Player Of The Year

Field Hockey

High School Sports

December 15, 2003

Lauren Maranto

Severna Park

After suffering heartbreaking back-to-back shootout losses in the regional final during her sophomore and junior years, Maranto accepted the challenge to lead the Falcons to the Class 3A state championship as a senior.

Maranto came through with a goal and two assists in a dominating 3-1 state title victory over Bethesda-Chevy Chase to lead the Falcons to an 18-1 season, the Anne Arundel County title, the program's 14th state title and the final No. 1 ranking.

The Anne Arundel County Player of the Year and a repeat All-Metro first-team defender, Maranto anchored a defense that allowed seven goals and notched 12 shutouts. She also contributed five goals and seven assists.

"I don't think I've ever seen anybody so dedicated to this team," said Falcons coach Lil Shelton.

"From the time that last game was over against Fallston last year, she dedicated herself to improving her game and helping the team get back. She was just so focused. I don't think she ever thought they weren't going to win."

Maranto brought the perfect blend of power and finesse. In addition to her physical strength, speed and stick skills, Maranto showed uncanny field sense and timing. She could anticipate an opponent's move, waiting for her stick to be off the ball and then take it away, move to space, scan the field and pass to an open teammate.

She could blast a long drive but never without purpose. She could hit a teammate's stick from long range, but she could also work the ball through traffic and make a critical pass. Her ability to adapt her power drive to the fast turf in the state final was a key to the Falcons dominating play through the first half and taking a 3-0 lead.

A SPark club team player, Maranto plans to play field hockey in college and is being recruited by several college teams.

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