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All-County Girls Lacrosse: Cline stays on target to help young Leopards hit bull's eye

June 13, 2011|By MARK KELLER | keller@herald-mail.com
  • Girls player of the year Taylor Cline - Smithsburg
By Colleen McGrath/Staff Photographer

Taylor Cline played the 2011 lacrosse season with a target on her back.

On a young, inexperienced Smithsburg team, Cline was one of the few known quantities after scoring 39 goals in her sophomore season.

Even with the constant attention of opposing defenses, Cline still outdid herself with 52 goals and 12 assists as a junior and earning The Herald-Mail’s Girls Lacrosse Player of the Year honor.

“I kind of like being that target, because it lets me know that I need to push myself and always be on my game,” Cline said. “I can’t go out there and think we’re going to win and not give my best when I know they’re looking to stop me.”
Cline was one of the cornerstones of a rebuilding season for the Leopards, who lost eight seniors to graduation entering the 2011 season and had a number of players on the varsity squad who had never played before.

“We had some girls who had never thrown or caught at the beginning of the year,” said Smithsburg coach Cheryl Dietrich. “We were really depending on Taylor and Dani (goalkeeper Danielle Harbaugh) to sort of pull things together on the field.

“Everyone on the field is important, but Taylor really is the glue. She keeps them all going.”

The process of rebuilding was rewarding for Cline, who served as a sort of player-coach for the lacrosse newbies.
“Dani and I both tried to show the new girls the right things, teach them where to be on the field,” Cline said. “It was tough, but I definitely think we grew a lot through the season and started to come together at the end of the year.”

Dietrich pointed to the Leopards’ two games against Brunswick as proof of the team’s progress. After losing 14-5 in a physical match early in the season, Smithsburg exacted some revenge by beating the Railroaders 10-9 in the final game of the regular season — a game in which Cline also recorded her 100th goal.

“That’s the important thing, to see that they’ve grown,” Dietrich said. “And as good as Taylor is, you can see that she grew as the season went on too, because of the different things she had to do.”

Cline wants to continue playing lacrosse after high school. She has already visited Limestone (S.C.) College and is hopeful she’ll be able to go back on a more permanent basis in the fall of 2012.

“I loved it down there. I hope they want me to play for them,” Cline said.

Joining Cline on the All-County team are:

Margaret Bacon, Saint James
The junior is a two-time All-County pick after recording 32 goals and 14 assists in 2011.

Dominique DiLandro, Smithsburg
The sophomore was a second-team MVAL Antietam pick with 15 goals and 11 assists.

Danielle Harbaugh, Smithsburg
The Leopards’ junior keeper made 155 saves. An MVAL Antietam second-team pick and a two-time All-County selection.

Kristen Mazzei, North Hagerstown
Senior attacker had 14 goals and 10 assists for the Hubs. A second-team MVAL Antietam selection.

Megan McFillen, Saint James
Senior scored 11 goals and added eight assists for the Saints.

Maddie Palkovitz, North Hagerstown
Impressive midfielder had 35 goals and six assists and was an MVAL Antietam second-team pick.

Kayla Peterson, Saint James
Freshman was second on the Saints with 45 goals and first with 27 assists.

Leah Peterson, Saint James
Twin sister of Kayla, the freshman was first on the Saints with 47 goals and second in assists with 23. Brother Jamie is a first-team boys All-County player and older sister Courtney was last year’s girls player of the year.

Katie Socks, North Hagerstown
Senior held down the fort for the Hubs defensively and proved invaluable for freshman keeper Emma Moss. Had 11 draw controls and caused 15 turnovers.

Morgan Stephens, Saint James
Senior had eight goals and two assists, along with 27 ground balls and 11 takeaways.
Kate Sweeney, Saint James: Junior goalkeeper made 55 saves and had a 9-2 record for the Saints.

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