South Carroll's Clutter born to score

October 18, 1992|By Bill Free | Bill Free,Staff Writer

Amber Clutter stood in the middle of the South Carroll practice field and tried to explain how it all happened so quickly.

Was it her speed, quickness, soccer instincts or intelligence?

Was it all of the above?

Clutter, only a sophomore, found words hard to come by. After all, she has climbed to dizzying heights in less than two seasons.

The slender striker has won one Carroll County girls soccer scoring championship, and she is in a duel with North Carroll's Ashlee Douglas for a second scoring title.

Her scoring feats (13 goals, five assists) have helped the Cavaliers upset preseason favorite Westminster for the county championship this season.

When Clutter did find words for her deeds, she said, "My teammates pass me the ball."

But there is a reason Clutter knows what to do with the ball when she gets it.

It's in her genes.

Her father was a soccer goalie for Mount Airy High School, and her sister, Kelly, was an all-county goalkeeper for South Carroll in 1990 before going on to UMBC and playing one year.

"And my mom was a cheerleader at Mount Airy," said Clutter with a wry smile.

So with her mom cheering her on and her dad giving instructions, Clutter often had a chance to see if she could score on her sister, the goalkeeper.

"We played these games all the time where I had so many shots to see how many goals I could score on Kelly," said Clutter. "It really helped me with my shot."

South Carroll coach Jim Horn, whose team is 9-0-1, said Clutter has everything physically to make her a scoring star.

"And she has the smarts to go with it," said Horn.

Francis Scott Key coach Joe Linthicum said that Clutter is a cut above the average big-time scorer because she also "distributes the ball well."

Some of the recipients of those passes are Cavaliers linemen Nikki Robitaille, Kim Woodward and Anne Schaeffer. All three have scored key goals in the unbeaten season.

If South Carroll knocks off Thomas Johnson on Tuesday at TJ, the Cavaliers will add the Central Maryland Conference title to their list of surprising achievements.

"I think we caught a lot of people off-guard," said Horn. "We had the talent but we didn't know how good we were going to be. I think the turning point was in the second game of the season against North Carroll when we got down, 2-0, in the first minutes of the game and came back to get a 3-3 tie."

There was also a big 2-1 win over Westminster at Westminster on Sept. 28.

Clutter, 5 feet 3, 110 pounds, believes that was the key to the South Carroll season because the Owls were supposed to be a powerhouse.

"We wanted that game a lot," said Clutter. "And I think we won because we didn't have as much pressure as they did."

Horn seems to be building a girls soccer dynasty at South Carroll, with a wealth of young talent.

Besides Clutter and Schaeffer, both sophomores, a defensive dynamo is on the scene in freshman fullback Sara Wachter.

Wachter has made her mark in a big way, playing Douglas and Liberty's Amy Wolff straight up and shutting them out in South Carroll victories. Wachter also shut out Linganore's high-scoring forward, Carrie Jenkins.

Wachter has had a lot of defensive help from two other freshmen, Jamie Baier and Carrie Tamburo, and sophomore goalie Kendra Pulis.

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