1997 All-Carroll County field hockey teams

November 19, 1997|By JOHN W. STEWART

Coach of the Year

Brenda Baker, Westminster: For a coach who has taken teams to the state tournament nine straight years and 13 of the last 15, Brenda Baker has had to stretch her talents to cover a variety of situations. The two she missed were within three years of each other a decade ago. Of her four state titles, two were back-to-back, and two were followed by final-round losses. For 1997, she had eight senior starters from a championship team, and was put on the spot with a No. 1 preseason ranking for the metropolitan area. It was a challenge she and her players responded to by going undefeated until losing to Severna Park, 3-0, in the Class 4A championship game. "It was easier being an underdog," Baker says in reference to last year's 16-0-1 championship run with an entirely new starting cast. "I think we all felt the pressure this year," she said. "I know I did." Baker intensified her practices to the point where she would set the clock at two minutes and try to score. This was followed by overtime periods and shootouts. "I didn't want any surprises," she said of that tactic. As it developed, the Owls got a tying goal with 20 seconds left, then won their regional final in a shootout. In the semifinals, they played Walt Whitman to a scoreless tie and again won a shootout.

Player of the Year

Carli Harris, Westminster, senior, defense: In love with the sport since first exposed to it during an eighth-grade play day, she has parlayed her skills into a string of accolades. Unsought, they were simply byproducts of a talent fueled by a fierce determination and a genuine enthusiasm for the game. Promoted from JV to varsity for the playoffs at the end of her sophomore season, she went on to be a two-year starter and a two-time first-team All-County, All-Central Maryland Conference and All-State selection. She was tabbed to go first in the two playoff shootouts, and each time she responded with a goal. "I like to go first," she said. "It sets the tone for the others. On corners, her coach used her as a flyer on defense and a shooter on offense. Of pressure on the team this season, she said, "I didn't feel it. I try and down play those things." A defender from the beginning, she thrives on the position. "The big challenge is going one-on-one," and her face lights up at the thought of it. The player her coach considers, "my defensive coordinator," managed three goals and six assists.

First team at a glance

Lisa Duke, Westminster, senior, forward: A two-year starter, she nearly doubled her goal production of a year ago with 17 and added five assists. A co-captain, she is a repeat All-Carroll selection, has been named to the Maryland Coaches All-State second team and is a member of Team Maryland. The Owls outscored their opposition, 54-5, with senior linemates Duke, Lindsay Iadevaia and Becky Towns combining for 39 goals and 21 assists. Not only was she a hitter on offensive corners, which set her up as a scoring threat, but she set up scoring situations for others.

Meredith Gill, North Carroll, junior, midfield: As a dominanting player from the center midfield position, she was able to be a major factor with her play at both ends of the field. She worked well with Maureen McGuire to give the Panthers a formidable midfield pairing and contributed two goals. The Maryland State Field Hockey Coaches Association rated her as a player to watch.

Lindsay Iadevaia, Westminster, senior, forward: Another member of the team's goal-oriented threesome, she ended with 12 goals and shared the team-high in assists with eight. She had excellent stickwork, was a shooter on corners and showed good rushing ability.

Mary Kaminski, North Carroll, senior, forward: The team captain led in scoring with 11 goals and five assists. Included in the package were four multi-goal games, and she had the goal in a 1-0 win at Frederick. She is also rated as a player to watch.

Stephanie Lawrence, F.S. Key, junior, forward: A repeat first-team selection, she improved on her numbers, as she led the Eagles in scoring for a second straight year. From eight goals and four assists a year ago, she came through with 11 goals and eight assists. Her output included the game's only goal with 58 seconds left at North Carroll, a three-goal burst against Frederick, and two goals, including the game-winner, in a 3-1 regional quarterfinal win over Einstein.

Marie Legg, F.S. Key, senior, midfield: The team captain fit well in the midfield, and showed dramatic improvement in becoming a very versatile player. Her play in the middle, particularly with outstanding stickwork, was a key factor in setting up an offense that scored 33 goals, second-most in the county.

Maureen McGuire, North Carroll, senior, midfield: The Panthers got four goals and four assists from their team captain. "She was instrumental in our success," according to coach Danean Koontz.

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