PLAYER OF THE YEAR
A firebrand who sparked Severna Park to its first outright state championship for 28th-year coach Don Gregg, Murphy transformed his team's mediocre season (the Falcons were 8-5-1 entering the playoffs) into an unforgettable one by scoring the winning goal three times in five playoff games.
He scored six playoff goals to drive the Falcons to their second state title (they tied for one in 1983). The game-winners came in the 1-0 state championship victory against then-No. 3-ranked Dulaney, the 2-1 regional semifinal upset of top-ranked River Hill and the 2-0 regional championship victory over Mount Hebron.
Tying the school record for most points (25) in a season set by Rodney Long in 1982, the senior scored 15 goals and had 10 assists for the No. 3 Falcons (13-5-1). From center midfield, he displayed physical strength, above-average technical skills and excellent speed.
The 6-foot-1, 155-pound captain also helped out at sweeper when needed. What set the three-year-starter apart, however, was his burning desire to win. A vocal player, the two-time All-Anne Arundel County player understood the game well and acted as a field general. "He could play anywhere on the field for us, and sometimes did," Gregg said.
A first-team Maryland Association of Coaches of Soccer All-State player, Murphy ended his career with 30 goals and 19 assists for 49 points, third in school history. He hopes to receive an appointment to the Naval Academy.
COACH OF THE YEAR
Mike St. Martin
Mount St. Joseph
By winning the MIAA A Division soccer championship, the No. 2-ranked Gaels ended a prolonged drought between titles that stretched to 1978 when they shared a Maryland Scholastic Association title. Their last outright soccer title was in 1965. St. Martin, 32, had a heart-to-heart talk with his team after a disappointing 3-11 league season in 2000, and the players strengthened their commitment in the form of off-season workouts and club ball, coming to camp in August fully prepared to play. As a result, the Gaels started and ended the regular season in first place, winning that title as well as its postseason tournament title -- the only Baltimore-area team to win both. A big, physical, high-intensity team with 11 seniors, the Gaels played with confidence. "I felt from opening day that we could win. They had a great attitude. No complaints. They always wanted more work. I just tried to keep them focused," St. Martin said. This was his fifth season at Mount St. Joe. He played sweeper on a 21-0 team at Calvert Hall, and played four years at Frostburg State, winning one East Coast Athletic Conference title. Then he coached at North County for four years before coming to Mount St. Joe. His career record is 86-59-10.
The most feared fullback in Howard County, the 6-foot, 170-pound senior had a toughness and physical strength that made him a force. The Eagles started the season 6-0, and his reputation grew to the point that opposing coaches preferred attacking down the opposite side to avoid him. The third-year varsity player, a first-team Maryland Association of Coaches of Soccer All-State selection, was his team's strongest one-on-one defender and its best player in the air. He anchored the defense against corner kicks and long throw-ins, and scored three goals off set plays, including one in a 1-0 win over regional champ Hammond. He plans to attend either Maryland or Kings Point.
Bald allowed six goals and stopped 117 shots in 18 games as the Seahawks won their first Anne Arundel County title and posted the best record in school history at 15-2-1. The 5-foot-11, 175-pound senior launched punts past midfield right onto teammates' heads to jump-start a low-scoring offense. He communicated well with his defenders. A smart player, he positioned himself wisely, knew when to come out and was strong in the air. "He played like he was 6-2," said coach Greg Carroll. One of the top vote-getters on the All-Anne Arundel County team, Bald rejected 14 shots in shutting out Class 3A state champion Severna Park during the regular season. He is orally committed to Villanova where he plans to study engineering.