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The Harford Community College softball team will hold tryouts for the 2009-10 season from Wednesday, Sept. 2, through Friday, Sept. 4. The tryout sessions will be from 3 to 5 p.m. on all three days and all interested players are expected to attend, including those returning from last year’s squad.

Roster spots are limited for the upcoming season; a final decision will be made following the conclusion of the three-day tryout.

All prospective student-athletes at Harford are required to have a medical physical dated after July 1, 2009. The required form is available at HarfordAthletics.com by clicking on the Athletic Training link on the right-hand side of the page.

Players interested in trying out for the team should contact head coach Steve Cooley via e-mail at SCooley@harford.edu.

Women’s soccer

Twelve players make up the incoming class for the Harford women’s soccer team and have signed National Letters of Intent or have committed to play for the Fighting Owls beginning with the 2009 season, the Harford women’s soccer coaching staff announced recently.

Kaylee Smith, a returning player from the 2006 Fighting Owls squad, which went to the NJCAA National Tournament, highlights the incoming sophomores, while transfers Lyndsie Ludwig (C. Milton Wright) and Beth Novak (Bel Air) round out the group.

Penelope Fantis (Fallston), a 2008 First-Team All-Harford County selection by The Aegis, leads the incoming freshman after helping Fallston to a runner-up finish in the 3A state finals. Fantis also picked up All-County honors from The Baltimore Sun, UCBAC First-Team All-Chesapeake Division and DigitalSports.com All-Baltimore Metro Honorable Mention accolades and was named to the All-County teams her sophomore and junior years as well. The midfielder tallied 19 points (10 goals, nine assists) during the 2008 season to help lead the Cougars to a 17-1 record, its first loss of the season coming against Bethesda-Chevy Chase in the state championship.

Fellow Cougar teammate Erin Lynn (Fallston) will join Fantis and the Fighting Owls in the fall after picking up First-Team All-County honors from The Aegis and an UCBAC First-Team All-Chesapeake Division nod for the 2008 season, posting 21 points (13 goals, nine assists) as a forward for the Cougars.

The Fighting Owls will add two award winners from the UCBAC Susquehanna Division, led by First-Team All-Susquehanna Division honoree LaTashia Thomas (Joppatowne), the Mariners 2009 forward captain. Thomas tallied nine points (6 goals, 3 assists) on the season and was named to the All-Harford County Honorable Mention squad by The Aegis, while Kellie Zionkowski (Rising Sun) rounds out the UCBAC award winners with a Second-Team All-Susquehanna Division nod after playing defense for the Tigers.

“Head coach Jason Muffoletto recruits great talent,” assistant coach Dana Casey said. “We are very excited for the upcoming 2009 season. We have a strong group of incoming freshman and a few very talented transfers that will complete our team.”

Alexa Carlevaro (C. Milton Wright) will bring some high-level playing experience to the Owl squad in 2009 after playing on the varsity Mustang team which claimed the 4A state championship in 2005 and made it to the 4A finals in 2007. Carlevaro also picked up All-Harford County Honorable Mention honors from The Aegis in both 2007 and 2008.

Hakima Amerg (Rising Sun) will join Tigers teammate Zionkowski with Harford next year, while the Mercy Magic will see two players on the Fighting Owls squad in Mary Czarski and Cierra Stinson.

Harford sophomore Erica Bizzell rounds out the nine-player incoming class for the 2009 season. Bizzell spent two years as a member of the Harford volleyball team, where she earned NJCAA Region XX All-Tournament honors in 2007 and finished the 2008 season second on the team with 26.0 total blocks, was tied for second with 13 solo blocks and 13 assisted blocks and was third with an average of 0.42 blocks per set.

HCC awards

After 12 sport seasons, Harford’s athletic teams finished the 2008-09 seasons with two Region XX titles, two MDJUCO regular-season titles, two Region XX runner-up finishes, two MDJUCO regular-season runner-up finishes and a regional semifinalist finish while having 19 athletes named to MDJUCO All-Conference teams, 20 players to All-Region XX teams, six to Region XX All-Tournament teams and one NJCAA All-American award-winner.

