1998 All-Baltimore City/County boys soccer

November 26, 1998

Player of the Year

Jon Cole, McDonogh, senior, midfield: This two-time All-Metro player has earned All-State, All-South and -- last season -- was among only three juniors chosen to the National Soccer Coaches' Association All-America team. Cole also was named the Umbro Player of the Year for Maryland last year. "Jon's big and powerful -- a great physical, intimidating presence," said McDonogh coach Steve Nichols. "He can play offense or defense, come forward, and score goals." This year, the 6-foot, 175-pounder scored a career high 16 goals to go with 13 assists in leading the Eagles (22-3-1) to their first Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association crown. Cole, who finished with 43 career goals and 39 assists, has orally committed to a soccer scholarship to perennial NCAA power Virginia. Widely considered the state's best player, Cole scored the game-winning goals in the Eagles' semifinal win over Calvert Hall, and in their title-game win over then-No. 1-ranked Archbishop Curley. With Cole in the lineup, the Eagles were ranked as high as No. 21 nationally last year and have reached four straight conference semifinals. A 3.0 student who scored 1,160 on his SAT, Cole, 18, turned down Wake Forest, Maryland, Duke and Georgetown to play for the Cavaliers.

Coach of the Year

Larry Meekins, Franklin: Meekins' Class 2A Indians won the Baltimore County title by defeating such traditional powers as 2A state finalist Patapsco, Class 4A state semifinalist Perry Hall twice and Dulaney, last year's county champ. This accomplishment followed last year's 6-10-0 season. The Indians (13-3-0), co-champs with Dulaney in the county's Division I, also beat a powerful Eastern Tech squad. All this with two sophomores -- striker Chris Borcik and keeper Andy Schuster -- among the leaders for a team that was region runner-up to Patapsco. Schuster's confidence developed behind senior defenders Steve Posner, Steve Mays, Nick Outten, junior defender Casey Bivens and marking back Jon Mandras. And Borcik, chosen first-team All-County by league coaches, developed alongside senior striker John Schuster (10 goals, eight assists). "We had a nice group of seniors and some very good younger players," Meekins said. "Overall, I just believed in all of them."

First Team

Steve Althoff, Archbishop Curley, junior, defense: With the 6-foot, 180-pound Althoff's booming foot at sweeper, the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference runner-up Friars (17-1-1) allowed only five goals against a school-record 17 shutouts -- nearly double the 1993 record. Led by Althoff, the Friars finished as the state's only nationally-ranked team (No. 19) after being ranked as high third nationally. Althoff earned All-State and All-MIAA honors and scored a goal and an assist.

Marco Angelini, Archbishop Curley, junior, forward: Angelini, a second-team All-State pick, had a breakthrough season with a team-leading 16 goals and nine assists, including all three goals in a regular season-ending 3-1 defeat of McDonogh and the game-winner in a 1-0 shutout of Loyola. Angelini also netted the game-tying goal, with his team down a man and with 30 seconds left in regulation of an eventual 2-2 draw with Calvert Hall. He also had a three-goal game in a 6-0 rout of Howard County's Hammond.

Bobby Benson, McDonogh, senior, goalkeeper: keeper: Back in goal after a knee injury cost him a year, the 6-foot-3, 180 pounder allowed only 19 goals and posted a school-record 16 shutouts, breaking the mark of 13 set just last fall. Benson had his biggest games in victories over Strath Haven (Conn.), 12th nationally (12 saves); Kearny (N.J.), ninth-ranked nationally (nine); and Mount Hebron, the Howard County champ at the time ranked No. 2 in metro Baltimore. A 3.7 student and also a basketball player, Benson is headed for Johns' Hopkins on a lacrosse scholarship as an attackman.

Chris Borcik, Franklin, sophomore, forward: ward: A first-team All-County pick by league coaches and a third-team All-State selection, Borcik scored 19 goals to go with five assists for the Baltimore County champion Indians. "Chris is a finisher who can also beat double-teams or dish it off on the fast break," coach Meekins said of a player whose poise belied his status as an underclassman. Borcik is a 4.0 student.

Kaiser Chowdhry, McDonogh, sophomore, forward: Chowdhry led the Eagles' team with 22 goals and 11 assists, earning All-MIAA A Conference and second-team All-State honors. An Olympic Development regional team pick, Chowdhry scored seven game-winning goals along with the first goal in the Eagles' title game victory over Archbishop Curley. Chowdhry carries a 3.8 grade average.

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