Near the end of last season, Meade soccer player Amanda Simmons said she'd like to score 100 career goals in high school.
With 71 career goals entering Tuesday's game against North County, the 17-year-old senior is well on her way. She is also
poised to break the Anne Arundel County record for career goals set by 1984 Severna Park graduate Colleen Corwell (75 goals, 32 assists).
Simmons has five goals and seven assists this season. If she scores another 29 goals to reach the century mark, she also will be breaking the county single-season scoring record of 33 goals, held by 1987 Meade High graduate Julie McCormick.
"Everyone is always asking me about the records," said Simmons. "But I really didn't know what they were until now -- and it's one of my goals."
Simmons is also a kick in the classroom, where she maintains a 3.94 grade-point average and scored 1290 on her Scholastic Aptitude Test. Because of soccer, Simmons has received mail from the University of Virginia, the University of Pennsylvania, George Washington and Cornell, among others.
"Academically, brochures are coming in all the time," Simmons said. "There is just too much mail to count."
Her father, Frank Simmons, an engineering manager in Prince George's County, and her mother, Linda Simmons, a secretary, "are very supportive," said Amanda, who plans to major in engineering in college.
"They're at every game, but there's no pressure on me."
She also has played for the state's Olympic Developmental Program for the past four years. As a junior, Simmons qualified as an alternate for the program's under-16 regional camp.
She competed at the state level again this past summer, but opted for an engineering-related internship at George Washington University instead of going further in the regional program.
"We worked eight weeks for 40 hours a week trying to make a plastic film that would be biodegradeable," said Simmons. "It was very interesting, and I really enjoyed it."
Right now, she enjoys her role as the engineer for the Mustangs.
Simmons scored 29 goals last season, which tied her with McCormick and Archbishop Spalding's Maureen Martin for second on the all-time single-season scoring list.
"Every year, I try to improve the percentage of my shots vs. goals -- and it's going up," said Simmons. "Every year, I try to score more goals than the last."
As a freshman, she scored 17 times to help her squad reach the regional championship game, where it lost to Broadneck. Two years ago, she scored 20.
Simmons' final goal of the 1990 season came in a loss to three-time Class 4A/3A state champion Severna Park.
"I had never scored on Severna Park before," said Simmons, who surpassed McCormick's school record of 67 goals with her hat trick -- raising her career total to 69 -- in the Mustangs' season-opening, 10-1 victory over Queen Anne's.
"Scoring on Severna Park was a big deal, because they don't allow a lot of goals. They made a big deal about not being scored on, so it was important to me to break that one."
But, as her reputation grows on the soccer field, so has the frequency of tight, specialized coverage against her.
Last year, while often being double- and triple-teamed and while alternating from striker to defender, she scored all but 12 of Meade's goals. She was held scoreless twice -- against North County (a 6-1 loss) and Old Mill (a 4-1 loss). She had four hat-trick games and a pair of four-goal games. Twice, in victories over South River, 4-3, and Arundel, 3-1, Simmons scored all of her team's goals.
But the Mustangs (3-1) are a more experienced team this year, so Simmons is getting help from players such as Kelly Dryden, who scored six goals against Queen Anne's.
"We think Amanda's found her niche at the center midfield position. She's got more room to roam, and she's making some beautiful passes," said coach John O'Neill, in his fourth season. "She's also a great defensive player who'd sacrifice her personal goals for the team, but I'm rooting for her to break the record."
"She's not selfish or big-headed at all. She's a team player," said Dryden, who has been friends with Simmons since sixth grade. "I know she's going to break the [county] record."
Simmons, 5 feet 2 1/2 , first kicked a soccer ball when she was 4 years old and living in Monterey, Calif.
She is in her sixth season with the five-time State Cup champion Columbia Crusaders, a team that plays in the Washington Area Girls Soccer League.
"Despite her size, she's very strong and a great defensive player," said Crusaders coach Roy Andersch. "She has great speed."
NB Said Andersch: "She's everything you want in a soccer player."