2 fathers face new challenges Carlan, Matters get set to coach

August 06, 1993|By Rick Belz | Rick Belz,Staff Writer

The two new girls soccer coaches at Atholton and Oakland Mills will share at least one thing in common.

They both have daughters who played high school soccer.

That should give Jim Carlan, the incoming Atholton coach, and Steve Matters, the incoming Oakland Mills coach, a better understanding of the girls they will be coaching.

Carlan, the traveling-team coordinator for the Soccer Association Columbia, has significantly greater soccer coaching background than Matters.

Carlan, 54, has coached soccer for 22 years, 15 of those with SAC. He currently coaches the Columbia Storm, an under-17 boys club team that was a state cup semifinalist the past two years and won Division II of the National Capitol Soccer League last spring. The Storm is 35-7-7 over the past two seasons. Carlan is an associate director with the General Accounting Office in Washington.

Matters, 42, has coached the past three years at the club level in Anne Arundel County. A math teacher at Oakland Mills High School for 19 years, Matters is better known for his association with football.

He was a highly successful varsity head football coach at Oakland Mills in the late 1970s and has been an assistant Scorpions football coach for the past three seasons, doing scouting and working with quarterbacks.

The two coaches inherit soccer teams significantly different in talent and history.

Oakland Mills has had a pipeline flowing steadily with outstanding talent. Atholton has had a few outstanding teams, but its talent level generally has been far below the Scorpions.

ZTC As a result, Atholton's girls soccer history is largely a disappointing one filled with losing records and sometimes with unfulfilled promise.

Oakland Mills, meanwhile, has won five state girls championships. Last season the Scorpions went 14-1-1 and captured the Class 1A-2A state title under coach Nancy Shea. Shea resigned this summer for personal reasons.

Although still lagging behind, the Raiders may gain ground on Oakland Mills this season as Atholton drops from Class 3A to 2A, joining Oakland Mills in Region III along with Glenelg, Hammond and several teams from Prince George's and St. Mary's counties.

The Raiders are young but promising, led by junior Stephanie Van Deusen, a Baltimore Sun second-team All-County pick.

The Scorpions return a good nucleus from last year, including first-team All-County goalkeeper Lauren McHargue and second-team forward Tricia Witte. But Oakland Mills' talent pool has been drained a bit by the graduation of nine seniors -- eight of whom started.

The mind-sets of the two coaches as the season approachesreflect the differences in talent and history between the teams.

"It will be a major challenge," Carlan said of Atholton's chances this year. "But I like the challenge."

Matters said, "I think we'll do pretty good. But it will be a learning experience the first couple of weeks."

Carlan is the father of four daughters, three of whom played soccer. Two of them, Laura and Lynda, played for Hammond in 1981 and 1982.

Matters is the father of a daughter and a son. His daughter, Nickie, played stopper for Old Mill High School for three years, and she will be a freshman at the University of North Carolina-Asheville this fall. Old Mill lost in the state semifinals two of those three years.

This will be Carlan's first high school coaching experience. Retirement from the federal government is only a year away for him, and he is mulling over the idea of starting a second career as a teacher of special education. That career would include coaching.

In addition to football, Matters has coached high school baseball, lacrosse and tennis.

Carlan's first priority as Atholton's coach will be to find someone who can score consistently. That may be Van Deusen, who played defense last season.

Matters has a proven scorer with Witte at forward and a proven goalkeeper in McHargue.

He hopes to change Oakland Mills' playing style to one that is more offensive-minded.

"I like the German soccer style of ball control, but we'll have to see if we have enough talented players to do that," he said.

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