The defending Catholic League champion St.Mary's girl soccer team once again appears to be the cream of the county's private school crop.
While Spalding and Severn search for new identities under their first-year coaches,the Saints will attempt to repeat as champions without the likes of last year's Anne Arundel County Sun Player of the Year Tracy Tobin.
Tobin, who led the Saints last season with a team-high 13 goals and 11 assists,has taken her talents to Randolph Macon College in Virginia.
"I will miss her in more ways than one," said St.Mary's coach Jerry Tobin,Tracy's father and former coach."Overall,we will still have a good team but I don't know if we can equal what we did last year.The new conference will make our schedule a much tougher one."
The Saints return 11 players,including several starters from last year's 16-1-1 squad;however,they are lacking veteran personnel in critical positions.
"Our strength is in our attack and if our midfield can come around we should be in good shape,"said Tobin.
"We are inexperienced in goal so it is going to be up to our defense to keep (the opposition) away from the goal. Our greatest strength at this point seems to be our youth and our enthusiasm. The girls are all young so maybe they don't know any better than to lose to anybody."
Junior Virginia Frisch, who started in the net for two seasons at the junior varsity level, and first-year player Jenet Tadle currently are battling for the right to stand in goal.
The Saints should be in good shape offensively, however, with sure-footed juniors Randall Goldsborough and Meg Haslup and sophomores Mo McDonough and Krissy Zurfluh supplying scoring power.
Spalding's new mentor, Wayne Sanchez, hopes his young team, which consists of eight starting freshmen, will be able to maintain its high enthusiasm through the season's inevitable valleys.
"We're real young, so we're going to make mistakes early on," said Sanchez. "They're learning a new system, and I'm still learning about them so it's going to be difficult. But if they don't lose heart and stick with it, I think by the end we could possibly beat St. Mary's or John Carroll."
Senior keeper Nicole Dunleavy and stopper Calene Cummings return and are expected to co-anchor Cavaliers' otherwise raw defense.
"Dunleavy is one heck of a goalkeeper and Cummings has oodles of talent," said Sanchez. "We're really expecting some good things from Nicole this year. I've had a chance to work with both Kim Myers (of Glen Burnie) and Nicole and they are both at the same level."
While Tobin and Sanchez have reservations about the success of their programs, Severn first-year coach Rick Lenfest has gone so far out on the limb that it looks to have already snapped.
Lenfest's prediction for 1990: "Very positive ... looking to go 15-0 the rest of the season."
Lenfest believes his team has had a "tremendous preseason" and said he is optimistic because his team has been "strengthened by transfers and a strong freshman class."
The big question is, will he be disappointed if the Admirals finish 14-1? Copyright The Baltimore Sun 1990