Girls Lacrosse

March 20, 2000|By Edward Lee

Francis Scott Key Eagles

1999 record: 2-13

Coach: Stacie Stouffer

Top players: Sarah Guynn, Jr., A; Brandi Daigle, Sr., GK; Diene Bowers, Sr., D; Heather Dye, Jr., A; Valarie Legg, Jr., A.

Outlook: Despite last season's record, optimism is running high in Union Bridge, where the Eagles are eager to begin their second year of varsity play. Stouffer, who said she's a little bit more comfortable as a coach, will look to Guynn (29 goals) and goalkeeper Daigle (200 saves) for leadership. And although the Eagles lost eight seniors to graduation, the team returns 10 players from last season's varsity squad. While Stouffer said she'd like to see more wins, she also knows that winning two games in last year's regional playoffs did wonders for team confidence. "Last year, we had a long road ahead of us," Stouffer said. "There's still a long road, but it's a little bit shorter this year."

Liberty Lions

1999 record: 17-3

Coach: Courtney Vaughn

Top players: Michelle Allen, Sr., M; Jessica Roguski, Sr., M; Cara McConville, Jr., D; Becky Trumbo, So., A; Meagan Voight, So., M.

Outlook: The road to a county championship runs through Eldersburg, where the Lions have won nine in Vaughn's 12 years as head coach. Vaughn's 13th season features an offense featuring four of the county's top six scorers from last season, but questions surround the defense and goaltending. Gone are defender Jen Berarducci, The Sun's 1999 Carroll County Player of the Year, and All-County goalkeeper Gina Cinquegrani. Sophomore Kim Hastings and senior Danielle Rowley will battle for time in the cage. McConville is a returning All-County player, who -- with the help of Roguski -- will anchor a defense that gave up only 91 goals last year. Nonetheless, Liberty is a heavy favorite to return to the state finals, where the Lions lost the Class 4A-3A championship to Annapolis.

North Carroll Panthers

1999 record: 9-4

Coach: Amy Eggers

Top players: Lacey Hentz, Jr., M; Erin LaMotte, Jr., M; Lauren Moore, Sr., D; Jill Pyzik, Sr., A; Kitt Turnbaugh, So., GK.

Outlook: Redemption is the theme for the Panthers, who were ousted in the first round of the regionals by Liberty. Deliberately avoiding the "rebuilding" label, Eggers, who replaces former head coach Denean Koontz, will lean on a squad comprised of eight sophomores, seven juniors and five seniors. Hentz recorded 34 goals and 15 assists last season, and LaMotte and Pyzik are fleet-footed scoring threats. Turnbaugh was an All-County honorable mention selection as a freshman, and Moore will be one of the leaders on defense. With the graduation of Kellyn Hentz (69, 22) and Danielle Shearer (32, 26), Eggers is counting on her squad's defense to jump-start the attack. "A good season for us would be to watch the team grow and do things better game-by-game," she said.

South Carroll Cavaliers

1999 record: 5-9

Coach: Bridget Harris

Top players: Jen Kasper, So., M; Leah Onda, Jr., A; Katie Gardner, Sr., M; Sandy Lagana, Sr., D; Erin Albright, Jr., A.

Outlook: Another team ousted by Liberty in the regionals, the Cavaliers start a squad brimming with youth. Only four of the team's 16 players are seniors, and two members are picking up lacrosse sticks for the first time. Leadership will have to come from Onda, a first-team All-County pick who posted 50 goals and 17 assists last season, and Gardner, an All-County honorable mention selection. Albright and Kasper will help lead the attack, while Lagana is expected to patrol the defensive end in front of junior goalkeeper Sarah Petrella. In her third season as head coach, Harris hopes her team can continue to improve. "They have a great attitude," Harris said. "They're throwing and catching everything, and their basic skills look great."

Westminster Owls

1999 record: 9-6

Coach: Suzanne Peters

Top players: Rebecca Beninghove, Sr., M; Caitlin Link, Jr., M; Leah Taylor, Sr., D; Kristen Gombeski, Jr., M; Lydia Eppig, So., GK.

Outlook: Similar to South Carroll, the Owls are another team with more youth than experience. They have only five seniors and half of the 24 players are either freshmen or sophomores. Link (27 goals and seven assists), Beninghove (19, 8), and Gombeski (12, 9) will try to add the scoring punch vacated by the graduation of All-County players Jessica Holman and Michelle Payne. Eppig, who played on the JV squad last season, and Taylor are expected to anchor the defense. Despite losing four freshmen to the track and field team, Peters said she is optimistic about testing her young team. "Starting sophomores and freshmen gives us an opportunity to gauge the talent we have and build for the future," she said.

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