Athletes of the Week

Athletes of the Week

November 09, 2005

BOYS

Loyola's Fitzgerald goes out on top

Sport Soccer

Senior Akira Fitzgerald closed out a fine four-year career with flawless play in goal last week, leading No. 1 Loyola (15-2-6) to a share of the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference crown after a 0-0 overtime draw with Mount St. Joseph.

The two-year captain, who has twice been selected to the All-Metro team, turned back seven shots against the Gaels in 100 minutes of scoreless play. In the Nov. 1 semifinal win over defending league champ McDonogh - won 4-2 on penalty kicks after the teams were tied at 0-0 through two overtimes - he had nine saves, including a key save in the shootout. He also scored the clinching goal.

Fitzgerald, who will attend Wake Forest, had 11 shutouts with 108 saves and 12 goals allowed in 20 games.

"It's hard to put into words what he's meant to the program. Along with his goalie skills, he brings a lot of presence in the back and so many other intangibles, like giving the guys in front of him so much confidence," coach Kyle Swords said.

Others considered: Brian Farrell, Boys Latin, football; Antione Smithson, Douglass, football; B.J. Smoot, Hammond, football.

GIRLS

N. Carroll's Markle saves day in big upset

Sport Field hockey

North Carroll goalie Becca Markle cemented one of the biggest upsets in the history of the state field hockey tournament with 16 saves to hold off perennial powerhouse Bethesda-Chevy Chase and preserve a 1-0 victory in the Class 3A West regional final. The Barons have won 13 state titles, but Markle's performance kept them from winning a 19th regional crown. Instead, the No. 4 Panthers advanced to the state semifinals for the first time since 1998.

After Megan Sainz scored midway through the first half, Markle hunkered down and cleared away every ball against 14 B-CC penalty corners.

"She was the whole game basically," Panthers coach Denean Koontz said of the senior who has allowed only six goals this season. "She's just an athlete, and when you talk about goalkeepers, that's the most important quality."

Markle, who has a 4.0 grade point average and wants to become a nurse, plans to play lacrosse at Queens University in Charlotte, N.C.

Others considered: Blake Hargest, St. Paul's, volleyball; Michelle McConnell, North Harford, soccer; Sara Mosier, John Carroll, soccer.

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