All-metro Girls Soccer

December 11, 2008

PLAYER OF THE YEAR

Erica Page

Archbishop Spalding, forward

The repeat first-team All-Metro selection brought leadership, poise and strong skills to the field in leading the No. 1 Cavaliers (19-1-3) to the Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland A Conference championship. A four-year starter and two-year captain, Page scored 16 goals and added 17 assists this season to close out her career with 56 goals and a program-best 42 assists.

The Maryland-bound standout was a key part of two IAAM A Conference championship teams, with the program's first coming in her sophomore year. After the Cavaliers graduated the program's most prolific class, Page became the go-to player on offense this season, showing an ability to score on her own and set up teammates when she drew extra attention. She opened the season at less than 100 percent, recovering from anterior cruciate ligament surgery that she underwent in the early part of 2008, but she was still productive.

"Erica is a smart player and student of the game," Spalding coach Bob Dieterle said. "Her ability to understand the game, read opponents and make adjustments over the course of a game was very fine this year. She was as good without the ball as she was with it."

Page, who has a program-best 18 game-winning goals, played in 85 games (starting 82) and logged 5,231 minutes. In the Cavaliers' three playoff wins this season, she had two goals and three assists.

COACH OF THE YEAR

Bob Dieterle

Archbishop Spalding

The Cavaliers opened the season full of questions. Who would replace All-Metro Player of the Year Christine Nairn and her instant scoring? How long before senior captain Erica Page returned to top form after surgery earlier in the year? Could goalkeeper Jocelyn McCoy fill the void left by All-Metro four-year standout Karen Blocker?

Dieterle, who relied on a sturdy, experienced defense and more balance on offense, instilled confidence and a sound structure. The result for the No. 1 Cavaliers was a 19-1-3 mark that culminated in a 2-0 win over McDonogh for the program's second Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland A Conference crown in three years.

"We definitely had some questions that needed to be answered, but that's high school sports, and every coach knows it's going to happen," he said. "We just told the kids, 'We lost some great players, but we also have a very good team right here.' You could see that in their attitudes - they were confident."

Dieterle, who has an 108-21-12 mark in seven seasons, was quick to credit his assistant, Bob Wagner, and junior varsity coach, Dave Bukowski.

FIRST TEAM

Ali Brennan

McDonogh, goalkeeper

Quick, athletic and possessing good size, the senior posted 20 shutouts and allowed just three goals for the Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland A Conference runner-up. A former standout defender who earned Baltimore County Player of the Year honors as a sophomore playing left fullback, she used her ball skills to allow the Eagles to play the ball back to her to relieve pressure. When turning back shots, Brennan was smart in covering the angles and also had the agility to make diving saves. She is set to play at Miami next year.

Cassie Cooke

Winters Mill, forward

After dominating the middle of the field as a junior, the senior standout made her mark up front this season for the Falcons, scoring 20 goals and adding five assists. Cooke was dangerous in open space and also was able to take on defenders with a quick first step. Handling all the team's direct kicks, she had an accurate and hard shot that often found corners of the goal. After spending her first two years at Westminster, she scored 32 goals and added 21 assists in her two seasons at Winters Mill. On Oct. 15, she had a four-goal game in a 4-1 win over Tuscarora. Cooke, who also is an All-Metro guard in basketball, will play that sport next year at Rhode Island.

Monica Fischer

Fallston, forward

Relentless and gifted in the offensive third of the field, the four-year starter led the No. 4 Cougars (17-1) to a runner-up finish in Class 3A. In earning first-team honors for a second straight year, the team captain used her crafty skills to create her own scoring chances as well as set up teammates. She finished with 16 goals and 19 assists as the focal point of the Cougars' offense. Fischer set the tone for Fallston the past two seasons, as it captured consecutive Upper Chesapeake Bay Athletic Conference championships and went undefeated in the regular season.She plans to play soccer at Johns Hopkins next year.

Kirsten Frank

Archbishop Spalding, defense

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