The women’s tennis team boasted the best season for the Fighting Owls, completing a perfect 10-0 fall season, which culminated in a Region XX championship title as the team competed at the NJCAA Division I level for the first season. The team also claimed the MDJUCO regular-season title by virtue of its 6-0 conference record, while having seven players named to both the All-Conference and All-Region squads. The ladies wrapped up the 2008-09 season with a 26th place showing at the NJCAA National Championships in May.

The men’s tennis team, not to be outdone by its female counterparts, also claimed the Region XX title, during its spring season, with a narrow, 5-4, win over Montgomery College-Rockville in the regional championship. The Owls also saw major improvement during the regular season, improving from a 0-8 record in 2008 to over a .500 record (5-4) in 2009.

In terms of improvement, the men’s lacrosse team also shined, improving from a one-win season in 2008 to six wins overall in the spring of 2009. The Owls were led by attackman Chad Palmer (Fallston), who garnered National Player of the Week honors early in the season, finished the season in the top 15 in the country in two statistical categories, and was one of two Harford players named to the All-Conference and All-Region teams.

Both the men’s and women’s soccer teams made runs into the fall postseason with the men’s team winning or tying six straight games including the Region XX Play-In, before falling in the regional semifinals, while the women’s team saw both the regional semifinal and regional championship games decided by penalty kicks, with the Owls coming out the victor in the semis and falling in the championship. The men’s team added two more victories to its 2007 total of seven to improve to nine wins and over a .500 record, and also saw one player named to the All-Conference and All-Region teams as well as one representative on the All-Tournament team.

The women’s team, which was led by Honorable Mention All-American Jessica Stumpf, claimed two pieces of hardware as they posted a 9-6-2 record on the season to finish as the Region XX runner-up and the MDJUCO regular-season runner-up with four players named to both the All-Conference and All-Region teams and four named to the All-Tournament squad.

Spring golf

The spring golf team was the only other team to make a mark in postseason play, finishing as the Region XX runner-up and MDJUCO regular-season runner-up, while qualifying three athletes for the national championship, where they all finished in the top 100 in the country. The three athletes also represented Harford on the All-Region team.

The women’s volleyball team rounded out the fall sports with a tie for fourth place in the conference standings and posted its first-ever winning conference record with a 6-5 mark against MDJUCO teams while having one player each named to the All-Conference and All-Region teams, as well as the All-Tournament team.

The winter season saw the women’s basketball team add two wins from the 2007-08 total of five victories for seven in 2008-09, while two athletes garnered All-Conference honors, including Sarah Spalt (Fallston) who was featured in The Baltimore Sun and Baltimore Examiner after recording a triple-double in the Owls game against Philadelphia.

The men’s team was plagued with injuries all season, but still managed to have three players finish the season in the top 10 of the conference in three different statistical categories.

The baseball, softball and women’s lacrosse teams wrapped up the spring sports season as the Harford baseball team improved from 16 wins in 2008 to 22 in 2009, and was just two games shy of a .500 conference record (13-17), while Joe Harbach (Edgewood) was the lone representative on the All-Conference and All-Region teams as well as the conference and region Gold Glove squads. The softball team also improved by adding one more win to its 2008 12-win season for 13 in 2009 and saw one athlete, Jourdan Harmon, named to the All-Conference and All-Region teams.

The women’s lacrosse team struggled with a small, young roster but still managed to have two players finish the season in the conference top 10 for each of two statistical categories.

Overall, the entire athletic program improved from 96 wins in 2007-08 to 108 in 2008-09 and claimed two Region XX titles, one MDJUCO regular-season title, two Region XX runner-up finishes and two MDJUCO regular-season runner-up finishes to the 2007-08 total of one MDJUCO regular-season title and four Region XX runner-up finishes and will look to improve even more in 2009-10.


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