Until yesterday, Perry Hall soccer coach Pat Sokoloski called his sweeper (and indoor track star) Carrie Huselton faster than fast. "I've never seen anybody out-sprint her," he said.
But then Meade striker Amanda Simmons blazed past Huselton to net her 78th career goal, breaking the Anne Arundel County mark set by Severna Park's Colleen Corwell in 1983-85.
"She was the fastest kid I've ever seen," said Sokoloski, whose co-No. 7 Gators still prevailed, 7-3. "I was amazed. She blows by people," he said.
Sokoloski noted that Simmons has more than raw speed. She has skills.
In the first half, Simmons split backs Tiffany Cassidy and Shelly Zajdel, then made an instant cross-foot to her right and beat keeper Staci Getz with a shot to the corner of the goal. That tied Corwell at 77.
And in the second half, "Simmons somehow -- I don't know how -- dribbled through three of us that surrounded her on the far right wing," Sokoloski said. Her shot hit the crossbar, but Christina Agueda was there to tap the ball in. The assist gave Simmons a hand in all three Meade goals.
"I'm very, very impressed," Sokoloski said. "If Meade had two or three more like her, they'd be the team to beat."
Simmons hoped that Meade would be the team to beat yesterday. "I would rather the team won than I set the record," she said.
"The record" was controversial much of the week. Some newspapers incorrectly reported that it had been broken on Friday. "But he [Meade coach John O'Neil] told me this morning what it was. Now, it's definitely out of the way," Simmons said.
It has also been widely reported that Simmons needed four seasons to break Corwell's mark that was set in three. Actually, Simmons' 78th goal came in her 44th game. Corwell played a total of 42 varsity games (Severna Park did not have a ninth grade at the time) in an era of much lesser talent.
So, says Severna Park coach Joyce Stefancik, no asterisk is needed.
"Oh, my Lord, no. The skills are so much greater now. You don't find anybody who is head-and-shoulders above the rest. Colleen was then, but that was then," Stefancik said. "I think this [record] is great. Amanda is a great player, and it took a great player to do this today."
Corwell had an outstanding college career at William & Mary, and is currently assistant coach at American University.
Considered one of the East Coast's rising young soccer minds, Corwell said, "That [the record] is great. When I came back [as assistant coach at Severna Park last year], I was surprised that the skills had gone up so far.
"Amanda can go to any top 20 program and play," she said.
Simmons fully intends to attend a top 20 school. She hopes to play soccer. But academics come first for one who carries a 3.94 grade-point average in a rigid curriculum.
She hopes to major in engineering at either Cornell, Virginia or George Washington.
* Principals, athletic directors and co-curricular chairpersons at the city public schools have submitted position papers on the topic of joining the Maryland Public Secondary Schools Athletic Association. The results will be made available to Dr. Lillian Gonzalez, assistant to city school superintendent Dr. Walter G. Amprey. The matter could come up for discussion as early as Thursday, when the athletic directors gather for their regular monthly meeting.
City public schools currently are members of the Maryland Scholastic Association, which is not affiliated with the MPSSAA. Complaints, which surface every sports season, center on the fact that MSA champions do not compete in the MPSSAA state tournaments.
A resolution is long overdue, but it won't happen without considerable concessions on the part of the city schools. The state organization holds the upper hand. The wanna-bes must yield to the members.
* Homecoming king Eric Johnson was busy Saturday, also helping Parkville upset previously unbeaten Woodlawn in football, 8-7. At halftime, he was escorting queen Tanya Green, the Knights' indoor track standout.