1999 All-Howard County girls lacrosse teams

June 01, 1999|By RICK BELZ AND STAN RAPPAPORT

Player of the Year

Lauren Kickham, Mount Hebron, junior, midfield: A repeat first-team All-County selection and All-Metro performer, Kickham was a key reason the Vikings went 20-0 this season and earned their third consecutive state title. "Lauren initiates so many things for us," said Mount Hebron coach Chris Robinson. "First is the draw. She dominated that this year. She also broke her own single-season school record [131] for ground balls with 141. She starts things off on the defensive end. She's a phenomenal defensive player. Then on top of that she comes down on the offensive end and was our leading goal scorer and point-getter." Kickham had 55 goals and 31 assists for 86 points. Kickham, named a Chesapeake Regional All-American by the United States Women's Lacrosse Association, understands the game and plays it under control. She doesn't try to stand out. "She scored 55 goals this year and they were done very unselfishly," Robinson said. "They were done within the context of the offense. They weren't something that she had to go out of the way to get the points. She just let the game come to her, and when the game did come to her she performed very well." And while Kickham's statistics have improved each year, her field leadership has also impressed her coach. "Her statistics have improved, but the thing that she's taken on is a leadership role," Robinson said. "Her work ethic and the way she goes about playing every day makes the people playing around her much better."

Coach of the Year

Chris Robinson, Mount Hebron: The Vikings accomplished something this season that no other team before it had -- a 20-win season. Mount Hebron was unbeaten and ranked No. 1 in both the Baltimore and Washington areas. "This was was the best team I've had in four years," said Robinson, who is 70-7 overall and 34-0 in the county in that span. Robinson was a JV coach and assistant head coach at Mount Hebron before talking over the successful program started by P. J. Kesmodel. To Robinson's credit, the Vikings haven't missed a beat. Mount Hebron has won seven state titles in the 1990s, and Robinson's teams have collected three in a row. A 1986 graduate of Loch Raven High School where he was an all-county lacrosse attack player, Robinson said running a program like this takes a lot of dedicated people. "I just had a lot of talented people around me that made me look good as a coach, starting with the players. They performed very well," said Robinson, a Towson State graduate. "The assistant coaches, Scott Robinson and Scott Ruhl, they were delegated a tremendous amount of responsibility and did a great job, and our scouting director, Bill Williams, had a great scouting report for us for every big game. The players and coaches being prepared as they were, it was just a great season. One that I'll never forget." Robinson said this year's team got along very well, making his job a lot easier. "As a coach I was able to worry about strategy, how to win games and how to improve people," Robinson said. "The team just operated on its own. I think that's a reflection of the senior leadership we had." So what about next year? "We've got a lot of talent coming back and the expectations are going to be really high I'm sure," said Robinson, a physical education teacher at Mount Hebron. "But the thing we have to focus on is finding ways to improve. As long as we keep trying to improve every day in practice, and every game, and not get overconfident, we should be able to match what we did this year."

The first team

Polly Purcell, Mount Hebron, junior, attack: A second-team all-county selection last year, Purcell had 39 goals and a team-high 40 assists for 79 points (second on the team). "She's really expanded her game to become a player who has muti-dimensions," said Coach Robinson. "She can assist, take it to goal, get ground balls and she can really ride well. She has been a real leader for our team." Purcell is an unselfish player, but that hasn't stopped her from taking a trick shot now and then.

Alyssa Trocher, Mount Hebron, senior, attack: The Ohio University-bound Trocher had 39 goals (tied with Purcell for second on the team) and 36 assists (second on the team) for 75 points (third on the team). "She is probably our most improved player over the course of her career," Coach Robinson. "She never picked up a stick before ninth grade and turned into an outstanding [left-handed] scorer. She had a hard shot and, like Polly Purcell, was very unselfish in that her assist-to-goal ratio was just about equal."

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