One reason Randall Goldsborough loves soccer, she says, is because she thinks of it as "the only contact sport that girls have."
So ifyou're a defender trying to mark St. Mary's red-haired speed demon as she runs 100 mph to meet a cross, please excuse her for bowling youover.
"If I knock someone down, I won't apologize because that's just how intense I am. In fact, I might not even notice doing it because I'm concentrating so hard," said Goldsborough, who enters today's Baltimore Catholic League game at John Carroll as the Saints' leading scorer with eight goals and four assists.
Intensity, says the 17-year-old resident of Cape St. Claire, "is a hobby of mine."
"That mightlead people to believe that I'm a nasty person, but I'm not," added the 5-foot-4 striker. "It's just that I have two worlds -- one is when I'm playing sports and one is reality. On the field, I'm concentrating on my man and I'm going to be real rough with that person to let her know that I'm the boss."
A four-year starter, Goldsborough's 39 career goals and 22 assists rank her third on St. Mary's all-time scoring list behind 1990 graduate Tracy Tobin (48, 27) and teammate MoMcDonough (45, 17).
McDonough, a junior, has six goals and four assists so far and likely will break the record sometime this season. But Goldsborough can finish second if she continues her torrid pace.
"She uses all that she has to attack the net. She's one of the fastest players around," said Coach Jerry Tobin, Anne Arundel County SunCoach of the Year after last year's 15-3 season.
"Randall has hadsome high-profile players ahead of her like my daughter (Tracy) and (first-team All-County midfielder) Laura Coakley last year. But she'sbeen a full-time performer and a mainstay every year. She's got great instinct on the field and knows what to do and when to do it."
In the Saints' most recent game, a come-from-behind, 3-1 win over Archbishop Spalding on Thursday, Goldsborough scored the Saints' first goal to tie the game at 1 and assisted on the others, by McDonough and Meg Haslup.
"When I made that goal, everyone came up and congratulated me. They said, 'That's just what we needed.' I like that kind offeedback," she said. "I want to be a team player. I like working with people, setting them up or being set up."
"She's got speed, she can turn on the ball and she's aggressive," said senior sweeper Liz McGonagle, who, like Goldsborough, was an All-League selection last year. "She's everything you want in a player, and luckily, I don't haveto go against her."
Goldsborough, who began playing soccer when she was 7, is just as skillful at putting lacrosse balls and basketballs into the nets. She's been playing basketball since she was 3 and lacrosse since she was 10.
"Soccer and basketball are my favorite sports," Goldsborough said. She says she'd watch every county soccer game -- boys or girls -- every day if it were possible or "wake up at 5 a.m. and shoot baskets if I could find someone willing to join me."
Basketball coach Carmine Blades didn't think she was too young for a starting role as a freshman. A definite Division I prospect, Goldsborough has scored 1,051 points (a 12.0 average) in three years at point guard. Last winter, she averaged five assists and was chosen to the Anne Arundel County Sun's All-County first team.
In her third year on the varsity lacrosse team and her second as a starter last spring, Goldsborough was among the Saints' leading scorers.
Adopted when she was 1 month old by Jennifer and Martin Goldsborough, Randallsaid, "My parents have always been extremely supportive.
"They say I was born with my athleticism and that's how my biological mom was. Now that I'm her age (when she was pregnant), I think I understand what she went through, and I've accepted it. I look at it like she gave me up so I could live a better life, and I respect her for that.
"My parents really helped me with it all. I'd love to meet my biological mom when I'm 18, although I know that it might be difficult forboth of us."
Choosing a college or which sport she's going to play once she has decided on a college will be no easy task.
"If they'd let me play Division I soccer and basketball on scholarship, I would," she said. "But I'd want one of the three seasons off, so I probably wouldn't play lacrosse."
With several college visits in the works, Goldsborough has considered playing basketball at the Universityof Miami, Buffalo, N.Y.'s Canisius College, Penn State and the University of North Carolina.
"The coach from Miami came and visited myhouse, and I was really impressed," Goldsborough said.
"For soccer, I've heard things from Washington University and St. Louis and theCollege of Notre Dame.
"But basketball is my favorite. I think it's my best, and I think I'll get farthest in that."
Today, however, Goldsborough is focused on this afternoon's meeting with two-time defending Catholic tournament champion John Carroll, a squad to which the Saints have been runners-up for the past two seasons.
"If we beat them, we can hold our heads high and say we won, finally," she said.
"I guess it's just a matter ofpride."
As always, Goldsborough will be wearing her game face, her hair in a ponytail and bobbing angrily in her wake as she attacks, bumping a player or two along theway.
"During the game, I'm so intense. I think people know that on the field, I'm going to be that way," she said. "But after the game, I'll be like, 'I'm sorry for what happened' and 'good game,' and I'll be fine."