Big season planned for boys soccer Annapolis Christian aims to defend title

September 10, 1992|By Steven Kivinski | Steven Kivinski,Staff Writer

Bob Topp still can recall the days when his boys soccer team at Annapolis Area Christian School would leave the field giggling after a loss.

Those were the days. Topp thought they'd never end. But they have. The Eagles have risen from a team that laughed in defeat to one that Topp describes as possessing a "true winner's mentality."

"I'm pleased to see the kids progress to a point where losing really hurts," said Topp, whose team experienced few pains during last year's 12-1-2 championship campaign. "Our team has a great sense of confidence now, but it's a quiet confidence."

The Eagles' ascension to the pinnacle of the Christian School Athletic Association last season was anything but quiet, as it ended in a rousing 4-0 victory over arch-rival Grace Brethren of Clinton, Md.

With Topp's top four scorers back, the third-year coach sees no reason why his team shouldn't successfully defend its title. In fact, he's expecting it.

"We're very excited about this season," said Topp, who has reason to be exuberant, with his entire attack intact. "We think repeating is a very reasonable goal, and a high priority. Our goal is to have the best record among the county private schools."

Senior captain Josh Segerstrom, who tallied 11 goals and eight assists last season before being named league co-MVP, returns at halfback and supplies the Eagles with more than scoring.

"We're looking forward to not only his outstanding scoring and assists, but his continued leadership," said Topp, whose team averaged 3.8 goals a game last season while allowing just 1. "When things get tough, Josh digs in even deeper to pull us out of the fire."

Junior forwards Tim Jacobs and Kevin Moldenhauer both are proven scorers who should help take some heat off Segerstrom. Jacobs was the Eagles' second-leading scorer last season with 10 goals and five assists, while Moldenhauer chipped in four goals and six assists.

Sophomore Jimmy Himes has been on the varsity since the eighth grade and led AACS with 16 goals and five assists last season. He had two goals and two assists in the 10-1 season-opening victory Tuesday over South Maryland Christian Academy.

"He's got a tremendous soccer background and his skills are quite superior," said Topp. "He can make his teammates around him look very good."

One of those teammates whom Himes has helped is eighth-grader Brian Dennstaedt. Dennstaedt scored two goals in the opener and is ticketed as one of Topp's "go-to guys."

While graduation had little effect on the Eagles' offense, it has forced Topp to make many changes on defense. Filling a void created by the departure of center-fullback Brent Wolf and sweeper Trip Beans are senior Justin Sherlock and sophomore Chris Boston. Both have the speed to cover the back line, but Topp knows that it will take more than that to keep opposing offenses in check.

"The key to our success will be our new people filling in at some of the key defensive spots," said Topp. "We need for one of our fullbacks to rise up."

Senior goalie Dain Hungelmann is the last piece of the Eagles' defensive puzzle and Topp is confident that the senior will be a perfect fit. Hungelmann transferred from Old Mill last season, but a broken wrist forced him into a spectator role behind starting goalie Todd Painter.

"Todd left some big shoes to fill when he graduated," said Topp, "but I'm confident that Dain can fill them."

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