WESTMINSTER -- It's all about tradition -- something Western Maryland College's soccer program hasn't had much of, but is working on building.
The men's team under coach Matt Robinson has made great strides over the past three seasons, culminating with last year's 11-6-1 record. They want more.
The women's team is finding things tougher, but third-year coach Jennifer Flynn is building a solid nucleus.
"There's been a lot of hard work by the kids and they've just been able to take it a step higher every year," said Robinson, referring to the men's team.
"We've developed a winning attitude and are looking for a WMC soccer tradition in winning."
Robinson and the Green Terrors took their lumps early on with a 4-9-3 record in 1989, his first season. They rebounded with a 9-8-1 season in 1990 before jumping to 11-6-1 last year.
"We don't want to stop there."
And they shouldn't. WMC has just about everyone back from last year's squad and another year of experience should result in more wins.
The heart and soul of the team is at midfield, where three former Carroll high school standouts -- all seniors -- hold down the fort.
Westminster grad Brian Redding led the team in scoring last season with 11 goals and five assists; North Carroll's Ron Chesney was second with five goals and four assists; while Eric Resh of South Carroll chipped in with three goals.
"They've been the backbone of the program," Robinson said.
"They've been here from the start and have grown as the program has. They've been an instrumental part in helping take the step forward to a quality program."
The Carroll connection doesn't stop with the midfield. Juniors Dave Storey (Francis Scott Key) and Scott Schoberg (Westminster) helped anchor a defense in front of sophomore goalie Matt St. Jean that recorded a school-record nine shutouts last season.
With 17 players, including nine returning lettermen, the women's team is looking to improve on last year's 5-9 season.
"This is our sixth season of the program and we still have a lot more work to do," Flynn said.
"Our main objective is putting together a winning season and we'll go from there. We're taking it one step at a time."
Flynn has two immediate holes to fill with the departures of goalkeeper Claudia Henemyre and '91's leading scorer Amye Walker.
In goal, WMC is going from a wealth of experience to almost none.
Henemyre, who lettered for four years, will be replaced by junior Sarah Kephart, a converted field player who played in goal for one game last season.
"With Sarah, we're really starting from scratch, but that's where Jim Francisco [assistant coach and a former WMC goalkeeper] comes in," Flynn said.
"He's been working hard with her and she has shown a lot of potential. She's a gutsy, heady player."
Kephart will get a lot of support from returning defenders Kirsten Borgeson and sophomore Paula Moyer.
Flynn is looking at a lot of players at a lot of different positions with her added depth (a year ago only 12 players were on the roster).
Offensively, the Green Terrors should get a spark from senior Michelle Miller and added speed from freshman Julie Cox (Liberty). Freshman Becky Duex (Westminster) will see some valuable time at midfield.