What are the best high school teams in Frederick this fall?
Thanks to the coronavirus, we’ll likely have to wait until next spring to find out. The Maryland Public Secondary Schools Athletic Association postponed fall and winter sports until after the first semester, which ends in January, because of the coronavirus pandemic.
So to help fill the void, The Frederick News-Post thought it would be fun to ask readers to pick the best Frederick County high school teams of all-time in each sport.
Each week, we’ll feature a sport and list contenders from years past in that sport. Readers can visit www.fredericknewspost.com to vote for the team they think is best. We’ll do this for all sports, fall, winter and spring.
Each Thursday, when we list candidates for another sport, we’ll reveal the team from the previous week’s sport that got the most votes.
This week’s sport: Girls Soccer. May the best team win.
1990 Middletown Knights
Record: 14-2, Class 2A-1A state champion
The 1990 Knights made history by becoming the first Frederick County girls team to win a state title, the first of three the program won under head coach John Miller.
Middletown featured a stingy defense that came up big in the state final, when the Knights beat Patapsco 2-0. The unit featured sweeper Jana Dye, who earned Frederick News-Post Co-Player of the Year honors, and midfielder Ashley Hutchison, whose ability to mark offensive threats proved invaluable.
Underclassmen also played a prominent role on this team. Sophomore midfielder Sheri Huckleberry, who earned Frederick News-Post all-county first-team honors in 1990, was in the early stage of her stellar career. She garnered All-State honors three times, played for the University of Connecticut and helped England’s Wembley FC reach the FA Cup final.
One of the offense’s top players was sophomore striker Rachel Levine, who scored two of Middletown’s four goals against Loch Raven in the state semis and got an insurance goal in the final against Patapsco.
1997 Thomas Johnson Patriots
Record: 18-1-1, Class 4A-3A state champion
Led by senior midfielder Samantha Meyers, the Patriots won their first state crown and became the first Frederick County team to win a large school state crown. They were ranked No. 12 in the country by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America.
As for Meyers, she was selected to the NSCAA All-American team her junior and seniors years, was a PARADE All-American and was a member of the USYWNT U-16 team. She went on to play for the University of Minnesota, which was ranked No. 14 in the nation when she committed.
Meyers concluded her high school career in eye-catching fashion, finishing with 22 goals and 13 assists for a TJ team that dominated.
The Patriots outscored opponents 75-8. Their stingy defense was aided by keeper Gina Ceneviva, who had 13 shutouts and a 0.36 goals against average.
This was the first state title for head coach Chuck Nichols, who went on to win another state title with TJ and two more with Urbana. Also, one of TJ’s assistants was Mark Wolcott, who later went on to win three state titles as head coach at Tuscarora.
2001 Thomas Johnson Patriots
Record: 17-3, Class 4A state champion
To date, this is the only Frederick County girls soccer team to win a state title in Class 4A, the MPSSAA’s highest classification, a feat the Patriots achieved by beating Perry Hall 3-1 in the final.
Give Perry Hall credit for scoring, something most of TJ’s opponents only dreamed about doing in 2001. Led by senior keeper Amy Franciscovich, the Patriots recorded 13 shutouts that season, and she finished with 46 in her career. Back Brittany Wilson also anchored this unit.
On the other end of the field, the Patriots possessed a unique weapon in Christine Jodrie’s flip throw-in, and it proved lethal in the state championship match. One of Jodrie’s throws, which were heaved after she did a handspring, bounced off the Perry Hall keeper’s hands for the go-ahead goal. A couple minutes later, Jodrie’s high-arching toss bounced off a defender, skipped off TJ senior Kendall Bolte’s head and trickled in for an insurance goal.
Don’t penalize TJ for having three losses, either. All of those setbacks came against private schools.
2005 Tuscarora Titans
Record: 17-1, Class 3A state champion
In just the program’s third year, Tuscarora won its second state crown. Not to downplay the 2004 champs, who won the Class 1A title, but this Mark Wolcott-coached group was a juggernaut that wasn’t fazed in the least by moving up to Class 3A.
After losing their opener, the Titans won their final 17 matches and ended up ranked 23rd in NSCAA/Adidas national poll. They didn’t give up a postseason goal, outscoring opponents 11-0 in the playoffs, including a 2-0 win over Towson in the state final.
Tuscarora’s roster featured eight players who would go on play at the Division I level.
One of them was Clemson-bound Molly Franklin, who earned Frederick News-Post Player of the Year and NSCAA/Adidas all-American honors. She finished with 17 goals and six assists.
The Titans’ stingy defense didn’t allow a goal in the postseason. The unit featured News-Post Defensive Player of the Year Emmy Simpkins, a keeper who posted 14 shutouts, had a 0.28 GAA and was the deciding factor in two wins over always-tough Urbana.
