1997 All-Baltimore City/County field hockey teams

November 19, 1997|By KATHERINE DUNN

Player of the Year

Kim Smith, Bryn Mawr, senior, attack: An All-Metro pick last year, Smith capped off a stellar career by leading the No. 3 Mawrtians (14-2-2) to their first outright Association of Independent Schools A Division championship. She never played better than in the AIS tournament, scoring the tying goal in a 2-1 semifinal victory over No. 14 Severn as well as both goals in a 2-0 win over No. 11 Notre Dame Prep. Smith completed the season with a team-leading 17 goals and seven assists. In addition to her determination in creating scoring opportunities, Smith drew raves for exceptional stickwork and the ability to move the ball downfield at high speed under great control. A four-year varsity starter, Smith transferred to Bryn Mawr after playing her freshman year at Park. "Kim has helped move Bryn Mawr to a higher level in field hockey," said Mawrtians coach Jeanette Budzik. "Even when she didn't score, some factor of what she was doing contributed to our success. She was marked a lot this season and she handled it really well. She was always a major force for our team." Twice named first-team All-State, Smith is a veteran of the U.S. Field Hockey Association's Olympic-development style Futures program. She played in the 1996 Junior Olympics. This summer, she was the youngest player on the U.S. team at the Maccabiah Games in Israel. Smith has played for the Washington Wolves club team for two years and will join the Wolves at the USFHA's festival near Palm Springs, Calif., over Thanksgiving weekend.

Coach of the Year

Kathy Schuyler, Catonsville: In her fourth year as Comets coach, Schuyler orchestrated the most remarkable ascent in the area this season. With 14 underclassmen, the Comets reached the state semifinals for the first time in nine years. The Comets had been a contender in Baltimore County's weaker division, but Schuyler moved them into the tougher Heron Division and her youngsters responded with a 9-6 season. "The group of individuals that I had this year just listened and believed everything I told them," said Schuyler. "They were really unselfish. I credit everything to their attitude and the way they were willing to be a team and not individuals." At first, the Comets found the going rough in the Heron Division. Dulaney pounded them, 9-0, in their second league game, but they recovered to win their next game in overtime. Half of their six losses were by one goal, including a 2-1 loss to eventual county champ Hereford. In the regional playoffs, the Comets upset Liberty, 4-3, and Broadneck, 4-1, before falling 2-0 to Northern of Calvert County in the state semifinal. "A lot of people thought that I was being ridiculous saying we'd move up even though we lost 12 seniors last year," said Schuyler, "but I wanted them to be challenged. That, I think, is what paid off. Playing Loch Raven, playing Towson, playing Hereford -- they're the games that helped us get past teams like Liberty and Broadneck."

First team at a glance

Kate Ahearn, St. Paul's, senior, defense: Ahearn enjoyed a breakthrough season as the field leader for the AIS runner-up and No. 5 Gators (12-3-2). She galvanized a unit that lost its top veteran, Alyson Bowyer, early on and turned defense into the Gators' strength. With speed and solid skills, Ahearn was explosive bringing the ball out of the back. She was especially adept on defensive corners, when she flew off the line to clear the ball away from nearly every opponent.

Cantey Boyd, Garrison Forest, senior, attack: Boyd created many of the scoring opportunities for the No. 8 Grizzlies (7-2-6), who lost in a shootout in the AIS A Division tournament semifinal. The Grizzlies' playmaker, she used her superior stickwork and great anticipation to set up from the left side and was also instrumental on offensive corners. Boyd, who had five goals and an assist, was named an AIS-All Star and second-team All-State.

Kate Cole, Bryn Mawr, senior, midfield: The spark on transition, Cole was the central cog for the AIS A Division champs, who edged defending champ St. Paul's 1-0 in overtime for the title. A smooth defender, she could spark the attack out of the middle or out of the back. She could also finish, providing seven goals to go with three assists. The AIS All-Star and Futures veteran proved one of the most consistent players in the league, using her speed and stickwork to dominate the middle.

Sara Herman, McDonogh, senior, midfield: An All-Metro pick last year, Herman frustrated opponents with her ability to maneuver the ball quickly through the middle. Exceptional stickwork as well as speed, game sense and versatility enabled her to excel on the line, too. She scored four goals and had six assists for McDonogh (9-6-4), which was ranked much of the season. A Futures veteran and three-time All-City/County selection, Herman will play for the Washington Wolves at the Hockey Festival.

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