Hall may have been the toughest assignment for a defensive player this season. Skilled and unflappable, the senior excelled at moving the ball downfield and creating scoring chances for herself and teammates. She scored the only goal for the No. 4 Grizzlies (18-3) in the Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland A Conference final, a 2-1 loss to Bryn Mawr. The Baltimore County Player of the Year finished with 14 goals and 12 assists. She demonstrated a fine blend of finesse, game smarts and poise. Hall gave most defenders fits with her ability to move the ball quickly and with her finely timed decisions on whether to go to goal or dish off. Named first-team All-State, she plans to play field hockey and lacrosse at the Division III level.
Severna Park, goalie
The only player returning from last year's All-Metro first team, Manuel continued to excel as the area's top keeper. The senior had a .911 save percentage and 13 shutouts while allowing only six goals as the No. 1 Falcons (18-0-1) won Anne Arundel and Class 3A state championships. She didn't see much action in the state final, but made 15 saves against No. 2 Fallston in the semifinal, a 1-0 overtime victory. Tough under pressure and the inspirational leader of the Falcons, Manuel was technically strong and exceptionally quick, but perhaps scrappier this season. She showed a fearless streak in getting low to try to stop the ball. She was named to the All-State first team.
Garrison Forest, midfield
Versatile enough to play anywhere on the field, Markowitz carved a niche in the Grizzlies' midfield, but she was all over the place. High on energy and quick on the ball, the skilled senior could start the play or finish it. She played on offensive and defensive corners and could play on the right or left side of the midfield. Markowitz scored four goals and had three assists as the No. 4 Grizzlies lost only one regular-season conference game and reached the Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland A Conference final. She was effective on the defensive end, where her rush at the player with the ball forced many hurried passes that Grizzlies teammates picked off. Markowitz plans to play lacrosse in college.
Bryn Mawr, defense
The No. 3 Mawrtians could not have won 11 one-goal games this season without a superb defense, and Mathews led the way. The senior played back or sweeper and showed uncanny timing in her ability to swipe the ball from opponents. With her leadership in the back, the Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland A Conference champions posted nine shutouts, including 1-0 victories over No. 2 Fallston and No. 5 South River. The team allowed only 15 goals in 20 games. Versatile, quick and excellent at recovery if the ball did get by her, Mathews is a veteran of the Futures program and plans to play field hockey in college.
The senior center midfielder controlled the flow of the game for the No. 6 Bruins (12-2-1) and was their playmaker. Dynamic and driven, she didn't even come out of the game when she suffered a broken finger in the Severna Park game, a 1-1 tie. A pivotal transition player, McElwee also played key roles at both ends of the field. She was instrumental in offensive and defensive penalty corners. She scored three goals and had eight assists, but she also marked the opposition's top midfielders, holding some of the biggest names scoreless. That helped the Bruins allow only five goals all season. Named honorable mention All-State, she plans to play field hockey in college.
The Eagles' scoring record of 22 goals in a season held up for almost a quarter of a century - until Parks came along this fall and scored 28. Although Debbie Hoff's mark, set in 1982, was tied once, it took a steady player with a sharp eye for redirecting balls in the circle to finally break the record. The Howard County Player of the Year scored in every league game as the Eagles went 10-0 in the county during the regular season. Able to keep the ball on her stick and deftly maneuver past opponents in the open field, the junior was also adept at beating goalies one-on-one. She scored many of her goals by redirecting the ball off the goalie's pads.