Douglas steps up as Panthers' leader

September 30, 1992|By Bill Free | Bill Free,Staff Writer

Ashlee Douglas is a walking advertisement for all that is good about high school sports in Carroll County.

She is a soccer standout, runs the hurdles in track and plays basketball at North Carroll High.

Just three games into her senior soccer season, Douglas has been labeled one of the best girls soccer players and athletes to come out of the school.

But more important, she is so much of a team player that coach Phil Myers has to encourage her to take her fair share of shots.

And Douglas still has a "golly, gee whiz" approach to the game in spite of her accomplishments since moving up to the varsity in 10th grade.

When asked how it felt to score all four of North Carroll's goals last year in back-to-back 2-0 victories in the state 1A-2A tournament, Douglas said, "That was cool."

She virtually carried the Panthers to the state semifinals after scoring 15 goals in the regular season.

So what could Douglas do for an encore this season?

She's working on it. Frederick and Glenelg will attest to that.

"Yes, there's more pressure on me this year," Douglas said. "If I don't do anything, it will be kind of like 'what happened after last year?' It's difficult to be the top scorer on the team, but I don't worry about it. I just do what I can."

Douglas took the frustration from a season-opening 1-0 overtime loss to county power Westminster out on Frederick and Glenelg with three goals in each game for 8-1 and 5-1 victories.

"Ashlee is a tremendous athlete," Myers said. "She's one of the best who's ever played at North Carroll. If she doesn't score, she'll find someone to get it to. She's a strong girl who has a pretty hard shot."

Myers said Douglas continues to score goals even though the offense isn't centered around her and opponents double-team her.

"Some coaches who get a girl with the talent of Ashlee really concentrate on bringing everything her way," Myers said. "We work the ball to the left and right wings, giving everybody a chance to score as much as Ashlee does. She's surrounded by some outstanding players [Liz Piper and Stephanie May] who can score."

But Myers said some of the Panthers instinctively look for Douglasin crucial situations.

In the always-emotional battle against 3A-4A Westminster, Douglas beat the Owls fullback late in regulation and had an open shot at the net from fairly close range.

"I had a shot and choked," said Douglas, about the chance to break up the scoreless tie. "I beat the defender but hit the ball at the goalkeeper, who tipped it over the net. We had the shots against Westminster but were afraid to take them."

Douglas now awaits a second chance at the Owls, who have three straight 1-0 victories over North Carroll.

"Westminster is always a real intense game for us," she said. "We need to take advantage of our chances the next time."

When her run is over at North Carroll, Douglas plans to attend Western Maryland College and continue playing soccer.

"It's been a lot of fun in high school," she said. "I think my quickness and ability to get off shots pretty quick have helped me accomplish what I have. A lot of the kids congratulate me. Now, my goal is to take it one step further this year in the state tournament. I'd like to at least make the finals."

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