1998 All-Baltimore City/County girls soccer

November 26, 1998

Player of the Year

Marissa Schuchat, McDonogh, senior, midfield: The No. 1 player on the No. 1-ranked team, Schuchat sparked the Eagles (22-5-1) to a season-ending 12-game winning streak capped with the Catholic League A Division tournament championship. The area's most skilled, savvy player scored 28 goals and added 19 assists, but that was only the tip of her contribution. Driven to succeed, no one worked harder. At center midfield, she proved the consummate team player and the Eagles' transition catalyst. Speedy and exceptionally quick, Schuchat displayed ability to maneuver through defenses to get a shot for herself or set up a teammate. More than any other factor, her quick, accurate passing drove McDonogh's success. She finished with a 92 percent pass-completion rate. Of the 330 passes she made, only 28 went to defenders. Other statistics were as strong. On 50-50 balls and one-on-one situations, Schuchat won 387 balls and lost 92. She also scored eight game-winning goals, including one in perhaps the season's most exciting game, a double-overtime victory that nipped then-No. 1 and unbeaten John Carroll, 4-3. "She's a big-time player," said McDonogh coach Maurice Boylan Jr. "She came up big for us all year long. Everything we did went through her. She was calm and cool, poised under pressure. She's the kind of player who can adjust to what the other team gives her." A regional Olympic Development Program selection for three years, Schuchat was a first-team All-Metro pick last year and is a two-time All-State first teamer. Although she had yet to make a college decision, she is being recruited by many top-notch Division I schools.

Coach of the Year

Mark Deaton, Notre Dame Prep: In his first season at the Pirates' helm, Deaton primed the team for a run at the Catholic League A Division title. Last fall, the Pirates had one sensational week, but this year, they contended in every game. At the beginning of the season, when Deaton and his team set their goals, winning was not one of them. He simply wanted to forge unity within a team that mixed five freshmen with veterans. With that unity, the wins came. The No. 7-ranked Pirates finished 15-4-0, losing only to teams ranked No. 1 or No. 2 at the time of the match. They lost to eventual champ and No. 1 McDonogh in the tournament semifinals after beating the Eagles during the regular season. They ranked among the Catholic League leaders in offense with 48 goals and among the leaders in defense, posting eight shutouts and allowing 11 goals. Deaton, a 15-year veteran of coaching rec, travel, club and high school teams, took over the Pirates varsity after amassing a 19-2-4 record and a co-championship in two years with the JV. His only previous varsity coaching experience came at Eastern Tech in 1994. Deaton's quiet sideline demeanor meshed perfectly with his basic coaching strategy. "I like to keep things simple," said Deaton, a math teacher. "I don't like things real complicated. I like to make things clear, but I want them to own the games. The games are theirs. I want them to be creative and instinctive, and when things get out of hand, I remind them of the structure of the game and bring them back into that."

First team at a glance

Brandy Ault, Institute of Notre Dame, senior, striker: A second-team All-Metro pick last year, Ault played all over the field for the inexperienced Indians (4-7). She proved a formidable opponent at striker, midfielder or sweeper. One of the Catholic League's top strikers, she scored 11 goals and had 10 assists, but she wasn't getting the ball enough up top, so she was moved back to provide stability and create offense from the midfield. With great speed and skills and exceptional ability in the air, Ault was named first-team All-State.

Jesse Eckerl, Mercy, senior, defense: One of the area's premier marking backs, Eckerl was a second-team pick last year. She shut out some of the Catholic League's top strikers, including McDonogh's Lisa Zanti (in one of two meetings), Institute of Notre Dame's Brandy Ault, and Hereford's Melissa Mueller. A driven, tenacious, mentally tough defender for the No. 9 Magic (13-4-3), Eckerl was patient when necessary, but she also could hound an opponent.

Rachel Engle, McDonogh, junior, midfield: A pulled hamstring slowed Engle early on, but she emerged as a money ball-player at the end. In the Catholic League Tournament, she contributed to seven of the Eagles' eight goals. Engle scored three of her six goals and had four of her eight assists during the final week as the Eagles won the tournament and reclaimed the No. 1 ranking. She scored both goals in the 2-0 title-game victory over St. Mary's. A major midfield ball winner, Engle won 83 percent of the loose balls she challenged for.

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