. "I think we'll be able to equal last year's mark or be a game or two better," said Thomas.

Centennial Eagles

1996 record: 9-2-4 overall; 7-1-1 league (county champs)

Coach: Mike Senisi

Classification: 2A

Top players: Stacie Tokasz, junior, M; Mandy Zachmann, junior, M; Kristen Dinisio, senior, D; Jane Williams, junior, F; Alexia Vogler, junior, D

Outlook: The defending county champions' motto is this: "Coming together is a beginning staying together is progress but working together is success." Zachmann said the squad is "getting along better" and focusing better. Senisi, in his second year, agrees. "They're working hard but having fun, too," said Senisi. The return of first-team All-County selections Tokasz, Zachmann and Williams -- all juniors -- and second-team All-County pick Dinisio give the Eagles a solid foundation. Erica Neiman, a 5-foot-10 freshman, is battling freshman Emily Williams and junior Danielle Martin for the starting goalie position. Williams is carrying 18 players (three seniors, eight juniors, two sophomores, five freshmen). Two freshmen midfielders -- Ashley Evans and Caitlin Jenkins -- have looked good in practice. Vogler has been moved to stopper and sophomore Allison Woods will start at sweeper.

Chapelgate Christian Flames

1996 record: 0-16-1 league; 0-10-1 Catholic League

Coach: Mike McKinstry

League: Catholic B Conference

Top players: Tara Hereth, senior, D; Laura Calhoun, senior D; Jenni Kotting, freshman, M; Janice Chang, freshman, M; Brianna Severn, freshman, F; Rachel Sybor, freshman, D-M; Laura McKinstry, freshman, F

Outlook: "The heart and soul of this team will be the new kids," said McKinstry, whose 20-player roster includes nine freshmen. McKinstry, who coached Chapelgate's JV the last two seasons, said seven freshmen will either start or see significant playing time. "How we do will depend a lot on them." Hereth and Calhoun are moving back this season to help solidify the defense in front of returning sophomore goalie Amy Jackson. Junior Meghan Price, who played midfield last year, also is moving to defense. Senior Allison Kirby will help control the midfield. Despite not winning a game last year, McKinstry thinks the Flames are capable of a .500 or better season. "I think that's possible with the new people," McKinstry said. "Even though they're younger, they are better players."

Glenelg Gladiators

1996 record: 6-8-1 overall; 3-6 league

Coach: Mike Williams

Classification: 1A

Top players: Jamie Epperlein, junior, GK; Kelly Renfro, sophomore, M; Erin Kortecamp, senior, F; Christa Vent, junior, M; Stephanie Howell, sophomore, F; Melissa Wilder, sophomore, M; Lori Tvarkunas, junior, D; Meghann Francis, senior, D

Outlook: A year ago Williams started eight seniors. This year the Gladiators will go with three. "We're younger," Williams said, "but they're not inexperienced players." The Gladiators have a solid nucleus, starting with Epperlein, one of the top goalie's in the area and proven goal-scorers Kortecamp (eight goals last year) and Vent (seven). "We're very athletic," Williams said. "We've got good speed, good strength and play hard. We'll have a shot at every game." Senior Leigh Bender will help solidfy the midfield, and Tvarkunas has moved from midfield to stopper.

Hammond Golden Bears

1996 record: 8-8-1 overall; 2-6-1 league

Coach: Peter DiMarco.

Classification: 1A

Top players: Amanda Almon, senior, F; Kimberly Keefe, senior, D; Lisa Laanisto, senior, M; Jenny Jones, senior, F; Lauren Traber, junior, D; Martha Bielefeld, sophomore, M; Meg Tilley, sophomore, M; Lindsey Mitchell, junior, GK

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