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What's Up Magazine

Athlete Worth Watching: Caroline Steele

Jun 19, 2015 09:59AM ● By Cate Reynolds
by Tom Worgo

Caroline Steele // Severn School, Soccer, Basketball, Lacrosse

Lacrosse runs deep in the Steele family.

Gretchen Lamon Steele played at the University of Maryland and her brother John was one of 10 other close family members that played in college.

Gretchen’s two sons, Brendan (St. Mary’s) and Scotty (Belmont Abbey), are among the most recent generation of Steeles to compete in college lacrosse.

Her daughter Caroline Steele, a senior at Severn School, will keep the family tradition going.

Caroline will play at Maryland—which was ranked as the No. 1 team in the country this spring—like her mother.

Caroline verbally committed to the Terrapins for a scholarship at the beginning of her sophomore year of high school. “I have been surrounded by lacrosse my entire life,” Caroline explains. “I was kind of forced into it, but I have always loved it.”

Playing against her brothers helped the Severna Park resident become a better lacrosse player.

They toughened her up and turned her into a gritty player.

“Growing up, I was like getting beaten up and stuff,” says Steele, who carries a 3.2 grade-point-average and will major in elementary education. “My brothers would check me. So the hard checks don’t stop me now. I feel like I can take them because of my brothers continuously checking me. I feel like I play really tough.”

Steele’s toughness and outstanding talent led to success in other sports at Severn, where she co-captained the lacrosse, basketball, and soccer teams as a senior.

The 5”5’ Steele was an All-County Second-Team pick in basketball, leading the Admirals to the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association B Conference championship last year. She also started for three years on the varsity soccer team.

“She is one of the best female athletes that has ever come through the school, bar none,” says Severn girls lacrosse coach Renie Sotiropoulos, who has coached the sport at the school for 22 years. “She could excel at any sport.”

The 17-year-old Steele has had an eye-catching lacrosse career. The four-year starter earned Under Armour American honors last year and helped the Admirals to a 14-5 record by scoring whopping 82 goals.

She was a first-team all-metro and all-county pick.

“Her stick skills are ridiculous,” Sotiropoulos says. “She could create goals in just about any situation. She is very quick. You can be running with her and she will blow by you in the blink of an eye.”

Steele co-captained the Admirals this spring and started the season with a bang. She scored 10 goals in a 17-11 victory over Notre Dame Prep.

Steele is more than just a goal scorer. She will shut down the other team’s best player. “She is a terrific defender,” Sotiropoulos says. “She has a lot of caused turnovers. She is a complete player.”

That’s also very true in basketball. Steele led Severn in steals and assists as both a junior and senior. She also ranked second on the Admirals in rebounds and third scoring as a senior.  

Severn basketball coach Chuck Miller said Steele is one of the most favorite players he’s worked with in 24 seasons on the job at Severn and St. Mary’s. 

“I would say we wouldn’t have gone 23-2 and 16-9 the last two years without Caroline,” he says. “She is loaded with intangibles and her instincts are just amazing. If there was a 50-50 ball on the floor, Caroline was going to get it. She played 32 minutes a game. When she needed a rest and I took her out of a game, she would get mad at me.”

Steele proved to be a versatile player for the Severn soccer team, working at both forward and fullback.

“She’s extremely scrappy, strong and fast,” Severn soccer coach Albert Oni said. “I would have her guard the other team’s best player.”

Whether it’s lacrosse, basketball, or soccer, it always seems to come down to Steele’s superb athleticism.

“She is one of the best athletes I have ever coached,” Miller says. “You only get kids so often like her. If I was a football coach, I would have a spot for her. She is tough as nails.”