WINFIELD - Jim Myers considers himself only the interim coach of Mount Airy's team in the Carroll County Girls Soccer League's under-12 division, and he wants somebody else to do take the job next year.But his bunch of 10- to 11-year-olds could make his one year as coach a memorable one.
They contended for the division's regular-season championship until the final weekend, when a 5-2 loss to Cockeysville ended their championship dreams -- temporarily.
But Saturday at South Carroll High School, they served notice they are a force to be reckoned with in the post-season as they blanked Freedom, 4-0.
Mount Airy is now 2-0 in the league's post-season double-elimination championships and looks toward facing Cockeysville in a rematch this weekend.
Mount Airy is 7-1 this year after a 5-1 regular season.
Myers said the team has a history of winning.
"When they were all together, they were undefeated in the (Girls' League) under-10 two years ago," he said.
And now they're back together again.
Saturday, Mount Airy overwhelmed Freedom, just as it had in a 5-1 regular-season meeting to hand Freedom (3-1-1 in the regular season) its only loss.
Mount Airy completely dominated Saturday's first half, playing virtually the entire time in the Freedom end.
It left the field at half-time leading, 2-0, a score that would have been higher if not for the play of Freedom goalkeeper Crissy Jenkins and fullbacks Jaime Ibbitt, Stephanie Wilson and Meghan Bittick, who blocked numerous shots by the Mount Airy attackers.
Many of these were fired by Lindsey Vosloh, who seemed to be a threat almost every time she touched the ball.
She scored both first-half goals, each coming as she dribbled the ball down the right sideline and booted it in.
The second goal was spectacular, as she went solo two-thirds the length on the field, outrunning the entire Freedom defense to score.
The second half saw a more aggressive Freedom as it carried the game to Mount Airy's end of the field more often.
But it got few, if any, strong shots on goal.
"We try to stress ball-control, not kick ball, and we also want to beat the other team to the ball," said Freedom coach Millie Schaefer, explaining both her strategy for the game and what went wrong.
"We played a little better the second half. We're usually a second-half team."
Nevertheless, Freedom stayed scoreless and the victors tallied twice more on goals by forward Shannon Henley.
The first came on a rebound after her initial shot was blocked, and the second came after a solo -- similar to Vosloh's in the first half.
"We beat them to the ball. When you beat them to the ball you'll win," Myers observed afterward.
While the former president and supervisor of the Carroll County Boys Soccer League said he is coaching the girls only until next year, when he hopes someone else will take the job, he still has much to think about before his one-year stint is over.
Central to his thoughts is Cockeysville, which Mount Airy will almost certainly have to beat if it is to win the post-season title.
Their first meeting saw the Baltimore County team break a 2-2 second-half tie with three goals.
"We had as many shots on goal as they did," said Myers of the 5-2 loss, "but they got the ball in. We have to hit the ball better."
So will Freedom if is to prolong its post-season.
Schafer, who played interscholastic softball, field hockey and volleyball during her high school days in Montgomery County, thinks her team has the talent to do it.
She said her team was regular-season co-champ in the league's under-10 division in 1989.
"But we have a young team this season, and there's a big difference between under-10 and under-12 competition," Schafer said.
However, she added, "this is a team to watch next year."
Dan Fortenberry, who, along with Millie's husband Rick, assists in Freedom's coaching chores, put things even more forcefully.
"Put it down. Freedom next season," he announced.