Friday, Feb. 8, 2008

2002 All-County Girls’ Soccer Team: Region title a triumph for Laurel standouts

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Co-Players of the Year – April Atkinson and Andi Perkinson, Laurel seniors – During their first three years at Laurel, April Atkinson and Andi Perkinson were slightly overshadowed by seniors. But this year Atkinson led the team with 13 goals and added six assists, while Perkinson added nine goals and led the team with nine assists.

In the 4A South Region semifinal contest against Oxon Hill, Atkinson scored a goal late in the first half to tie the game and Perkinson later tallied the game-winner late in the second half. In the 4A South final against Eleanor Roosevelt, after the two teams had played through their second scoreless tie of the season, Perkinson scored the first goal of penalty kicks and Atkinson followed with the second goal to give Laurel a 2-0 lead en route to a 4-2 victory.

During their four seasons together, Atkinson and Perkinson helped Laurel reach the Class 4A South region final three times and this year they catapulted the team to its first state semifinal appearance in school history. Atkinson, blessed with a solid right foot, has narrowed her college choices to York, Salisbury or Towson, but remains undecided on her major. Perkinson, whose quickness enabled her to play virtually anywhere on the field, verbally committed to UMBC where she plans to major in psychology.

Coach of the year – Terry Parfitt, Laurel – In his 10th and final year at the helm of the Laurel girls soccer team, Parfitt guided the Spartans to their first Class 4A South Region title and state semifinal appearance. Parfitt, selected as the Star⁄Gazette coach of the year in 1999, molded the Spartans into a solid team through an infusion of underclassmen talent and a mixture of veteran seniors. During a coaching career that spanned nearly 30 years with four county high school teams, Parfitt won more than 200 games, including 75 at Laurel and a 48-12-5 record over the last four seasons with the Spartans. He plans to remain the school’s athletic director and spend his spare time watching his son, Jason, play varsity soccer at Howard County’s Atholton High.

2002 All-County First Team

Tiffany Wilson, Roosevelt, senior – One of the quickest players in the county, Wilson often gave opponents trouble with her speed and dribbling skills. She was primarily called upon for defensive purposes, but did have four goals and five assists this season. She is planning to visit Syracuse, Towson, West Virginia, East Carolina, George Mason and the University of Maryland-Baltimore County.

Kelly Hanns, Roosevelt, senior – Earning her second consecutive spot on the Star⁄Gazette All-County First Team, Hanns covered plenty of ground as the Raiders’ marking back. She was one of the primary reasons why Roosevelt did not surrender any goals in 12 league contests and earned a berth in its third consecutive region final. Hanns was dubbed by her teammates as ‘‘the fastest girl in the world.” She played every minute of every game for Roosevelt this fall and plans to attend either Northeastern or Boston University next fall.

Krystle Behrns, Roosevelt, senior, defender – One of the county’s premier sweepers, Behrns helped solidify the Raiders’ defense. Blessed with a strong leg and stamina enhanced by doubling as a member of the Roosevelt cross country team, Behrns cleared the ball out of the zone impeccably to limit the shots that her goalies faced. She missed only one game this season and occasionally played after competing in a cross country meet.

Amanda Harris, Roosevelt, junior, defender – One of the few players head coach Kathy Lacey will have returning next season, Harris also provided a solid support to the Raiders’ stellar defense. She had three goals and three assists and constantly hounded her rivals with a tenacious style of play. She worked hard on defense and was occasionally an offensive threat due to her willingness to move forward. Lacey said Harris is tough, makes good decisions and she expects her to be more dangerous offensively next fall.

Jada Daniel, Riverdale Baptist, freshman, forward – The only freshman to make the first team this season, Daniel led the Crusaders with 19 goals and three assists. She scored four goals in the team’s 5-1 victory against Grace Brethren. She was named to the Tri-State Conference first team after the Crusaders finished second in the tournament. Daniel was named the team’s best offensive player by first-year head coach Mary Hart.

Jennifer Callahan, Riverdale Baptist, senior, mdifielder – Primarily a defensive player for the Crusaders, Callahan had four goals and six assists this season. She was named to the Tri-State first team each of the last three seasons and she edged Annapolis Area Christian’s Paige Cheek as the conference’s 2002 Player of the Year. Callahan was also selected her team’s most valuable player by coach Mary Hart.

Stephanie Bowen, Bowie, senior, defender⁄forward – After being moved from fullback to forward midway through the season, Bowen developed into one of Bowie’s main offensive threats. She scored the lone goal in the Bulldogs’ 1-0 overtime victory over Laurel during league play. She scored three goals in a 7-2 victory over Northwestern and earned Star⁄Gazette athlete of the week honors in October. Bowen displayed the versatility to make the transition from defense to offense.

Laura Vawter, Pallotti, junior, forward – One of the primary reasons the Panthers enjoyed a winning record (7-6-1) this fall, Vawter led Pallotti with 14 goals on 33 shots and she added three assists. Expected to be one of the most prolific scorers in the county next fall, Vawter brings solid footwork and a strong shot to the field for head coach Cliff Walcott.

Catherine Zock, Northwestern, sophomore, forward – One of the league’s more exciting and emotional players, Zock was the county’s top scorer with 25 goals. She also added three assists. The forward, originally from Cameroon, helped Northwestern to a winning record (6-5) this fall.

Lindsay Cook, Bowie, senior, defender – Another senior leader for the Bulldogs, Cook played superb defense all season, often marking the opponent’s best offensive player. A four-year varsity starter for the Bulldogs, Cook is headed to Salisbury University next fall.

Ashley Pezeshkian, Laurel, junior, goalkeeper – Over the past two years Pezeshkian developed into the best goalie in the county with her combination of quick feet, sure hands and keen instincts. She made nearly 100 saves during the season and playoffs, limiting Oxon Hill and Roosevelt to one goal in the playoffs. She held two-time defending region champion Roosevelt scoreless through 200 minutes of playing time in two games this fall. She also made a diving save to help the Spartans win their penalty kick shootout in the playoffs against Roosevelt.

Second team selections

Daniele Bates, Suitland; Stephanie Bertran, Bowie; Jen Carabeo, Oxon Hill; Erin Casey, Roosevelt; Natalie Day, Pallotti; Gemma Easterling, Flowers; Jocelyn Hall, Riverdale Baptist; Ashley Kowzun, Roosevelt; Tara McCarron, Roosevelt; Lauren Maisel, Roosevelt; Allie Marcum, Pallotti; Jen Moore, Riverdale Baptist; Crystal Reio, Bowie; Jaclyn Schwartz, Bowie; Lindsay Slavin, Laurel; Rachael Smith, Oxon Hill; Heather Spencer, Pallotti; Alicia Willey, Laurel