Tuscarora’s Rachel Holmes, Amanda Meehan (an all-state pick), and Callie Simpkins also were News-Post first-teamers. Other standouts included Courtney Yee, Rachel Micol and Leeza Constantoulakis.
2007 Urbana Hawks
Record: 12-3-1, Class 3A state champion
Featuring one of the best girls soccer players to come out of Frederick County in Julia Roberts, Urbana won its first state title in 2007.
Coached by Nichols, the Hawks beat Wilde Lake 3-2 (4-2 in penalty kicks) in the championship game.
Roberts scored two goals in that match, solidifying her reputation as a difference-maker in marquee matchups. A junior that year who went on to play for the University of Virginia and the National Women’s Soccer League’s Washington Spirit, Roberts scored seven of Urbana’s nine postseason goals.
She never got to try for an encore at Urbana, missing her senior high school season to prepare to play for the United States in the upcoming Under-17 Women’s World Cup, but she had already left her mark.
The 2007 Hawks had other playmakers on the roster, too, including three Ruhé sisters. All of them, Katie (Pittsburgh), Julie (Radford) and Amie (Seton Hall), eventually committed to Division I soccer teams.
Like most of Urbana’s powerful teams, this one featured a stingy defense. The Hawks posted eight shutouts and gave up a paltry 2.8 shots a game.
2010 Middletown Knights
Record: 18-0, Class 2A state champion
The Knights won three straight state titles from 2010 to 2012 under head coach Heather Kline. While each of those teams had merit, the 2010 edition featured a pair of strikers, seniors Jacky Kessler and Jenna Caudle, that rank among the best tandems in Frederick County history.
Stopping one of them would’ve been problematic enough. Stopping both was next to impossible.
Kessler led all county scorers with 23 goals and 12 assists. Caudle was right behind her on the list with 23 goals and 11 assists.
Together, they allowed the Knights to go unbeaten during the regular season despite playing in soccer-rich Frederick County, and they continued to devour defenses in the playoffs.
In the regional championship, Caudle scored the game-winning goal on a perfectly struck free kick from 26 yards away. In the state final, Kessler scored Middletown’s first goal in a 2-1 win over Glenelg.
As if having a pair of scoring machines wasn’t enough, the Knights also posted eight shutouts. Alycia Giaque helped lead that unit, and sophomore Mackenzie Noel helped lead the midfield.
2014 Linganore Lancers
Record: 17-1, Class 3A state finalist.
This was the first Linganore team to ever play in a girls soccer state final, kicking off a dominant run that saw the Lancers return to the final in 2015 and win their first state crown in 2017. All of those trips to the final came under coach Howie Putterman.
While those other teams could’ve easily been listed here, this one set the tone for excellence by going undefeated during the regular season, including a win over always-tough Urbana, and going where no Linganore team had gone before. Unfortunately, the Lancers couldn’t get past juggernaut River Hill, falling 2-1 to the then 10-time state champ in the 3A final.
Like other teams on this list, the Lancers benefitted from not one but two star strikers, juniors Montanna Hill and Elizabeth Coletti, and a stingy defense.
Hill was Frederick County’s leading scorer with 20 goals and five assists. She scored the game-winner in road games over Urbana and Oakdale and had a pair of hat tricks in the playoffs.
Coletti was the second-leading scorer in the county, finishing with 15 goals and 13 assists. She had one goal and one assist in Linganore’s 2-0 win over Northern (Calvert) in the state semis.
Linganore ended up with three of the county’s top four scorers, as McKenzie McCaull ranked fourth with nine goals and six assists.
Meanwhile, Linganore’s defense allowed just five goals all season. Senior keeper Rhianna Lapen, who finished her career with a save percentage of 96.3, and junior defender Katie Lamb anchored that unit.
2016 Urbana Hawks
Record: 16-1-3, Class 3A state champion
The 2016 Hawks possessed one of Frederick County’s remarkable scoring duos, comprised of junior strikers Abbey Burdette and Caitlin Shepherd, and one of the finest defenses in Frederick County girls soccer history. With such credentials, the Hawks won their second state title.
By this point, the Hawks routinely trotted out powerful teams under Nichols. But even for the Hawks, this team was loaded, starting with Burdette and Shepherd.
Each of them finished the season with 16 goals, with Shepherd adding nine assists and Burdette getting eight. Both were also clutch players, and Shepherd reminded everyone of that when she scored the lone goal in the state championship game against Northern (Calvert).
Urbana’s defense posted 15 shutouts, which set a record for Frederick County girls soccer.
That unit was led by Frederick News-Post first-teamer Hailey Gorman and goalie Hannah Goodacre, who stopped 76 of 83 shots and had a scoreless streak of 740 minutes, which was snapped by an own goal. Goodacre didn’t allow any goals in Urbana’s final six matches, including five in the postseason.
The midfield was anchored by Penn State recruit Casey Ballow and included sophomore Isabelle Eskay, whose corner kick set up Shepherd’s goal in the state final.