She knows the score

Whether it's in lacrosse, field hockey or basketball, Brittany Kalkstein of Roland Park provides an offensive spark - and she's versatile, too.

April 12, 2006|By KATHERINE DUNN | KATHERINE DUNN,SUN REPORTER

Whenever one of Roland Park's ranked teams has needed a goal this year, the Reds usually looked to Brittany Kalkstein.

The senior led the Reds field hockey and basketball teams in scoring, and she is leading the No. 9 lacrosse team in goals scored, too.

"I've played with her forever and she's always had the ability to take it to goal wherever she is," said Barb Seaman, Kalkstein's teammate in all three sports. "When she wants to score, she's going to score and that's pretty much the end of it. She's pretty much the one you want to have the ball when you're down by one."

Kalkstein scored 21 goals for the field hockey team, averaged 16 points for the basketball team and has scored 22 goals in eight games for the lacrosse team. She rolls up those points day after day against the area's top teams in the area's toughest league for all three sports - the Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland A Conference.

"She's probably the most competitive kid I've seen in quite a while," St. Paul's basketball coach Jim Stromberg said. "In every sport, she can go out there and compete and give it her best shot regardless of whether it's her sport. She'll do whatever it takes to win."

Her sport is lacrosse, which she will continue to play next year at Virginia on scholarship.

"People always asked me, `Are you going to quit field hockey and basketball?' " Kalkstein said, "and I was like, `No.' I can't imagine not playing a sport during every season. I really like field hockey. It's a fun sport. I like being out on the field and all my friends are on the team."

When it came to college, Kalkstein, 17, had to choose, reluctantly leaving hockey and basketball behind, but not without leaving a mark on both at Roland Park.

Her talent was never more obvious than in field hockey, a sport she took up in the ninth grade and played for only a few months each year.

"The day before practice, [she wipes] the dust off [her] field hockey stick, but that's just the kind of player she is," Seaman said. "She works on her game, but that natural ability comes out so much."

Her 21 goals - the most in A Conference field hockey last fall - accounted for 44 percent of the Reds' total. She scored at least one goal in all but three games to lead the sixth-ranked Reds to the A Conference championship.

In basketball, the versatile, 5-foot-10 swing player sometimes played all five positions in a single game for the ninth-ranked Reds. She could hit the three-pointer, but she was also a force inside.

"She has a lot of determination. She wants to score," Reds basketball coach Scott Buckley said. "In basketball and also, I think, in field hockey, she's not afraid to take chances. If it takes her four drives to score, if she gets blocked three times, she'll put the fourth one in. She doesn't play timid at all."

Kalkstein earned All-Conference honors in field hockey and basketball and was named to the All-Metro first team in field hockey and second team in basketball.

All that before she got to her best and favorite sport.

In addition to her 22 goals, Kalkstein also has 12 assists, as the Reds orchestrate a comeback season, going 7-1 after a 4-11 finish a year ago.

Coach Erin Millon, a former World Cup player in her first season with the Reds, saw Kalkstein's knack for scoring right away.

Most impressed with Kalkstein's "poise and her command with the ball," Millon said, "That just comes with an awareness and understanding of the game, knowing where to be, knowing where the ball's going to be. That's the kind of thing you can't teach somebody. She's so successful with that in other sports, you have to chalk it up to being an innate characteristic."

While Kalkstein is certainly best known for her ability to score, her athletic gifts and hard work allow her to succeed at most other aspects of the games, too.

In lacrosse, she has become one of the best players in the A Conference at winning draws - something Severn coach Renie Sotiropolous said is even more valuable to the Reds than er scoring.

"She draws to herself a lot and that's possession, which in lacrosse is so incredibly important. If you have a center who can get possession, you can't ask for much more than that," Sotiropolous said.

In basketball, Kalkstein not only played the big offensive role, she was the team's stopper. Her defensive assignment always was to guard the opposition's best player. She also averaged seven rebounds and rarely came out of the game.

Kalkstein said she likes contributing in numerous ways.

"I'm kind of into the whole midfield thing. I like being able to be on both sides of the field or the court, but when I see the goal, I just want to score," she said.

Although she said her big numbers in field hockey were "just lucky," coach Debbie Bloodsworth would disagree. After all, opponents knew she was the Reds' top gun and they still couldn't stop her even with double teams.

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