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All-Metro girls soccer 2023: McDonogh's Kate Levy named Player of the Year

Dec. 21—By Glenn Graham — glenn.graham@baltsun.com

PUBLISHED:December 21, 2023 at 5:30 a.m.| UPDATED:December 24, 2023 at 1:00 a.m.

Here are The Baltimore Sun's All-Metro girls soccer teams for the 2023 season.

Player of the Year

Kate Levy, McDonogh, senior, midfielder

With the Eagles in need of the all-important first goal in the Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland A Conference championship game against rival Archbishop Spalding, it was no surprise that Levy delivered it.

Just before the midway point of the first half, she got past two defenders to get in deep on the right side before finishing at the near post from 6 yards. Levy finished with two goals and two assists in a 6-1 win that led the No. 1 Eagles (16-0) to their first perfect season and 10th league championship. They finished as the country's No. 2 ranked team.

"We were a really close-knit team having everybody back and adding some freshmen and that led us to a lot of success on and off the field," Levy said. "We were excited to see each other every day and I think that showed in our play. When you're having fun, you play better.

"I think that assisting on a goal is as important as scoring goals. Sharing the ball and playing good soccer is so satisfying and as a captain, I always wanted to make sure to help my teammates succeed."

All season, Levy, who led the team with 15 goals and 11 assists, was a constant with sensational two-way play and a knack for thriving in key moments.

"Kate is the whole package," McDonogh coach Harry Canellakis said. "On the field, she's incredibly efficient as a goal scorer and with assists. And as a leader, she's a model athlete in that she shows up every day, trains really hard and is really competitive and great with her teammates."

Also a standout in lacrosse, Levy, who was an All-Metro first-team midfielder for the Eagles' IAAM A Conference title team as a junior, has committed to play that sport at North Carolina.

"This means a lot. I've played soccer all my life and this season and award is a great way to possibly end my career," she said. "It's really special because of my teammates. I couldn't have done anything without them."

Co-Coaches of the Year

Harry Canellakis, McDonogh

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With every starter back from last year's IAAM A Conference runner-up team, No. 1 McDonogh (16-0) maxed out its potential with the program's first perfect season and 10th league crown, all under 14th-year coach Canellakis.

The team's continuity and togetherness showed up on the field with an incredibly balanced offense and tidy defense that steadily got better as the season went on, capped by a 6-1 win over Spalding in the title game.

In their 10 league wins, the Eagles scored 45 goals while yielding six. On Sept. 13, they opened league play with a 4-2 win over Spalding and came back to beat their biggest rival, 7-0, on Oct. 9 before the five-goal win for the title.

"I think having every player back really helped because it gave us kind of a two-year timeline which you rarely get in high school sports, so that was a big piece," Canellakis said. "But just from the beginning, I think the players came together and I thought it was probably the most balanced team that we've ever had as far as players slotting into their roles and then so many different threats in the attacking third."

Rick Stimpson, Severna Park

The goal from the onset was to attack each game with vigor, and the No. 2 Falcons did just that, completing a 17-0 season with a 2-0 victory over Mt. Hebron in the Class 3A title game. It was the program's seventh state title and first under fifth-year coach Stimpson, who has a 60-9-4 career record.

Organized defense, quality buildup and balanced scoring made for a complete team effort as the Falcons posted 14 shutouts and outscored their opponents by a whopping 60-3 margin.

"We had a team of very talented players this year that worked incredibly hard for each other to reach all the goals we set out for the season," Stimpson said. "The [assistant] coaches did a fantastic job of preparing the players for each game and it was a pleasure to work with this group every day."

After beating South River, 3-0, for the Anne Arundel County championship, the Falcons had to come back and play their rival again in the opening round of the Class 3A East Region playoffs. Their 2-1 win was the first of three one-goal victories before handling River Hill, 3-0, in the state semifinals.

A nearly impenetrable defense featuring backs Ryn Feemster, Francesca Dunoyer and Caitlyn Boucher in front of goalie Lily Diedrich was the team's calling card.

First team

Sabba Haghgoo, McDonogh, senior, forward

Highly skilled with tone-setting leadership for the IAAM A Conference champion Eagles, Haghgoo was a dangerous threat who constantly required extra attention from defenses. She finished with 11 goals and six assists, capped by a two-goal performance in the title game.

