Teams at a glance

Boys Lacrosse

March 20, 2000|By Edward Lee

F.S. Key Eagles

1999 record: 7-7

Coach: John Baugher

Top players: Nathan Krida, Sr., A; Justin Merson, Sr., A; Sean Todd, Sr., M; Ryan Mallardi, Sr., M; Tommy Fletcher, Jr., A.

Outlook: After finishing one of their most successful seasons in recent memory, the Eagles and Baugher are primed to improve on last year's .500 mark. They also have another goal -- playing in the Class 2A state championship game. If there's one thing the third-year coach won't have to worry about, it's finding goals. Krida (49 goals and 17 assists) and Merson (43, 19) were first and second, respectively, among the county's top scorers. Todd (20, 18) is another scoring threat for the Eagles. Francis Scott Key has 17 returning varsity players, including senior defensemen Jordan Butler and Tommy Eyler. Senior Dan Skiles held off freshman Kevin Vanderlinden for the starting goalkeeper position.

Liberty Lions

1999 record: 5-8

Coach: Sal Picataggi

Top players: Mark Donahue, Jr., A; Kris Gooding, Sr., M; Joe Onheiser, Sr., D; Ryan Sargent, Sr., M; Todd Bell, Sr., D.

Outlook: Injuries and season sweeps by North Carroll, South Carrolland Westminster took their toll on the Lions. Eager to erase those bad memories, Liberty's greatest asset may be its ability to put the ball in the net. Before breaking his collarbone in the ninth game of the season, Donahue posted 14 goals and 25 assists. Gooding recorded nine goals and six assists in just three games before he was declared academically ineligible. Eleven of the 24 players are returnees, but two-time All-County defenseman Micah Reese graduated. That leaves Onheiser and Bell to anchor a young defensive corps in front of junior goalkeeper Greg Stang, who may be challenged by sophomore Greg Reeves.

North Carroll Panthers

1999 record: 9-7

Coach: David Dodson

Top players: Kevin Sirman, Jr., M; Justin Hackler, So., M; Nick Thurston, So., A; Zach Crisler, Sr., A; Kyle Lettau, Jr., GK.

Outlook: After sweeping Liberty and battling Westminster for the Class 4A-3A West regional championship last year, the Panthers won't be surprising anyone this season. The team has four seniors, 14 juniors, and three sophomores on the roster. But North Carroll's attack is potentially explosive. Crisler, who earned All-County honors with 36 goals and 10 assists, will team with Thurston (18, 27), Sirman (23, 11) and Hackler (nine extra-man goals) to form a scoring dynamo. Whether Dodson, The Sun's 1999 Carroll County Coach of the Year, can find someone to replace graduate Regis D'Angelo on defense is a question mark. After a season of wrestling, Lettau, the county's best goalkeeper last season, is leaner and quicker.

South Carroll Cavaliers

1999 record: 10-6

Coach: John O'Meally

Top players: Jesse Buppert, Sr., A; Pete Shaffer, Sr., M; Danny Stansbury, Sr., A; Chris Palmer, Sr., D; Mike Jenkins, Sr., D.

Outlook: If O'Meally, a former assistant coach at Westminster who replaced Jeff Alisauckas, intends to guide the Cavaliers to the level of success they've enjoyed in the past, he'll have to rely on 14 seniors -- 13 of whom played varsity last year. Two seniors expected to power South Carroll are Buppert and Shaffer. Buppert, who recorded 23 goals and 31 assists, is the school's leader in career assists with 61, and Shaffer, who is recovering from a sprained knee from a skiing accident, posted 26 goals and six assists. The senior foursome of Palmer, Jenkins, Chris Alexander and Chris Currence man the defense. Seniors Matt Booz and Jason Witte will battle for the starting goalie position.

Westminster Owls

1999 record: 14-5

Coach: Jim Peters

Top players: John Fitzgerald, Sr., D; Brian Roche, So., D; Ian Park, Sr., A; Kyle Koslowski, Sr., A; Kyle Zentz, Jr., A.

Outlook: Unlike previous Owls squads, the county and Class 4A-3A West regional champs will emphasize defense. Fitzgerald and Roche both started last season, and sophomore Drew Winters will be the third defenseman. Fourteen players return from last season's varsity team that lost a 9-6 decision to Fallston in the state semifinals, but Peters will greatly miss the services of Jason Holman (29 goals, 33 assists), a junior who transferred to Boys' Latin, and John Hajewski, a senior faceoff specialist who moved to Rockville. Besides Koslowski, Park and Zentz, Peters is counting on senior midfielders Jesse Byrd and Rob Simon to add some offense. The goaltending duties belong to senior Greg Puttman.

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