2001 All-Howard County girls soccer

High Schools

November 29, 2001|By Kevin Van Valkenberg

The girls

Co-Players of the Year

Julie Napolitano, Mount Hebron: "Julie defines what leadership is all about," coach Willie Ibarra said. "She's the glue that held us together. I've never coached a player quite like her." A three-time All-County selection, Napolitano finished her senior year in style, scoring 18 goals and notching 10 assists for the 11-5-2 Vikings. An accomplished club player who won a national championship with the Bethesda Fury and is a member of the U-18 women's national team, Napolitano took it upon herself to instill that same drive in her Mount Hebron teammates. Napolitano led the county in scoring, and had a goal and an assist in Mount Hebron's 3-2 win over Hammond on Oct. 2, the Bears only county loss of the season. Napolitano will play at Virginia next season.

Melissa Workman, Hammond: Workman defined clutch this season, doing whatever it took to push her team to the top of the standings. "She was just a wonderful player for us this season," coach Peter DiMarco said. "She was dominant on offense and defense, consistent and was a very hard worker." Workman, an aggressive player who fights to win every ball, led the county during the regular season in goals with 18, while adding three assists. Eight of her goals were game-winners. To start the year, she scored in six straight games, and then had an eight-game scoring streak in helping Hammond win its first county title since 1998, going 15-2-1. Workman scored twice to clinch the county title against Atholton in the regular-season finale, and scored in playoff wins over Atholton and North Hagerstown.

Coach of the Year

Peter DiMarco, Hammond: "I knew we were going to be better this season than last," said DiMarco, whose team was coming off a 7-9 year in which it scored only 25 times. "But at the start of the season, when we started out 8-0, I think we started looking around and saying, `Are we for real?' " Hammond most certainly was, and the Bears convinced everyone, including themselves, nudging aside traditional soccer powers like River Hill and Centennial to win their first county title since 1998, going 15-2-1 on the year. "I tell everyone, we're not like the other schools," DiMarco said. "We don't get superstars, we create them." That was certainly true this year. In a year where parity ruled in the county, the Bears were the most consistent team from start to finish, scoring 45 goals and posting eight shutouts.

First team

Megan Buescher, River Hill: Perhaps no defender in the area affects the all-around game more than Buescher. With seven goals and six assists, the 6-foot junior provided scoring punch for the Hawks, who won a third straight Class 3A state title. But even more important was her presence and leadership. With only one senior starter returning from River Hill's 18-0 team a year ago, Buescher, a junior, helped steady a rocky ship at midseason, when the Hawks went through a three-game winless streak. Her tremendous throw-in remained one of the most effective weapons in the area and helped lead the Hawks to a 2-0 win over No. 1 St. Mary's, the Saints only loss this season.

Beth Foley, Centennial: A relentless defender, Foley anchored a strong defense that was at its best in the playoffs, including the state championship game, a 0-0 tie with Bethesda-Chevy Chase. Foley almost always drew the toughest assignments, and consistently won balls in the air and on the ground. In the 2A West regional final, Foley helped shut down Hammond's Melissa Workman, the county's leading goal scorer, in a 1-0 win. She had key assists in wins over Glenelg and North Hagerstown.

Jamie Goertler, River Hill: Goertler, a junior, was the Hawks' leading scorer with 10 goals and four assists. Few players changed directions as well as Goertler with the ball, and that ability helped her score when it counted the most, getting goals in playoff wins over Mount Hebron and Urbana. She also scored twice in the Hawks' 4-0 win over No. 4 John Carroll.

Julie Hill, Wilde Lake: Hill, a senior, was the leader of Wilde Lake's defense at the sweeper position and her tremendous speed and smarts helped the Wildecats outscore opponents 45-20. "Most of our back line and our goal keeper were new this year, so we really relied on Julie to be our anchor," Wilde Lake coach Marcy Leonard said.

Tessa Laidig, Atholton: "Tessa sees the field better than any player than any player I've ever coached," said Atholton's Chuck Teal. Only a sophomore, Laidig helped lead the Raiders to their best season in some time, scoring eight goals and eight assists as Atholton went 7-5-3. Laidig played striker for the Raiders, but moved around when needed.

Lindsay Lewis, Glenelg: Lewis, a second-team All-Metro selection as a defender a year ago, played some midfielder this year for the Gladiators and scored four goals and had three assists. "As our only senior starter, she delivered consistency for us," coach Mike Williams said. Lewis was a starter on Glenelg's state championship teams in 1999 and 2000.

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