2001 All-Anne Arundel County boys soccer

High Schools

November 29, 2001|By Pat O'Malley

Player of the Year

J.P. Murphy, Severna Park: Consumed with delivering the first outright state title for 28-year coach Don Gregg, Murphy took matters into his own hands and paced the No. 3-ranked Falcons (13-5-1) to the coveted title in Class 3A. In tying the school record for most points (25) in a season set by Rodney Long in 1982, Murphy scored six of his 15 goals in five playoff games. Three of those goals were game-winners, including the 1-0 state championship victory over then-No. 3 Dulaney (14-5-1), and in the Falcons' 2-1 upset of top-ranked River Hill (12-1-1) in the 3A East semifinals. The only first-team repeater, Murphy finished his three-year career with 30 goals and 19 assists (10 this season tied a school record) for 49 points, third in school history. Creating and finishing were not Murphy's only contributions. When needed, Murphy, the ninth Falcon named Sun County Player of the Year since 1980, would move to sweeper and was equally talented as a defender. Murphy is hoping to receive an appointment to the U.S. Naval Academy.

Coach of the Year

Don Gregg, Severna Park: Finally winning an outright state championship in his 28th season was more than special to Gregg. "It was a relief, sort of redeeming ourselves for the ones we didn't get," said Gregg, The Sun's County Coach of the Year a sixth time since the award began in 1981. Gregg's 1983 Falcons (14-0-2) tied Bowie, 1-1 in double overtime and were declared AA (now 4A) state co-champions. In seven other finals, the last in 1996 before this season, the Falcons came up short. After winning their 13th region title, the first in Class 3A, Severna Park upset No. 1-ranked River Hill, 2-1, in the 3A East semis and went on to win the state title, 1-0, over Dulaney. After a disappointing 9-7 log last season following a final four appearance in 1999 (14-5), the Falcons collapsed at the end of this season losing to Arundel, 4-3, and 1-0 to South River. The losses knocked them out of the county championship. Then they were hit with a forfeit loss to Northeast because one of the Falcons played in both the JV and varsity games between the two schools. Severna Park took an 8-5-1 record into the playoffs with Gregg emphasizing the "new season" philosophy and they reeled off five straight to win it all. "This team had great chemistry like the '83 team and other top teams," said Gregg, who had a losing season since 1975. "They really wanted it."

First team

James Agorsor, Arundel: A junor transfer from DeMatha, the speedy and shifty striker was a welcome addition to the Wildcats (8-7). It took Agorsor about half the season to grasp coach Nick Jauschnegg's scheme and he scored most of his goals (11) and assists (three) down the stretch. In a 4-3 regular-season victory over eventual 3A state champion Severna Park, Agorsor, who has extremely quick feet, scored three times with his final goal the game-winner.

Matt Allen, Severn: Allen finished his four-year career with the Admirals (13-7) by leading the county in scoring with 24 goals and four assists. The talented midfielder was "our best player and a pleasure to coach," Ian Carr said. Early in the season, Allen scored the game-winner in an overtime shootout with Arundel in the Old Mill tournament. An ODP player, the strong-finishing Allen has not decided on a college.

Craig Bald, South River: A second-team All-County goalie as a junior, Bald allowed only six goals (10 last year) and stopped 117 shots in 18 games this season. Bald often cleared by launching punts past midfield and was vital to the low-scoring Seahawks. Bald rejected 14 shots in shutting out Severna Park, 1-0, in regular season to land the No. 5 Hawks (15-2-1) in their first county final. They won it, 2-1, over Chesapeake, with Bald making six saves. In the 4A East regional, Bald had six saves in a 1-0 quarterfinal over Glen Burnie and eight more in a double-overtime, 2-1 win over then-No. 2 C. Milton Wright in the semis. Thomas Johnson managed to get one past Bald for a 1-0 win to end South River's season in the East final.

Daniel Bulls, Old Mill: Only a sophomore, Bulls emerged as one of the county's most explosive strikers scoring 10 goals and assisting on four more. Teaming with Wijy Jones, also All-County, Bulls gives the Patriots a solid, young 1-2 punch. One of Bulls' highlights was three goals against Severn.

Joe Butka, Chesapeake: Retiring coach Earl Eckhardt said Butka, "was our go-to guy in the middle," as a first-time starting senior striker. Butka, a team captain, scored five goals and had two assists. "If we couldn't get the ball to Joe, we had trouble scoring," said Eckhardt. Fast and aggressive, Butka was a main concern for opponents who kept him marked.

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