Schroeder sweeps foes off their feet Senior takes charge of McDonogh defense

September 26, 1993|By Lem Satterfield | Lem Satterfield,Staff Writer

McDonogh's girls soccer team is ranked No. 1 in the area, but senior Alison Schroeder recalls when the Eagles were the conference doormat.

"We've got experience now from playing a higher level of soccer teams each year," said Schroeder, an All-Metro and All-State pick last year. "But we've only made a name for ourselves through hard work."

In her freshman year the Eagles -- in their first year of Catholic League A Division competition -- went a promising 8-8, losing, 3-2, to Mercy in the Catholic League tournament quarterfinals.

As a sophomore, Schroeder scored seven goals to help the Eagles (11-8-2) to a surprise tournament runner-up finish behind Mercy.

Last year, Schroeder played everywhere from midfield to stopper to sweeper as McDonogh won the regular-season crown with an record.

She scored six goals with eight assists, earning her third straight All-Catholic League selection. But the Eagles' season-ending tournament semifinal loss to eventual champ St. Mary's has left Schroeder hungering to win both the regular-season and tournament crowns.

Co-coaches Ted Scocos and Maurice Boylan hope to take advantage of Schroeder's leadership by permanently assigning her to the sweeper post.

"My coaches say that I'm one of a couple of girls who have to take charge and get things going," said Schroeder. "It's a personal challenge to try and keep everyone involved."

Chances are Schroeder won't score as much as in the past -- and she hasn't, getting just two assists.

"But she's expected to make at least six scoring runs and be involved in every set play or corner kick," said Scocos. "She's just expected to get back [on defense] afterward."

Winning, said Schroeder, is worth the sacrifice. "We only have five seniors, so being a leader can be tough against the powerhouse teams," Schroeder said. "I guess I'd be disappointed if I didn't take charge."

Thus far, the 5-foot-7, 125-pound Schroeder, has done just that.

She anchored the Eagles (4-0) in tough scrimmages against Bishop O'Connell, ranked 14th nationally by USA Today, and cross-town rival Dulaney, last year's Class 3A-4A state runner-up.

Against Dulaney, ranked No. 3 in the area, Schroeder stymied 1992 All-Metro Player of the Year Aimee Vaughan, last year's area scoring leader with 37 goals and 14 assists.

"This being her senior year, Alison feels she's got to perform at her highest level," said sophomore striker Laurie Schwoy, the Eagles' scoring leader with 11 goals and three assists (39, 15 for her career).

"She always gets the team motivated and into the game mode. I have a lot of confidence in Alison."

In this year's first two regular-season games, Schroeder led the Eagles in shutouts of St. Mary's, 5-0, and last year's B Division champ, Institute of Notre Dame, 2-0.

"She's rock-solid back there." said Boylan. "And with basically three new defensive backs in there, our goalie, Sarah Manekin, is just so confident with Alison."

Schroeder was at her best in the Eagles' third game, a 3-1 victory over then-No. 1 Hammond, who was also then ranked No. 12 in the National Soccer Coaches Association poll.

Teaming with fellow defender Liz French, Schroeder helped render ineffective an offense including All-Metro striker Kisha Jett (23 goals, four assists last year) and All-Metro Kacy Williams (three, seven).

L Schroeder's poise comes from playing club soccer year round.

She is in her fifth season with the Olympic Developmental Program, four times reaching the regional camp. Last year, she made her age group's regional team.

Schroeder recently finished a season with the seven-time State Cup champion Columbia Crusaders, whose alumni include 14 All-Metros, including Vaughan.

Schroeder and Vaughan commute 45 minutes each way for weekend competitions with the Vista United in Fairfax, Va.

"Aimee and I have played together for years now," said Schroeder, who hopes to attend a nationally ranked college program such as No. 9 North Carolina State or No. 14 George Mason.

"My biggest challenge is in the classroom. My grades need to come up," Schroeder said. "I'd like a sports-oriented major, like physical therapy, or special education, helping people who are unable to help themselves."

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