Around The Area

Girls Lacrosse

March 20, 2002

Anne Arundel County

For reigning county champion Annapolis to repeat, it must rely on its defense, which returns four starters and junior goalkeeper Cammie Jurkowsky.

Two-time defending Class 4A-3A state titlist Severna Park hopes to reload with a pair of seniors in attack Kate Hickman and midfielder Kaitlin Hancock.

Broadneck returns its top three scorers from a squad that finished fourth in county and advanced to the 4A-3A East Regional semifinals.

With 12 returners from a team that reached the 3A-2A state final, South River could improve on last year's third-place county finish. Southern is looking to rebuild after graduating six starters.

A dark horse is Old Mill, with leading scorer Kate Worthington returning.

Baltimore City

The city league has the fewest number of schools - four - but it may have the most wide-open race.

Defending champion City returns 70 percent of its starters for new coach Kristen Hagerty. Tiffany Wright, Julia Notar and freshman Carly Herbert lead a speedy team.

At Poly, new coach Jeff Headley has the best numbers, with 27 girls and 12 returnees. Samantha Fischbeck and Danielle McCullough pace a fast midfield.

Western coach Sarah Hill has just 14 girls out for the team, eight of whom are back, including Melinda McLaughlin, Stephanie Harkeness and Kristen Burgess.

Patterson coach Carol Brett has just five returning players on her roster of 13, including Tyshena Soto, Tiffany Driscoll and Christina Torney.

Baltimore County

More teams could be in the race for the Division I title than any time in recent years, but defending county champion Hereford should stay out in front of the herd.

The Bulls return 10 starters from a team that also won the Class 2A-1A state title.

Lining up behind the Bulls are perennial contenders Dulaney and Catonsville as well as Loch Raven, which brings back coach Wendy Galinn, and Franklin, which has been building for a couple of years.

Defending Division II champion Eastern Tech moves up to Division I along with Sparrows Point, leaving Pikesville (8-4) and Dundalk (10-6) to duke it out.

Pikesville gets the early edge with most of its starters back, lots of depth and balanced scoring. Dundalk returns eight starters.

Carroll County

Liberty (14-3) should once again be the class of Carroll County, as well as one of the top teams in the metro area. The Lions, who lost to Mount Hebron in the regional final, feature eight seniors who will play for NCAA Division I schools.

Westminster (6-8) features 10 players in their second or third year on the varsity, including second-team All-County goalie Lydia Eppig.

South Carroll (10-4) graduated Leah Onda (Johns Hopkins), arguably the best player in school history, but returns a strong nucleus.

North Carroll, despite losing top midfielder Lacey Hentz, returns enough talent to present problems for some county teams. Francis Scott Key (3-11) returns most of its defense.

Harford County

Defending county champion C. Milton Wright appears likely to extend its dominance this spring - and its 35-game winning streak against Harford County foes.

Coach Paul Snyder's team, winner of three regional titles in four years, lost several outstanding players to collegiate programs but has lots of returnees. The Mustangs will have to get past Fallston, however, a team that coach Pam Reich describes as "very athletic and very quick."

The Cougars return several from last year's 13-3 squad, including the county's top goalie, Ali Goetz. Likely to be much improved is North Harford under 12th-year coach Barb Waite, with a talented group advancing from the JV. Bel Air lost some top players to graduation but may be a contender.

Howard County

There have either been big changes for perennial Howard County champion Mount Hebron, winner of 13 of the past 14 titles, or insignificant ones.

Gone is coach Chris Robinson, who guided the Vikings to a 107-8-1 record and five state titles in six seasons. Assistant coach Brooke Kuhl-McClelland takes over, inheriting one of the best programs in the country.

Returning, however, are 11 of the Vikings top players from a year ago, including All-Americans Melissa McCarthy and Stephanie Scurachio.

Though no teams have the firepower to match up with the Vikings, who have seven Division I signees, the battle for second place will be a tight one. Centennial, River Hill, Hammond and Glenelg should be evenly matched.

Private schools

Maryvale will strive to finish what it started last season in the Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland A Conference. The Lions sprinted to a 15-0 start before falling in the tournament semifinals. Give coach Erin Stewart's Lions the early edge over Bryn Mawr, defending champion Notre Dame Prep and Roland Park.

St. Mary's, Severn and Mount de Sales can never be counted out, and McDonogh (9-9) could be poised for a big move with every starter back.

Defending champion Seton Keough (13-6-1), Friends (7-9-1) and Park (8-5) should again be the top B Conference contenders.

The C Conference could come down to another battle between defending champion Oldfields (10-4-1) and runner-up St. Timothy's (8-3).

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