Fall All-metro Varsity

Girls Soccer

December 13, 2006|By GLENN GRAHAM

PLAYER OF THE YEAR

Annesia Faulkner

St. Vincent Pallotti, forward

Fiercely competitive with an overwhelming desire to score goals, Faulkner enjoyed a stellar four-year career that produced 107 goals to go with 58 assists and helped turn the Pallotti program into a force in the Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland A Conference.

Despite constant attention from opposing defenses, Faulkner, who will play at Maryland next year, scored 20 goals and assisted on 10 others this season - leading the league in scoring for a second straight year - as the No. 3 Panthers (16-2-1) advanced to the conference championship game.

While Faulkner's scoring will be difficult to replace, Pallotti coach Mike Vawter said the biggest void she will leave behind is the self-motivation she constantly displayed and leadership.

"One of the things I always talk about to my players is you have to play with passion. Annesia has so much passion for the game and it shows. Whenever she leaves the field, you know she has left everything she had and no game is not important to her," he said.

COACH OF THE YEAR

Brian Song

River Hill

River Hill's season - complete with a 20-0 record, the Howard County championship and the program's fifth state championship - was a lesson well learned.

After allowing a goal with eight seconds left that eliminated them from the state semifinals in 2005, the Hawks returned this fall stocked with versatile talent and purpose.

Song, in his second season and fourth in the program, got the most out of his players by placing them in positions they could most help the team in a particular game.

All 19 of the second-ranked team's field players registered at least one goal or an assist.

"Halfway through, I told the players this is one of those seasons where nobody can beat you but yourselves and it can be one you never forget. It's a credit to the 21 girls, especially our senior class," Song said.

Karen Blocker

Archbishop Spalding, goalie

Always making the routine save as well as the timely spectacular one, the standout junior provided fine play in goal to lead the No. 1 Cavaliers to their first Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland A Conference championship. Anne Arundel County's Player of the Year and a second-team All-Metro selection last season, Blocker allowed just six goals in the Cavaliers' 19-0-2 season, recording 103 saves and 16 shutouts.

Blocker, a first-team All-State player and IAAM All-Star, communicated well to keep the Cavaliers' defense organized, always had the angles covered to keep shots from finding the back of the net and also distributed the ball well.

Alissa Bourne

Glenelg, defense

A repeat first-team selection and team captain, the senior sweeper closed out her stellar four-year career as an integral part of Glenelg's Class 2A state championship run. Bourne possessed all the qualities a coach looks for from the sweeper position: poise, good instincts and decision-making, and ball skills to work the ball out of the back.

Playing in all but 15 minutes during a 19-game schedule this season, Bourne, a first-team All-State selection, anchored a defense that recorded eight shutouts in its last nine games as the Gladiators rolled through the playoffs for the program's fourth state title. Bourne, who also plays basketball, is still undecided on a college, but plans to continue playing soccer.

Ali Brennan

McDonogh, defense

The sophomore left back made the most of her first season as a starter with the ability to dominate different facets of the game to help lead the No. 5 Eagles to a 13-5-3 season and trip to the Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland A Conference semifinals. Brennan, 5 feet 11, used her natural athleticism and fine ball skills to get to the ball first and then connect with a teammate in the Eagles' short passing game. She also was strong in the air and had a big kick on clears.

In earning Baltimore County Player of the Year honors, Brennan helped limit McDonogh's opponents to nine goals in 21 games and also scored one goal and added eight assists at the offensive end.

Amanda Carta

St. Vincent Pallotti, goalie

A transfer from Good Counsel, Carta was smart, fearless and always in the right place to help lead the No. 3 Panthers to their first Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference title game. The junior goalie went 16-2-1 with 130 saves and nine goals allowed for a .942 save percentage.

A fine technical goalie, Carta was smart with positioning, not afraid to leave her line to challenge opponents and communicated well with her defense. The first-team All-State and IAAM All-Star recorded 12 shutouts and some of her finest work came in the bigger games. After shutting out McDonogh for 100 minutes in the conference semifinals, Carta saved two of four penalty kicks in the shootout round to help lead the Panthers to the title game.

Becky Fraser

Institute of Notre Dame, midfield

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