All-metro Soccer - Girls

December 17, 2004|By Glenn P. Graham

PLAYER OF THE YEAR

Ashley Myers

John Carroll, forward

The dominating senior ended a stellar four-year varsity career in fine fashion, scoring two goals and adding an assist in John Carroll's 3-0 win over Institute of Notre Dame that not only gave the No. 1 Patriots the Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland A Conference crown, but also a 21-0 season.

Overpowering and often dazzling with the ball, Myers wasn't deterred by the two and often three defenders that continually came her way. With any time and space, she could unleash a cannon shot that was precisely aimed for a corner.

Myers, who has committed to play at Penn State next fall, scored 25 goals and added six assists for the season. On the rare occasion she didn't figure in the team's scoring, the attention drawn to her opened up chances for teammates to get the job done.

The three-time All-Metro first-team selection, named an All-American the past two seasons, finished her career with 67 goals and 20 assists.

"When Ashley has things going her way, she's unstoppable. She's the most dangerous and advanced scorer I've seen," said John Carroll coach Gary Lynch.

FINAL POLL

1. John Carroll 21-0

2. McDonogh 14-4-2

3. IND 15-7-1

4. NDP 12-4-1

5. Centennial 13-2-1

6. South River 13-2-4

7. Arch. Spalding 12-4-3

8. Eastern Tech 18-2

9. Severna Park 13-4

10. Glenelg 10-4-2

11. Westminster 12-1-3

12. River Hill 12-5

13. C. Milton Wright 12-5

14. Old Mill 12-5

15. Reservoir 10-3-1

Other teams considered: Atholton (9-7-1), Bel Air (12-5-1), Dulaney (10-2-1), Kenwood (12-5-1), Perry Hall (11-4-1).

COACH OF THE YEAR

Gary Lynch

John Carroll

Stocked with experienced talent, John Carroll was tagged this season's team to beat immediately after their heartbreaking, 5-4 overtime loss to Notre Dame Prep in last year's Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland A Conference championship game. How did the Patriots respond? Ranked No. 1 from start to finish, they enjoyed a 21-0 season which included the program's second league championship crown.

Understanding the maturity of his group, Lynch kept them focused on immediate tasks and their lofty long-range goals, something that became more and more difficult as their perfect season progressed.

"We wanted to take the season and make small increments of it instead of looking at it as a whole season in front of you. With the maturity we had on the team, we were able to apply that and it came in handy," said Lynch, who has a 131-27-6 career record with two league titles in eight seasons.

A prime example of Lynch's philosophy came in the regular season, when the Patriots found themselves down two goals early against Mercy. The goal was to get one score back before halftime and go from there. The Patriots ended up getting two goals before the break and went on to win, 3-2.

FIRST TEAM

Nicole Brown

Arch. Spalding, defense

The area's most imposing defender at sweeper, Brown closed out a stellar four-year varsity career with consistently fine play that helped the No. 7 Cavaliers (12-4-3) gain prominence in the demanding Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland A Conference.

At 5 feet 11, the two-year senior captain was deceptively quick and did all the right things with the ball. Brown was a strong one-on-one defender who could slow down attacks, she had a strong clear and could also effectively carry the ball forward or distribute to an open teammate.

Playing in front of a freshman goalkeeper, Brown kept the defense organized with a confident voice that led to 10 shutouts.

Rachel Fry

South River, midfield

After playing her first two varsity seasons as an outside halfback, Fry brought her poised play to the middle and became a dominating factor in leading the No. 6 Seahawks (13-2-4) to the Class 4A state championship game. She scored 13 goals and contributed five assists, but it was her strong and confident presence all over the field that paid the biggest dividends.

The team captain was quick and aggressive in getting to the ball and smart with it, able to break down defenses with her fine dribbling skills.

In crucial situations, Fry thrived at the chance to take over games with a take-charge, whatever-needs-to-be-done approach. She finished her career with 29 goals and 12 assists.

Constance Grabowski

North Harford, defense

The senior sweeper closed out a fine four-year career with a do-it-all senior season that included smooth play in the back, goals and assists when needed and strong leadership on a young team.

Highly skilled with the ball to effectively bring it out of the defensive side, Grabowski's confident play led to a 10-5 season for the Hawks that included six shutouts. She also made a major contribution on offense, scoring six goals - including the game-winner in a 1-0 win over Fallston - and adding three assists.

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