Player of the Year
Shannon Goans, River Hill: Good field vision and excellent stick skills were the keys to Goans' ability to distribute well. "She had the best stick skills in the county," said coach Shelly Chamness. "She can move the ball every which way. It's hard for anyone to contain her. She was the player who made the difference for us." Goans has a strong shot and takes good free hits. She's good on corners. She's agile enough to weave through several players and to fake and hit the ball the other way. And the senior center midfielder, who orally committed to American University last Saturday, was able to overcome double teams most games and still control the ball. Goans scored five goals and had eight assists while leading the Hawks to an 12-2-2 season. ""It was an incredible season," she said. ""To be able to do as well as we did was just amazing. Our team unity and hard work are what made it happen."
Coach of the Year
Jeannette Ireland, Mount Hebron: The Vikings (14-5) won their fourth regional championship under Ireland, who was coaching her 12th season at Mount Hebron and has a lifetime record of 112 wins, 51 losses and 13 ties. Her team was a state finalist for the third time, but lost to Fallston, 1-0. The Vikings lost to Long Reach and Glenelg in league play, but came back to upset Long Reach in the playoffs, 2-0. They finished strong, with six straight shutouts leading up to the state final. ""It was a tremendous season and I'm pleased with the way we progressed. To end the season in the state final was a real accomplishment. I'm proud of my team." Ireland previously was an assistant field hockey coach at Johns Hopkins from 1977 to 1985. She played at Towson University and Goucher.
Katie Baker, Long Reach: The senior moved from left back to center back this season and played an potent role in Long Reach's 14-3 record and county championship season. She played stopper or shooter on corners, displayed a high level of skill and leadership and scored the game-winning goal against Centennial in the playoffs. "She was my most consistent player," said coach Kelly Snyder. Baker scored two goals and made four assists. She hopes to attend UMBC.
Rashmi Bhanot, Long Reach: The team's high scorer, this convert from soccer was adept at retrieving deflections down low and putting them in. The junior forward's role was to carry the ball down the right wing and cross it to the circle to set up scoring chances. She excelled at it. A physically strong player with good field sense, Bhanot had 14 goals and eight assists. She said her most memorable game was defeating River Hill in the playoffs.
Nadia Clendening, Centennial: The junior forward scored in all four playoff games, and in five of the final six games overall, to finish with eight goals and five assists. She scored the tying goal against Hereford. "She's fire on grass," coach Gail Purcell said. "She's all over the place. Her skills caught up with her speed. She has good timing and distributes well." Clendening was her team's "flyer," leading the fast breaks, and its "inserter" - sending the corners.
Sherry Epperson, Long Reach: The senior scored a big goal against River Hill in the playoffs off a corner and alternated between playing stopper and shooter off corners. Although she had not played midfield before this season, she adapted well and produced an quality season. She controlled the field and distributed to both sides. Epperson scored eight goals and made 12 assists. She'll attend either Villa Julie or Appalachian State.
Emily Goldman, Mount Hebron: The junior sweeper was rock solid on defense as the Vikings allowed just 10 goals in 19 games. She was tough to beat one-on-one, made excellent stops and tackles and had strong stickwork. She made several goal-line saves. She's a Team Maryland and U.S. Futures player. "She's a great hockey player, one of our most consistent players and critical to our success," Ireland said.
Erika Hyrowski, River Hill: Her stick skills set her apart as a forward. She could dodge well at top speed, carry the ball and finish with a hard shot. She can also reverse her stick and weave through players to an open spot. The senior scored three goals in a 3-2 win over Hammond, the first team to score against River Hill. On all three goals she took the ball away and moved it through defenders for an open shot. She scored 11 goals and made seven assists, and will attend the University of Maryland but will not play field hockey.
Kate Macon, River Hill: While displaying some fancy moves, she allowed only five goals, made 68 saves and recorded 13 shutouts. The senior stayed on her feet most of the time, but she could dive and punch when needed. She communicated well on the field to teammates. She said her best game was a 0-0 tie against Centennial. ""I'll never forget our team chemistry," she said. ""We came so far from last season to produce our greatest season at 12-2-2." She will attend Western Maryland College.