Baltimore County

Girls Lacrosse

March 21, 2001|By KATHERINE DUNN

A few new challengers could prevent Baltimore County's top private and public school girls lacrosse races from remaining in the hands of the perennial powers.

Maryvale might shake up the Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland A Conference while Hereford seems ready to rise to the top of Baltimore County's Division I. Still, the opposition won't make it easy for either of them.

In the IAAM, defending A Conference champion Bryn Mawr as well as Roland Park and Notre Dame Prep stand in Maryvale's way; while in the county, Dulaney and Catonsville could give Hereford a run.

Maryvale, 9-5-1 last season, brings back a solid contingent that is made stronger by the addition of several transfers, including junior midfielder Katie Chrest from Mercy.

The Lions also have a stellar goalie in junior Megan Huether as well as senior leaders in defender Molly Urlock and midfielder Ally Juras.

New coach Meghan McLaughlin, a Maryvale alum, is being cautiously optimistic, especially after losing 10 seniors to graduation. She is looking for consistency and more confidence when facing the perennial powers.

Hereford coach Anne Ensor is similarly cautious. The Bulls (14-3) graduated seven, but fill one key gap with transfer Kit Turnbaugh, a junior goalie from North Carroll.

Turnbaugh's arrival is especially welcome because most of the graduated players were on defense. She and veteran Gina Allen, who has signed with North Carolina, should help the defense bounce back quickly.

The Bulls also return a lot of their scoring, especially in sophomore midfielders Jessica Allen and Mollie Reese.

In the IAAM, Notre Dame Prep should be back near the top with a cast of terrific attackmen, including seniors Cary Chasney, Katie Laschinger and Hollis Pica, and sophomore Coco Stanwick.

Coach Mary Bartel's Blazers (10-6) have some rebuilding to do on defense, where the top returnee is defensive midfielder Rachel Wallick, but with that attack, the line defenders should have time to gel.

Mount de Sales (17-4) could be right in the IAAM mix if the Sailors can make up for graduating 80 percent of their scoring. Last year's All-City/County Coach of the Year Mary Gagnon has a young but experienced team led by senior goalie Rachel Sybor, senior midfielder Bridget Eder and sophomore attacker Monica Buck.

At St. Paul's, Heather Castle faces a rebuilding season after graduation took a toll on a team that finished 6-7-2 a year ago. Still, the Gators have a talented, young group that is hungry to move back toward the top, including senior midfielder Brin Blucher (Ohio State), senior midfielder Lauren Whitty, junior defender Molly Ahearn and junior attackman Allison Schindler.

Garrison Forest coach Traci Davis will field a team with 10 underclassmen after graduating eight players. Junior goalie Maggie Fava will be key, along with senior defender Jody Mayer and sophomore midfielder Alexandra Ewing.

Another promising young team is emerging at McDonogh (4-9), where 12 players return and coach Margaret Bitz may start eight sophomores. Junior midfielder Lexi Poklemba and sophomore defenders Lee Thompson and Erin Nagle should give the Eagles an improved transition game.

In the county's Division I, Dulaney (13-3) will try to hold onto its title with six returning starters, including a powerful attack led by senior Lauren Wittelsberger.

The Lions also have a strong line defense, led by senior Kathryn Kozlakowski (bound for Ohio State) and junior goalie Olivia King. Senior midfielders Tracy Mullaney and Julia Hughey (Cornell) also return.

Jill Altshuler leaves Towson after three successful year to coach her alma mater, Catonsville. She inherits a veteran team led by three seniors: midfielder Annie Davis (UMBC), goalie Jenn Wheeler and defender Kristen Brown, as well as sophomore attackman Becky Clipp. With experience and scoring potential, the Comets could contend if they use their speed and athleticism to their advantage.

New Towson coach Bruce Mangels is implementing a lot of changes for the Generals (8-6), who finished second in the county last season. With a lot of speed and a lot of finishers, the Generals are led by junior midfielder Lucy Poole, junior attackman Michelle Clarke and senior midfielder Katie Hohn.

Nancy Gross' Parkville squad (11-6) faces a rebuilding year after graduation cleaned it out through the middle from goalie to first home. They return a solid nucleus in three midfielders -- seniors Kristen Habicht and Carie Reider and sophomore Kim Vaughan.

A veteran Perry Hall team looks to move up in the division behind new coach Jenny Matz. Much of the strength is in the middle of the field in three seniors, Jill Baran, Katie McCartey and Molly McCafferty.

New coach Meg Heubeck returns a lot of depth at Loch Raven, and has a lot of strength in the midfield with junior center Christin Krecjik and senior attack wing Gina Ruocco. Senior Katie Fox leads the defense.

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