1998 Howard County field hockey previews

September 02, 1998|By Stan Rappaport

Atholton Raiders

1997 record: 6-5-3 overall, 3-3-3 county

Coach: Carol Ann Stevens

Classification: 2A

Top players: Shannon Sullivan, Sr., G; Courtney Lancos, Sr., D; Karen Brownlie, Jr., M; Chau Nguyen, Sr., D.

Outlook: Despite losing seven starters, Stevens is optimistic. "We have a really solid defensive lineup, and a lot of good, young talent," Stevens said. Seniors Maureen O'Hagan and Cathy Bross will help the attack, but for the most part the Raiders offense is young, Stevens said. "The offense is where our youth is and where I'm going to spend the next two weeks focusing on." Sophomores Audrey Park (midfield) and Jenny Grishman (forward) are expected to contribute. Sullivan, Lancos and Nguyen are returning starters, and Brownlie is up from the JV.

Centennial Eagles

1997 record: 9-5-1 overall, 6-2-1 county

Coach: Gail Purcell

Classification: 2A

Top players: Melissa Dugan, Sr., M/D;.Meghan McDonald, Sr., D; Liz Kurpe, Sr., M; Jessica Manzone, Sr., F; Donna Boccuzzi, Jr., G.

Outlook: "We have quite a bit of depth this year, which is something we haven't had in the past," said Purcell, who has 19 players on the varsity. Purcell said that even with the high number of players, playing time shouldn't be a problem. "We're going to be OK," Purcell said. "I have confidence in all of them. I know that I can put them in at any time we they'll be fine." The Eagles, who finished tied for second with River Hill last year in the county, has five returning starters -- Dugan, McDonald, Kurpe, Manzone and Boccuzzi. Dugan and McDonald will serve as captains. "The leadership from the seniors is phenomenal," Purcell said. "Any one of those kids could have been captain. It's just a very good group." Purcell said the team's strength will be its attack. "It's the first year that I've had eight girls trying to score goals," said Purcell. Manzone (three goals, four assists) is the leading returning scorer. Purcell said the team's "youth" is its weakness right now, but "I don't anticipate that will hamper us very long. I think this group will grow together very quickly."

Glenelg Gladiators

1997 record: 6-8-0 overall; 5-4 county

Coach: Ginger Kincaid

Classification: 1A

Top players: Krystin Brown, Sr., F; Beth Bettien, Sr., D; Lauren Buchanan, Sr., D; Danielle Howell.

Outlook: Brown, Bettien, Buchanan and Howell are returning starters and give the Gladiators a solid base to build on. "I think we have a little more depth over last year," said Kincaid. "It might take us a little while to get started, but look for us to be pretty strong at the end." Three sophomores that have shown a lot of promise and are starting are midfielder Kristina Schwartz and forwards Kelly O'Connor and Elizabeth Narrow. Jessica Swadow, up from the junior varsity, will start in goal. One concern that Kincaid has is the team's transition game. "We need experience to develop it," Kincaid said.

Glenelg Country Dragons

1997 record: 1-13-3 overall, 1-3-2 league

Coach: Barbara Brummett

League: AIS

Top players: Rachel Baron, Sr., M; Kathyren Owens, Sr., D; Molly Walker, Soph., M; Megan Reuwer, Jr., M; Liz Clark, Sr., F; Christine Cockran, Soph., F.

Outlook: "I'm really positive," Brummett said. "Last year we were so young and inexperienced. With nine returning starters I think we'll have a nice season." Brummett looks for Clark and Cockran to lead an improved offense, and Reuwer and Owens to head a solid defense. Sophomore Teresa Church is one of the new players and is competing for the starting goalie position. Brummett is hoping that last year's tough season will benefit the team now. "A year of playing together will really help this team," Brummett said.

Hammond Golden Bears

1997 record: 10-6 overall, 6-3 county

Coach: Gay Petrlik

Classification: 1A

Top players: Jessica Garvey, Sr., M; Stephanie Yezek, Sr., D; Mandy Schroeder, Sr., A; Christina Braganza, Sr., D.

Outlook: Petrlik is optimistic and with good reason. She's got nine starters returning. "It's looking better than it's looked for a long time. I'm very hopeful," said Petrlik, whose team will play on a new Bermuda grass field that is the finest in the county. Lauren Clark, a senior defenseman, and Garvey, who played in Europe over the summer, will serve as captains. Rachel Harris and Braganza will help lead the defense in front of goalie Erin Chrapaty. Four juniors that are expected to contribute are forwards Amy Hafets, Lauren Snyder and Andrea Feldstein and midfielder Courtney Vaughn. The Golden Bears also are glad to have Adrienne Fenemore, a senior exchange student from New Zealand. "She good. She has some skills," Petrlik said. With so many returning starters and half of the 18-player squad seniors, Petrlik lists experience as the team's top strength. Team members also played together over the summer.

Howard Lions

1997 record: 1-11-1 overall, 0-8-1 county

Coach: Lisa Brecher

Classification: 2A

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