Harford County

Girls Lacrosse

March 21, 2001|By MARC ETHIER

The power team to watch in Harford County girls lacrosse, as usual, is Fallston (9-3 last season). The Cougars have all-stars on attack in the form of senior Becky Rausa (48 goals, 21 assists) and on defense in the form of senior Stephanie Crouch (27 steals, 30 ground balls). And after a first-round loss in the regionals to C. Milton Wright, coach Pam Reich expects Fallston to play a stronger, hungrier game.

"We look fast, and some of the players look outstanding [in practice]," Reich said. "We're just a step away from contending."

Helping the Cougars gain that step are senior midfielder Lauren Pokrywka (25 goals), senior midfielder Regan Shifflett (13 goals, eight assists) and senior defender Kristen Reich. Tending goal is junior Ali Goetz, who last year stood out with a 70 percent save ratio.

But C. Milton Wright (7-5) is stocked with experience (six seniors) and will not go away. Heather McHugh and Kerri DiMartino lead the attack for coach Paul Snyder's team, with Katie LaRue and Meghan Zorn back on defense in front of goalie Monica Janowitz.

Bel Air (12-5) owes its ouster from the regionals to the Mustangs, but it's not holding a grudge: With 10 returning players, including top center Leann Matta (47, 29) and senior midfielder Kristi Eyler (37, 20), the Bobcats are setting their sights high for coach Angie Knott-Ward. Bel Air looks to pick up where it left off last year: blowing teams out and keeping an eye on Fallston and C. Milton Wright.

Stuck in the middle tier last year, Aberdeen (6-8) has reason for optimism. Four-year varsity player Sally Resau returns to improve on her 27-goal output from last season, and three-year varsity juniors Lauren Martin (24 goals) and Nikki Leonetti provide depth. John Carroll (7-8-1) is in much the same situation, returning a team loaded with upperclassmen like senior attackman Emily Gray, senior utility player Melissa Sands and junior defenders Morgan Russell and Allyson Sarigianis.

And North Harford (5-7) has reason for confidence, according to longtime coach Barbara Waite, with the return of senior center Tara Buecker (27, 14) and senior midfielder Monica Joines (22, 17), both of whom led the team last year.

But while some teams expect progress, others will be happy to just hold on. Both Edgewood (9-6) and Joppatowne (6-7) were decimated by graduation, losing 10 seniors apiece. Edgewood has just one senior -- and one who didn't play at that. Sophomore attackman India Lucas (15 goals) will try to skew the curve a little for the Rams.

Joppatowne meanwhile, lost its goalie and all its goal scorers. Senior Jen Clishan will lead the attack, and sophomore goaltender Lindsay Baers will get a quick education.

A team that has nowhere to go but up is Havre de Grace (1-11), and this may be the season it does so: Coach Judy Forder has a strong corps of sophomores to help replace departed top scorer Angie Wood, and seniors Erin Rogers and Angel Rockwell will balance out the midfield.

Players to watch

Leann Matta

(Bel Air, senior, midfield)

Led strong team with 47 goals amid 76 points, making it even stronger

Heather McHugh

(C.M. Wright, senior, attack)

Helped lead way to regional final for Mustangs, and is hungry for more this year

Becky Rausa

(Fallston, senior, attack)

Captain had 48 goals, 21 assists in leading Cougars to 9-3 record.

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