State champs return plenty of firepower for another title run

by Nelson Coffin
COACH: Kristen Barry, 37-15.
TOP RETURNERS: Elizabeth Hillman (Sr., M, North Carolina), Julia Henry (Sr., A, Michigan), Lauren Asher (Sr., M, Winthrop), Megan Dee (Sr., D, Winthrop).
KEY LOSSES: Anna Farley (Georgetown), Molly Loughlin (La Salle).
TOP NEWCOMERS: Gabi Hall (Sr., M, North Carolina), Gabby Trzeciak (Jr., A, East Stroudsburg), Riley Patrick (Soph., G).
OUTLOOK: The defending Class 4A-3A state champion Bobcats look to continue to build on last season’s 15-4 breakthrough campaign.
Their first step, an 11-9 victory over Philadelphia’s Episcopal Academy, was a good way to begin for VSN’s third-ranked squad.
Henry, senior midfielder Grace Wehland, Asher and sophomore Maggi Hall had two goals apiece while Caroline Fallace, Ava Goeller and Gabby Trzeciak produced single goals for the Bobcats, who extended their winning streak — including seven wins to close the 2017 season — to eight games. That streak has since grown to 10 games.
Henry added a pair of assists with Wehland, Trzeciak and Asher recording single helpers.
Once Hillman joins in the offensive fireworks, the Bobcats should be a prolific bunch this year.
A strong track record for having a powerhouse offense is already in place, considering that most of the big guns who helped Barry’s club put up double-digit goals in all but two of their 19 games last season are back.
In fact, all the goals the Bobcats scored in the 10-9 verdict over Severna Park in the state championship game were by returnees Hillman (4), Henry (4), Maggi Hall and Wehland.
That, and a stout defense anchored by Gabi Hall and Dee playing in front of Patrick, should make Bel Air the team to beat in the Upper Chesapeake Bay Athletic Conference this spring.