SILVER RUN - The soccer monster has invaded yet another part of Carroll County.
The Silver Run-Union Mills area became the latest to succumb to the appeal of this ever-growing sport with the decision of the Charles Carroll Recreation Council to enter three traveling teams in the county boys and girls soccer leagues for the fall season.
In addition to forming teams in the under-10 and under-12 boys and under-12 girls divisions, the council operates a Monday afternoon clinic at the Carroll County Sports Complex providing soccer instruction to 24 youngsters ages 5 to 7.
And, the 75 youngsters now signed up for the traveling teams and clinic may get company, because Charles Carroll is keeping registration open until the end of September.
Predictably, the scores of the first matches between the new Charles Carroll teams and their more seasoned opponents were not necessarily to the liking of the greener squads.
The under-10 and under-12 boys teams were blanked, 12-0 and 5-0, by Mount Airy and Linganore, respectively, at the Sports Complex Saturday.
The girls game was canceled when their scheduled opponent was unable to field a team.
John Glass, coach of the under-10 boys, said he wasn't surprised at the losses.
"Most of the kids had never played in a refereed game before," he said.
However, most of the Charles Carroll players have had at least some exposure to soccer through the rec council's instructional clinic, which was first held last fall.
"We wanted to get soccer started here and give the kids something to do in the fall," said Silver Run resident Terry Borneman, who heads the soccer program.
"This area is growing. There were enough kids to warrant a program," he added.
More than 60 boys and girls aged 5 to 11 attended last fall's clinic.
But even with local rec soccer in its infancy, Charles Carroll organizers were looking to push it out into the world.
"We wanted to start travel teams," said Borneman, who has been involved with the sport for 20 years as a physical education instructor and referee.
However, he said organizers knew the road would be rocky for the new teams and that success on the field would not come quickly.
"The short-run goal is to be competitive and hang in there," Borneman said.
"Next year, we'll be very competitive, and we'll shoot toward winning (regularly) in two years."
Meanwhile, he said he considers the games largely a learning experience for his young charges.
Borneman, who coaches the under-12 team in addition to his other duties, said "I've got to find out where the players play best."
Despite the lopsided loss, Borneman said he saw bright spots in defeat, such as the play of goalkeeper Chris Mathias and the fact "we played better as the game went on."
"We put some pressure on them and got five or six shots on goal."
Glass probably also learned things, although the lessons were painful.
While most of his players had some exposure to soccer in the clinic, Glass said, they were younger than their Mount Airy opponents.
"Their experience was very limited," Glass said.
Like others in the program, Glass said he isn't discouraged, saying that skills can be taught and confidence will follow.
In the meantime ...
"I tell them at every practice to do their best and have fun doing it," Glass said.
But in light of Saturday's one-sided loss to Mount Airy, he said he is adding one codicil to that piece of advice.
"Be more aggressive," Glass said.
Girls coach Rick Landsman said he was disappointed that his players weren't tested Saturday, but that he is confident of their ability.
"I'm pleasantly surprised at the level of experience we have. I think we might do well," he said.
He also said he was "pleasantly surprised" at the large turnout -- 21 girls -- for his team.
Despite Saturday's rugged start, Borneman said he is pleased by the interest shown by the parents.
"We have four or five coaches on each team," he said, though he acknowledged that many of them, like their children, are still learning.
Borneman said he expects the program to expand, and that Charles Carroll will add under-14 boys and girls teams next year and an in-house league in 1992.
"As the population of this area grows and people find out what we're trying to do here, I think it will grow," he said.