Baltimore City

Girls Lacrosse

March 21, 2001|By KATHERINE DUNN

Not much figures to change with the top two girls lacrosse programs located in Baltimore City - Bryn Mawr and Roland Park.

Defending champion Bryn Mawr and the runner-up Reds should be right back in the battle for the Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland A Conference title. Although the Reds have the early edge based on a stronger returning contingent, the Mawrtians should be in the hunt too, most likely with Notre Dame Prep and Maryvale.

The Mawrtians (20-1) lost 12 seniors from a team that swept every IAAM opponent and lost only to No. 1-ranked Mount Hebron. They return a solid corps of seniors - defender Kelly Noon and midfielder Sarah Sanborn - and juniors - midfielder Elizabeth Pinney, defender Ardith Lindsay and attackman Megan Burker.

Even though the Mawrtians graduated one of the best senior classes in school history, opponents don't look for them to drop off the pace. Historically, Bryn Mawr has been able to bounce back quickly from its losses.

"Bryn Mawr is a program that is similar to ours," said Roland Park coach Tara Kramer. "They obviously lost an incredible class that had an awesome year, but they'll still be somebody to battle. They're always competitive. This league is so tough. That's all I can hope for is that our team is competitive with the other teams out there."

Roland Park returns a senior-laden squad that will mix with a solid junior class and an athletic, talented sophomore class.

Its midfield could be the league's toughest, led by seniors Kelsey Twist (34 goals, 13 assists), Allison Higgins (37, 9), Sarah Passano and Kristen Sloan. Two seniors return on defense - Alex Thomas and goalie Anne Sheridan.

Mercy coach Joy Lewandowski faces a rebuilding season in the A Conference after losing eight starters. The Magic (8-10-1) likely will start three freshmen. Veterans include senior midfielder April Marinelli, and junior defenders Liz Lombardo and Amy Ewertez.

In the IAAM B Conference, the Institute of Notre Dame should rival defending champion Park, Seton Keough, Archbishop Spalding and perhaps Friends.

Mary Beth Bollinger's Indians (8-6) graduated 11 seniors and will be rebuilding on defense, so it helps to return senior goalie Lindsay Stallings and senior defender Jessica Thanner. Also among the top returnees are junior attackman Erin Bollinger and midfielder Lauren Cunningham.

Runners-up in last year's B Conference tournament final, Seton Keough (12-4-1) has a promising young group with a lot of speed, athleticism and team-oriented play. Led by senior attackman Becky Clark and junior midfielders Kerry O'Connell and Sarah Bach, rookie coach DeDe Chartier's team has a solid transition.

Catholic coach Mary Ann Sattler is looking for improvement on last year's 2-10 record with a more experienced group, especially with senior attackmen Amy Lapinski, Lindsay Polec and Amber Gallio.

The Baltimore City public school league appears to be a wide-open race. Every team has a new coach and City, which has dominated for the past three years, graduated some key players.

New City coach Lisa Katz Twiss returns a strong attack in seniors Lloren Jones and Erin Cunningham. Senior Peanut Washington will also add to the attack when she's not tending the goal.

Western coach Sarah Hill has a solid group of natural athletes, but half the team is made up of beginners. Look for an attack led by senior Nellie Shook and junior Melinda McLaughlin.

At Poly, coach Erin Harrigan has even more beginners, but she has solid midfielders in juniors Rhiannon Feely and April Ruffin as well as a key attackmen in sophomore Danielle McCullough.

Graduation claimed most of Patterson coach Carol Brett's veterans, but she has a promising freshman class. The Clippers (4-7) will rely on senior attackman Delcina Smith, junior defender Sonja White and junior midfielder Tyshema Soto.

Players to watch

Kelsey Twist

(Roland Park, senior, midfield) Stanford-bound, All-Metro player brings commanding presence, leadership and excellent all-around skills

Allison Higgins

(Roland Park, senior, midfield) Headed for North Carolina, Reds' top scorer doubles as transition catalyst

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