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Girls Lacrosse: Hubs looking to spread the scoring wealth

March 22, 2013|By DANIEL KAUFFMAN | kauffman@herald-mail.com
  • Washington County Preps Previews
Washington County Preps Previews

How far can North Hagerstown go?

That’s the dominant question in Washington County girls lacrosse this season, because the Hubs are clearly the team to beat.

North went 10-3 in 2012 and returns 10 starters. Five of them were Herald-Mail All-County First Team honorees, led by junior twins Leah Peterson — last year’s county player of the year — and Kayla Peterson. They combined for 118 goals last year.

The biggest change for the Hubs is the head coach, with Robert Compton taking over for Katie Eck, who was The Herald-Mail’s Lacrosse Coach of the Year in 2012.

“We’re trying some new things, trying to diversify a little bit,” Compton said. “Everyone knows to look for the twins, so we’re trying to spread the wealth.”

North is hoping for a deeper run in the Maryland state playoffs come May. The Hubs fell to Middletown 14-11 in last year’s Class 3A/2A West quarterfinals.

“We want to continue where we left off last year and go deeper into the playoffs,” Compton said. “Our expectation is to go deeper than we have in the past.”

Boonsboro

The Warriors enter their second season as a varsity program under Susan Funke. With eight starters back, Funke believes the squad could be ready to make significant strides.

“Last year, we were really short in the midfield and only had one sub. This year, we have quite a few subs and some of them can also play attack or defense, so that’s great that we have kids who can play multiple positions,” Funke said. “They’re sharing the ball and working together on defense, so I think we’re in good shape for the season.”

Senior Alex Green — who will continue her career at Shepherd University after this season — will lead an attack rounded out by junior Courtney Ridenour, senior Kiana Miller and freshman Lily Funke. Senior Natalie Young, junior Claudia Jenkins and freshman Kaitlyn Ridenour round out the midfield, while goalkeeper Maeve Windsor anchors a defense that will include seniors Ce’Cea Kline, Katie Sheridan and Samantha Smith, junior Kathleen Crook and sophomore Olivia Lohman.

“This is the first year I have kids who have played four years for me — two years of JV and two years of varsity,” Susan Funke said. “That’s a big step in cementing our program and being able to be competitive.”

North Hagerstown

In addition to the Peterson twins in midfield, senior attacker Maddie Palkovitz (28 goals in 2012), sophomore defender Savannah Plemmons and junior goalkeeper Emma Moss earned All-County First Team honors a year ago.

Seniors Anna Compton and Deanna Brunner also started at attack last year, while senior Adrienne Kramer and freshman Natalie Karlen will get playing time up front.

“We’re looking to have a much more balanced attack,” Robert Compton said. “Anna and Maddie are two very strong, intelligent leaders. They work very well with the twins and they’re the core of our attack. They settle the team down and understand the game.”

Sophomore Natalie Bye has earned a starting midfield spot. On defense, senior Suzie Bechtel, junior Emily Unger and sophomore Kendall Bowen return in support of Moss.

“Kendall has really stepped up her game, as well as Emily,” Compton said. “They’re a solid nucleus with Savannah. ... Emma is awesome. She just has a great field sense, knows where the ball is and acts instinctively. She’s been a goalie forever, but it’s the stuff you can’t teach that she has.”

Saint James

Saints coach Katherine Dyson can count on junior midfielder Madison Fahey for offensive production. Fahey was an All-County First Team honoree in 2012 after scoring 54 goals and assisting 32 others.

Two other returning starters join Fahey up front — senior Sarah Treger and junior Kerri Kline. Junior Maddie Guillard and sophomore Heather Deiner could also contribute to the attack.

Dyson is expecting big things from senior Lynn Hatcher — who transferred to Saint James this school year — and sophomore Grace Fulton in midfield.

“Hatcher is going to be great. She’s going to be a key player on offense,” Dyson said. “Fulton in the midfield is key, and Treger will be big for us, too. Madison will settle the offense. In our three scrimmages, we’ve had three or four girls scoring goals in all of those games.”

Seniors Katherine Pennington and Becca Murphy return to anchor the defense, with senior Lisle Bruns stepping into the starting lineup. Either senior Serenity Miller or freshman Kristen Deiner will start between the pipes.

“The defense looks solid,” Dyson said. “Katherine, Becca and Lisle are stepping it up and holding it down back there. Lisle and Katherine are aggressive.”

Smithsburg

While the Leopards lost talented All-County First Team attacker Taylor Cline to graduation, coach Jessica Klinger has a young but intriguing group back, including nine returning starters.

The only two seniors in the starting lineup — Dominique DiLandro and Emily Seward — will anchor the midfield, joined by junior Sarah Thompson and sophomore Madison Duvall.

“Midfield is a strength, especially in transition,” Klinger said. “It’s a fast team, several of the girls are track athletes.”

Three sophomores — Jessica Rowland, Amber Murphy and Lily Mackley — will start up front. The defense features three juniors who return to the starting lineup in Kristen Peake, Amanda Stevens and Emma Gerhold, with sophomore Megan Mikulsky expected to see action. Sophomore Taylor Jackson-Hamilton is in goal.

“We want to grow their confidence and get them shooting more,” Klinger said. “It was a very young team last year, and with so many of them returning, I want to see them going to the goal and getting that confidence.”

The Leopards have a JV team for the first time in many years, another step in building the program.

“We’re hoping it’s not at the risk of the varsity season,” Klinger said. “With numbers so low, you worry about subs and injuries, but all the girls will play. We need a JV program, the youth program was dissolved so it’s more important than ever.”

South Hagerstown

The teaching process continues for coach Bruce Buhrman, whose Rebels did not taste victory in 2012. The good news is that everyone is back, including senior midfielder Heather Callahan, who scored 27 goals last year — roughly half of the team’s output.

“Heather understands defense as well as offense,” Buhrman said. “She will be a major scorer again and a major part of our team.”

Seniors Jennifer Harman and Angela Vines will lead the attack, while two more seniors — Michaela Brewer and Mikala Stephenson — will anchor midfield, joined by junior Shania Deagrella and sophomore Soliel Chriest. The defense will be led by seniors Brett Jamison and Laikyn Cook, supported by juniors Alyssa Garland and Mariya Garner. Juniors Miranda Stein and Jessica Quintanilla will play between the pipes.

“I hope we certainly do better than last year record-wise,” Buhrman said. “We need to strengthen our defense and we continue to work on that daily. ... I have high expectations for this year with the girls who have returned. I have some new people that look good.”

St. Maria Goretti

Gaels coach Sheaffer Reese has a solid group of returning starters back, led by senior midfielder Jessica Swarner, who scored 34 goals en route to All-County First Team honors in 2012.

“I think we’re going to see real big things from her ... and she’ll solidify where we’re going,” Reese said.

Senior Courtney Dorsey will anchor the attack, while senior Casey Caruso is the leader of the defense in front of senior goalkeeper Denise Wells. Junior Kaitlyn Barnhart and sophomore Jenna Katrina also have experience in midfield.

 “Jenna, this is only her second year playing but she’s a natural, a very gifted athlete,” Reese said. “In the future, I think she’s going to be a real building block for us. Casey’s one of those kids, if you had to pick the Ray Lewis on your team, she’s the one who’d get that label. Courtney has always been strong, but she’s just now coming into her own. She’s seeing the field and playing a much more confident and aggressive game than in the past.”

The rest of the starting lineup is in flux as Reese tries to bring players up to speed with his preferred system and style.

“We’re going to play a more aggressive game then they’re used to, so we’re trying to find kids who can blend with that style,” Reese said.

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