Click here to enlarge this photo
Photo courtesy Santa Clara UniversityBowie native Amanda Poach, the 2004 Star⁄Gazette Girls’ Soccer Player of the Year, starts for Santa Clara’s women’s soccer team.
The 2004 Star⁄Gazette Girls’ Soccer Player of the Year has earned a starting spot for fifth-ranked Santa Clara (Calif.) University. In 16 games this fall, Poach has two assists for the Broncos (13-2-1) including one to Jordan Angeli on Sept. 9 when Santa Clara upset top-ranked Notre Dame, 2-1.
‘‘That game was really intense,” Poach said. ‘‘Notre Dame had beaten Santa Clara last year, so for many of the returning players that was like their national championship game. Both teams had some good scoring chances. The stadium was packed and the fans were great. Late in the game, I saw Jordan break free and I passed the ball to her and she scored.”
Poach, who scored 15 goals and added 12 assists last year to lead Bowie to the 4A South Region title and a berth in the state semifinals, earned an athletic scholarship to Santa Clara after playing two seasons at Bowie and five years for the Bethesda Excel. Considered one of the best club teams in the country, the Excel won national championships in 2003 and 2004 with Poach as its center midfielder.
Poach, who has recovered from two separate surgeries to repair a torn anterior cruciate ligament in her left knee, has played in every game for the Broncos this fall.
‘‘As a freshman, Amanda Poach has been able to step in and play perhaps the most important position for us on the field,” said Santa Clara 19th-year coach Jerry Smith. ‘‘She’s basically the point guard or the quarterback and she has to possess a coach’s mentality. She has the skills, composure and intuitiveness to play what we call our holding midfield position.”
Smith noted that Poach’s performance against Notre Dame could take on added significance. Her skills and composure could eventually land her a spot on the U-20 National Team, coached by Tim Sholtz, who was present at the Notre Dame game.
‘‘Any doubts about Amanda Poach’s ability to play this game at the highest level were erased at that moment in the Notre Dame game,” Smith said. ‘‘I know Tim Sholtz is very interested in having her play for him. Hopefully, we’ll help Amanda reach her potential. She has the chance to create her own opportunities and have a great career in soccer.”
Elsewhere on campus
Another Bowie graduate, Kristin Buter, the 2003 and 2004 Star⁄Gazette Volleyball Player of the Year, is off to a fast start at St. Francis University in Pennsylvania. Buter was named the Northeast Conference Freshman of the Week Sept. 19-25 when she collected 49 kills and 32 digs in three matches against Niagara, Coppin State and Robert Morris.
Two other Bowie natives are concluding their college volleyball careers at Rider University this fall. Kristine Dormer (Seton) and Embrey Minor (Bowie) have each played in all 75 games for the 8-13 Broncs this season. Minor, who amassed more than 1,800 assists during her prep career, leads the Broncs with 504 assists. Dormer, who holds the Seton single-season record of 359 kills, is third on the team with 168 kills and second to Minor with 269 assists.
Another recent Seton graduate, Megan Philbrick, is enjoying a solid freshman season with 10-13 Fairleigh Dickinson. A two-time Star⁄Gazette first-team choice with the Roadrunners, Philbrick has 224 kills, 67 digs and 17 blocks for the Knights. A Seabrook native, Philbrick was twice selected to the WCAC first team and was instrumental in the Roadrunners’ conference title in 2003.
Philbrick was named the NEC rookie of the week Oct. 10 after the Knights won three of four matches. Philbrick had 44 kills, 13 digs and three blocks in 12 games that week. She had 16 kills against Manhattan and 16 more against Rider and is currently averaging 2.5 kills per game this fall.
Upper Marlboro resident Michelle Deehan, a 2002 Gwynn Park graduate, is enjoying a superb senior season at Loch Haven (Pa.), which is 16-4 through last weekend. Deehan has 135 digs, 85 kills and 16 assists in 58 games for the Eagles. In 237 games during her first three seasons at Loch Haven, Deehan amassed 499 kills, 570 digs and 78 assists.
E-mail Ted Black at email@example.com.