Saturday is shaping up as the most important day of the season for four Division III soccer teams.
Frostburg State travels to Salisbury State, and the winner most likely will rule the Eastern States Athletic Conference. With seven straight victories after an 0-3 start, the Bobcats are the state's hottest team. The Sea Gulls' recent six-game streak was stopped by Rowan (N.J.), No. 12 in the country.
Frostburg State, the defending ESAC champion, was hurt by graduation but rebuilt quickly, thanks to four freshmen starters. Jason Cherry (Archbishop Curley) has played nearly every minute at offensive midfield, and defensive midfielder Jeff Engelmyer (Hereford) and wing back John Denman (Severna Park) are other regular starters.
Tom Gould (Fallston), another freshman, was injured in the opener but scored three of the Bobcats' four goals in their past two games. Frostburg's steadiest player remains junior sweeper Kevin Brooksbank (Dulaney).
Salisbury State, looking for its first ESAC title in five years, has gotten a lift from juniors Anthony Menegatti (Loch Raven), Steve Mazzolla (Archbishop Spalding) and Derek Jessup (Bel Air) at the midfield.
Goucher's fifth-year program has the best record (7-1-1) in the state, and the Gophers are at St. Mary's Saturday (2 p.m.) for a game that will have considerable bearing on Capital Athletic Conference playoff berths.
Goucher's Steve Montgomery (North East) and Percy Moore (Paint Branch) are the top point-getters in the CAC, combining for 14 goals and 13 assists. They were two of the seven freshmen coach Steve Hornish started a year ago.
St. Mary's (3-4-1), which went to the CAC title game last year, is again getting strong seasons from defensive midfielder James Rebholz (Mount St. Joseph), stopper Corey Cooke (Centennial) and sweeper Derek Orner (Andover). Rebholz and Cooke are among the top goal-getters with two apiece.
New game for Navy
There will be some new faces at the head of the pack Saturday at UMBC, site of the State Cross Country Championships.
Maryland swept both team titles a year ago. This time, Coppin State is mentioned as the team favorite among the men, who will be following Mount St. Mary's freshman Bernard Kitur. First-time participant Navy should dominate the women's race.
The Mids (5-0) have been led by Kerry O'Neill, a senior from Kingston, Pa., who helped them to a fourth-place finish in the NCAA Division II championships in 1990. She's been followed by two juniors, Michelle Montgomery and Aletha Williams, while classmate Laura Herath (Severna Park) has been struggling to regain last year's form.
Navy's stiffest competition should come from 1991 runner-up Mount St. Mary's. Nadine Jamerson and Stella Cinoa were third and 10th, respectively, for the Mount in the state championships a year ago.
Saturday's meet will also serve as the Maryland Junior College championships, with seven two-year schools in the 16-team field.
Mount St. Mary's sophomore Nick Angelo (Cardinal Gibbons) finished seventh at the Northeast Conference golf tournament but bounced back to tie for medalist at the Mountaineers' Invitational. Jeff Balistrere, who's at the Mount on a basketball scholarship, tied for fifth.
UMBC finished a stroke behind St. Francis, Pa., in the team standings. Retrievers junior Mike Meyers, from Cape Town, South Africa, was two strokes behind Angelo. Meyers has qualified for this weekend's ECAC championships.
College of Notre Dame freshman soccer standout Corina Riismandel (Centennial) set a school record with 16 goals. . . . The No. 4 Maryland field hockey team is the only state squad ranked nationally in any sport.