1998 Baltimore County previews

September 02, 1998|By Katherine Dunn and Rich Scherr

Carver A&T Wildcats

1997 record: 4-8

Coach: Kristie Pugh

Top players: Sandy Schmidt, Sr., D; Kaitlin Pugh, Jr., M; Hannah Levin, So., F; Valerie Battenfeld, Fr., F; Amber Casserly, Fr., D; Doria McKenzie, So., F; Pam David, So., M.

Outlook: With an influx of club and CYO players as well as eight returnees, the Wildcats are looking to make a move in Division I. New coach Pugh, a former player at Fallston, takes over a team with a solid defense, but questionable offense. The Wildcats had trouble scoring last year, but this year's line is more experienced despite being younger. Look for the Wildcats to move toward .500.

Catonsville Comets

1997 record: 2-9-1

Coach: Bob Greenwalt

Top players: Michelle Stagmar, Sr., M; Christina Mitchell, Sr., F; Lindsay Muir, Sr., F; Meghan Powell, Sr., M; Rachel Pfeiffer, Sr., M.

Outlook: The Comets lost nine seniors, and the defense is almost all new, anchored by new goalie Mandy Higdon. Greenwalt's goal is to take pressure off the defense by getting more scoring and pushing more people up. Although the Comets have less experience, they work well together.

Dulaney Lions

1997 record: 8-3-1

Coach: Diane O'Connor

Top players: Chrissy High, Sr., G; Mary Warner, Sr., F; Ivy Owens, Sr., M; Lauren Wittelsberger, So., M; Marlena Wittelsberger, Jr., D; Tracy Mullaney, So., F.

Outlook: The Lions lost just four starters, but three of them were on defense. However, rebuilding in the back will be easier since High returns to the nets. The strength here is in the offense. Scoring could come from the line or from the midfield, where the Lions have plenty of potential finishers. The Lions could be in the hunt for the Division I title.

Dundalk Owls

1997 record: 5-8-1

Coach: Michael Vetri

Top players: Kristin Williams, Jr., M; Jamie Fisher, So., F; Monica Gladyse, So., F; Erin Barrow, Jr., D; Candace Johnson, So., M.

Outlook: The Owls have struggled in Division I with inexperience and lack of depth, but all that could be changing. With only three starters lost to graduation and the addition of talented transfers Williams and Barrow, the Owls appear poised to make a big move. The attack is eager and the defense should be strong behind Barrow, Beth Gontasz and Mandy Foard.

Eastern Tech Mavericks

1997 record: 6-6

Coach: Wendy Butz

Top players: Amy Wallner, Sr., G; Beth Thomas, So., D; Andrea McNew, Jr., M; Jaime Stimmel, So., D; Valerie Cushing, So., F.

Outlook: The Mavericks lost three starters but all from the defense. Butz is reworking the backfield, moving Thomas to sweeper from midfield to provide some experience in front of veteran Wallner. At the other end of the field, the Mavericks should continue to be strong with a host of finishers. The Mavericks have the skill and the experience to improve on their record, so Butz is concentrating more on the mental aspects of the game.

Franklin Indians

1997 record: 11-4-1

Coach: George Wagner

Top players: Lindsay Sproul, Jr., M; Missy Farrell, Sr., F; Candice Doten, Jr., G; Kristin Miller, Sr., D; Kim Hunt, Sr., M; Rocky MacDonald, Jr., D.

Outlook: The defending Division I champs lost most of their offense with the graduation of Sara Gustafson, a three-time All-Metro and four-time All-State pick, but they return one of the stingiest defensive units around. Doten, Sproul, Miller and company allowed just 14 goals while notching eight shutouts and four one-goal games. Sproul will move to center halfback with MacDonald at sweeper, but don't look for any letdown. By moving up, Sproul (9 goals, 7 assists) adds punch to the offense led by veteran Farrell (19, 6).

Hereford Bulls

1997 record: 13-1-3

Coach: Steve Power

Top players: Melissa Mueller, Sr., F; Jen Cox, Jr., M; Annie Ernst, Sr., D; Brooke Levine, Sr., M; Hollis Botti, Fr., F.

Outlook: The Division II Bulls look to be a powerhouse. Coming off a season in which they won a county championship and advanced to the Class 1A/2A state final before losing to Glenelg, they return all but three starters and add more depth. Second-team All-Metro Mueller (25 goals) was one of the top scorers in the area last season and Ernst was a key element on a defense that allowed just eight goals. Botti, an ODP regional player, also joins the fold.

Kenwood Bluebirds

1997 record: 3-9-1

Coach: Jodi Brush

Top players: Jessica Todd, Jr., F; Katie Zielinski, Sr., D; Angie Seufert, Jr., M.

Outlook: The young Bluebirds are looking for improvement. Despite the presence of just one senior on the roster, most of the team has played together in past seasons, and Brush hopes that will help propel it to the .500 mark in Division II.

Lansdowne Vikings

1997 record: 5-7

Coach: Kim Ferraro

Top players: Jenny Schwartz, Sr., D; Karen Dudley, So., F; Laura Leisher, Sr., F; Jen Leasher, Jr., M.

Outlook: An exceptionally strong defense and a large number of returning players bode well for the Division II Vikings, who hope to top .500 and make their mark in the playoffs. Dudley and Leisher will lead a capable offense.

Loch Raven Raiders

1997 record: 12-4-1

Coach: Debby Konschak

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