1997 All-Carroll County girls soccer team

November 20, 1997|By JEFF SEIDEL

Player of the Year

Michelle Allen, Liberty, sophomore, midfield/forward: Allen led the team in scoring with eight goals and five assists as Liberty made the region final, losing to eventual state champion Thomas Johnson. A first-team All-State player, Allen played at both midfield and striker, faced and beat double-teams most of the year. Three of Allen's five assists were on game-winning goals, and she became one of the area's top players. "She solidified whatever area we needed her to play. She's relentless in her work rate, and her soccer sense is uncanny," said Liberty coach Sam DeLaurence.

Coach of the Year

Sam DeLaurence, Liberty : DeLaurence had many questions facing him when this season began, but he found the answers. Despite winning a share of last year's Class 2A-3A state title, Liberty lost two of its top players from that team and was looking at a brutal schedule. But DeLaurence did a fine job. This year's group went 15-2-1 and made it to the Class 3A-4A West region final, losing to Thomas Johnson. DeLaurence brought the team along almost in stages, working on defense, then midfield, then offense when the playoffs came. The plan worked out well as DeLaurence now has a two-year record of 30-2-4 as Liberty coach.

The first team

Jodi Baier, South Carroll, junior, forward/midfield/defense: A first-team All-State player, Baier truly did a little bit of everything for the Cavaliers. She played all over the field, starting everywhere. Baier had five goals and one assist and jump-started the South Carroll offense during the final part of the season. She came up with some clutch goals during the latter part of the year and was one of the county's top players.

Courtney Beirne, Westminster, senior, midfield/defense: A versatile player who filled several roles for Westminster, Beirne did whatever the Owls needed. She could score goals at striker. When at midfield, Beirne did a good job of helping the offense push forward while also helping defensively if needed. She was very valuable for the Owls once again and will be missed next season.

Kim Bowers, South Carroll, sophomore, forward: Her speed helped the Cavaliers offense score. She had five goals and one assist and had a knack for creating trouble. A strong passer who can set up the offense, she was the only player this season to score more than one goal against Class 3A-4A state champion Thomas Johnson.

Gina Cinquegrani, Liberty, senior, goalkeeper: She gained confidence this season and blossomed to finish with 12 shutouts, helping Liberty make the region final. That is a county record for shutouts -- boys or girls. She had a number of big games and improved in several areas, especially showing better judgment on air balls. The team allowed just 11 goals in 18 games, and four of them were in one match.

Emily Gomez, North Carroll, senior, midfield/defense: A solid all-around player who sparked the team, Gomez always marked a top-notch player and even pitched in offensively, scoring seven goals with one assist. Gomez had goals in five straight games at point this season.

Erica Gordon, Liberty, senior, defense: Gordon was a quiet four-year starter for the Lions as they went 52-9-4. A calm player who anchored the defense, she was the last line of defense before the goalkeeper and used her speed and quickness to allow few balls through. "She was the key back there," said DeLaurence.

Mandy Hughes, South Carroll, junior, goalkeeper: A rock on defense in her third year as starter, she made 137 saves and allowed only 17 goals, five of them in one game. She posted four shutouts and kept the Cavaliers in several close games. Her positioning and anticipation both were strong.

Mandy Komar, Westminster, sophomore, midfield/defense: A talented player who will continue to get better and better for a growing Westminster team, Komar was a consistent winner of 50-50 balls. In addition, she was excellent at ball distribution and covered strongly on defense. Komar should be a force for the Owls and in the county for the next two seasons.

Stephanie Rogers, North Carroll, junior, forward: She was a solid, consistent player who helped the offense with her six goals and strong passing. Rogers played good soccer and often sparked the offense, especially in the clutch. "She was the catalyst for our offense and got the ball downfield to the offensive end quickly, and that really helped us," said North Carroll coach Jim MacDonald.

Danielle Shearer, North Carroll, junior, forward: The team's top scorer with 10 goals and seven assists, Shearer came up with some key late-season goals. She scored in the team's 3-2 loss to Liberty and got the lone goal in its region playoff loss to Middletown. Shearer always faced the tough task of going against difficult markers, but often came through for the Panthers.

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