Fall All-metro

Field Hockey

December 12, 2007

PLAYER OF THE YEAR

Hope Battista

South River, defense

Getting past Battista proved one of the most difficult tasks this season. The senior put up a brick wall in the backfield and rarely got beaten. With her stick skills, speed and defensive instincts, she led the Seahawks to an unbeaten regular season and into the Class 4A East regional final, where they fell to Severna Park in a shootout. With Battista's leadership, the No. 4 Seahawks shut out 10 opponents and allowed just 10 goals in going 16-2. She made three stick saves and also contributed seven goals and six assists. Battista didn't start playing field hockey as early as many other players in Anne Arundel County. She concentrated on softball until this season, when she opted to pursue hockey in college and recently committed to Georgetown. She played for the SPark club team at the U.S. Field Hockey Association's national tournament over the Thanksgiving weekend. Seahawks coach Katie Corcoran said one of Battista's greatest assets is never being satisfied with her game. "She just wants to improve her game every day," Corcoran said. "Coming in her freshman year, starting her first game, she just had this confidence and this willingness to listen to everything the coaches had to say. She wouldn't let herself think she didn't have room to improve." As a result, her game kept improving. Battista was perhaps best known for her drives. She had tremendous power behind them and often ignited the attack with a long ball up the field. In addition, she had plenty of patience, perfect timing and a relentless inner drive. "She's just a smart player, and she's got great game sense," Broadneck coach Jen Parks said. "She has a fantastic drive, and I know that's only one very small part of her game. She's great getting the ball out of the circle, and she doesn't get frazzled. She was such a leader for them." The Anne Arundel County Player of the Year is also a two-time All-Metro first-team selection.

First team

Allison Behringer

Severna Park, midfield

The central cog in the Falcons' midfield, Behringer played a key role in Severna Park's comeback season - from three regular-season losses for the first time in nearly 30 years to the Class 4A state championship. The senior excelled with her superb field vision, stick skills and constant hustle, often setting the No. 2 Falcons' attack in motion. Her passing was dead-on, and she was a reliable finisher, scoring eight goals, including one in a shootout victory over South River in the regional final. Her 11 assists tied for best on the team. A Futures veteran who plays for the SPark club team, Behringer has committed to play field hockey and lacrosse at Princeton.

Liza Blue

Garrison Forest, midfield

Never flashy but always dependable and solid, Blue played her center midfield role to little individual fanfare but great team success, helping the No. 1 Grizzlies win the Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland A Conference championship. The sophomore showed exceptional poise and field presence for a young player and emerged as the backbone of a team laden with underclassmen. Blue was the key to the Grizzlies' transition game with her blocks and precision passes. She could also finish, contributing a pair of goals and six assists. A veteran of the Futures Program, Blue played for Team Baltimore at the national festival.

Sarah Cole

Bryn Mawr, forward

A skilled player who was exceptional at moving the ball downfield at top speed, Cole was the Baltimore City Player of the Year. She was adept at throwing the defense off balance with her deceptive moves and ability to see several plays ahead. Cole proved so difficult to stop that she almost always drew multiple defenders, who sometimes got a little too physical in their efforts to curtail her. The senior handled the pressure well, finishing the season with 12 goals and five assists for the No. 6 Mawrtians. Cole, who played for Club Applebee at the national festival, plans to play in college.

Shannon Hanratty

Broadneck, defense

Perhaps the best defender in Bruins history, the senior anchored a unit that allowed just nine goals while shutting out 10 opponents. Skilled and quick in the back with exceptional patience, the senior had the timing and the defensive instincts to play the ball at just the right moment. Hanratty could also play like a second goalie on the line, making four saves for the No. 3 Bruins, who won the Anne Arundel County championship. She also was a strong leader on the field, orchestrating the defense and inspiring her teammates. A Futures veteran who played for the SPark club team at the national festival, Hanratty plans to play in college.

Virginia Jorden

South River, goalie

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