Stephanie Lathrop, Glenelg, senior, forward

The three-time first-team selection closed her prolific four-year career as Howard County's career leader in goals with 81, surpassing 1993 Hammond graduate Kisha Jett's mark of 72, to go with 20 assists for 182 points, also a county record. In leading the No. 15 Gladiators (11-3-3) to the Class 2A state semifinals, Lathrop finished with 23 goals and five assists this fall.

Ineza Ross-Riedel, Eastern Tech, freshman, forward

No newcomer had a bigger impact on her team than Ross-Riedel, who finished with 15 goals and three assists in leading No. 6 Eastern Tech (11-1-3) to the Baltimore County championship. In the Mavericks' 3-0 win over Dulaney for the title, she broke open a scoreless game by scoring all three goals over a dazzling nine-minute stretch.

Olivia Gardner, Sparrows Point, senior, midfielder

As the confident leader of a young team, Gardner proved a steadying influence with a knack for stepping up in key moments during the No. 5 Pointers' (13-4) run to the Class 2A state championship. She finished the season with nine goals and seven assists, including the game-winning goal in the semifinals and the game-winning assist in the title game.

Olivia Nardone, Archbishop Spalding, junior, midfielder

Resourceful and relentless, Nardone emerged as the go-to player and leader as No. 9 Spalding (6-7-1) reached the IAAM A Conference title game. She finished with 11 goals and four assists, including the game-winner in the Cavaliers' 3-2 semifinal victory over Notre Dame Prep.

Gracie Salias, McDonogh, senior, midfielder

The vital link in the middle of the field, Salias played with great skill, purpose and poise to win possession and get the Eagles moving forward. Contributing three goals, she had a team-first approach that stood out and proved infectious to teammates.

Ava Skaggs, Mt. Hebron, junior, midfielder

Powerful, dynamic and creative, the attacking center midfielder was able to find the net in several ways, whether it be a full volley, header or getting behind an opposing defense on breakaways. Fundamentally sound in all aspects, she finished with 10 goals and three assists in leading the No. 3 Vikings (15-2) to the Class 3A state title game.

Ellie Fiedler, Mt. Hebron, senior, midfielder

The holding center midfielder and captain was the No. 3 Vikings' glue, workhorse and calming influence with technically sensational and consistent play. Perhaps the area's most complete two-way player, Fiedler finished with one goal and five assists and played a key role in 11 shutouts posted by the Howard County champion and Class 3A state runner-up Vikings.

Francesca Dunoyer, Severna Park, senior, defender

A gifted two-way player on the flank, Dunoyer consistently brought fine one-on-one defending skills while being a constant threat in the attacking third. The captain was vital for a defense that pitched 14 shutouts and also contributed two goals and 12 assists.

Ryn Feemster, Severna Park, senior, defender

A four-year starter and captain, Feemster used her fine skill, speed, tactical awareness and physicality to control games from the center-back position. She was a big reason the Falcons posted 14 shutouts and allowed just three goals in 17 games while also contributing four goals and four assists.

Elle Long, McDonogh, senior, defender

Typically a forward, Long mostly played defense this season for the IAAM A Conference champion Eagles and thrived with sensational two-way play. In addition to proving a fine one-on-one defender, her ability to attack space and distribute the ball helped her finish with five goals and three assists.

Hanna Phillips, Notre Dame Prep, junior, defender

A captain for the No. 10 Blazers (6-6-2) at center back, Phillips brought a well-rounded game that featured gifted skills, smart positioning and fine speed to successfully defend and work the ball forward. In eight IAAM A Conference games, the Blazers surrendered seven goals, the second-fewest in league play behind champion McDonogh.

Ellen Williams, Eastern Tech, senior, goalkeeper

Bringing composed play with complete command of the penalty area, Williams led the Baltimore County champions to 13 straight shutouts before surrendering two goals in a playoff loss to Sparrows Point. She finished with 93 saves.

Second team

Hannah Devincent, Liberty, junior, forward

Harli Hamlett, Century, senior, forward

Olivia Hoover, Mt. Hebron, senior, forward

Marella Virmani, River Hill, sophomore, forward

Ella Cieri, Chesapeake-AA, sophomore, midfielder

Jasmine Escobar, Glen Burnie, junior, midfielder

Sarah Farally, Fallston, junior, midfielder

Zareen Mathew, River Hill, senior, midfielder

Bridget Ford, Marriotts Ridge, senior, defender

Ella Kowitz, Roland Park, senior, defender

Lindsey Moneymaker, Hereford, senior, defender

Kyleigh Bland, Broadneck, senior, goalkeeper

Joslynn Metz, Sparrows Point, senior, goalkeeper

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