Kicks-to-sticks switch suits Moyer

October 09, 1994|By Bill Free | Bill Free,Sun Staff Writer

Jaime Moyer's life has taken an incredible turn over the past six weeks.

The South Carroll senior has gone from being a disconsolate soccer player to one of the most celebrated field hockey goalkeepers around.

Moyer is enjoying instant glory since being cut from the powerful South Carroll girls soccer team.

She has been making brilliant saves on a regular basis and rolling up unbelievable totals for one game.

Usually, eight saves is considered an outstanding game. Moyer obliterates that number almost every game for a team that is thin on talent.

Last Monday against powerful North Carroll, Moyer had 19 saves to keep the game from being a total disaster (4-0 loss) and she came back with 19 more saves last Thursday in a 2-1 win over Linganore.

Making this story sound more like fiction is the fact that Moyer didn't even have a field hockey stick when she went to a Cavaliers preseason practice session and asked coach Stacy Stem for a tryout.

"I've been a soccer player most of my life," she said. "I only played field hockey once and that was in eighth-grade gym class at Sykesville Middle School. We had a play-day team that year, and I wasn't even on that team."

In six games for the 3-3 Cavaliers, Moyer has made 82 saves (13.7 a game) and has recorded two shutouts.

One of those shutouts came in the first meeting this season with then-fourth-ranked North Carroll and will long be remembered as one of the biggest upsets in county field hockey history.

It was only Moyer's second game in the goal, there wasn't much offensive punch in the South Carroll lineup and the Cavaliers' defense was inexperienced.

In contrast, North Carroll had virtually everything going for it. Jill Ballard, Amber Bosley and Laura Kenney were lying in wait.

The Panthers came out that day and peppered Moyer with 19 shots. South Carroll took only two shots but won, 1-0, behind 12 saves by Moyer.

"Jaime Moyer won that game," said Stem. "She's the best goalie I've ever had. I've never had a great goalie to go along with some of the good teams we've had in the past."

Stem said Moyer has natural athletic ability and has been helped by her soccer background.

"She is making kick saves with both feet," said Stem. "In the second North Carroll game, she did a split and still made the save."

The presence of Moyer just might allow the Cavaliers to win enough games to make the 3A regional playoffs.

JTC So what does Moyer think about soccer now?

"I don't miss it," she said. "I would have been sitting on the bench anyway. There were some younger girls and girls returning who he [coach Jim Horn] felt were above me."

She said she was upset at first over being cut from the soccer team, but soon decided to "move on and try something else."

Moyer had heard that the field hockey team needed players. Top goalkeeper Kate Bell quit after three practices.

Stem agreed to give Moyer a three-day tryout but told her she could not promise her anything.

That was all the opportunity Moyer needed. She rushed home and called her friend, Amy North, who is one of the top forwards on the Liberty team.

"I asked Amy if she was doing anything and if she wasn't, I wanted to come over and have her teach me some things," said Moyer.

"She taught me how to hold the stick, to dribble and some of the basics of the game. When I got to practice the next day, I at least knew some of the things Coach Stem was talking about. I borrowed a stick the first day of practice and then bought one after I knew I had made the team."

Stem has given Moyer the basics for playing in the net.

"She has taught me to stay on the post and if the ball is loose, I have to beat the other team to it. I move pretty good in pads because I run every day in them in practice with the other players," said Moyer.

1% The rest is history, as they say.

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