Carroll County Capsules High School Boys Soccer Preview

September 12, 1995|By Glenn P. Graham

Carroll Christian Patriots

Coach: Mark Campbell. 1994 record: 8-6

Top players: Levi Haines, Sr., MF; Steve Rill, Sr., D; Chip Leonard, Sr., GK; Casey Davis, Jr., F; Greg Shipe, Jr., F; Steve Parker, Jr., D; Jeremy Rodriguez, Jr., F; Frank Pinto, So., MF; Mark Elban, So., MF; Paul Albaugh, So., D.

Outlook: The Patriots are coming off a second straight winning season and continue to be on the rise. Campbell, in his fourth year, has more depth than he's ever had and the new additions are blending in with a strong group of returning players.

The defense has been the team's strength the past couple of seasons and the same will hold true this year. Leonard gives Campbell experience and reliability in goal. Albaugh will be the sweeper with Rill in front of him at stopper. Parker is a welcome addition at one fullback slot with Lieb on the other side.

The midfield will center around Pinto, who does a good job of controlling the ball and distributing to others. Elban will drop back to midfield after playing up front last year and Campbell said he looks very comfortable at his new position. Haines provides a steadying influence at midfield. "We have a lot more depth on offense and it's exciting to be able to position some people differently and not lose any force," Campbell said.

Davis is the Patriots' prime finisher and has two new wings to work with in Shipe and Rodriguez. Shipe is a transfer and Rodriguez returns to the team after not playing last season. "Casey will be our go-to guy and we'll be looking for him to catch all the stuff dumped to him inside," Campbell said. "We'll need the wings to stay wide to open things up. The three really work well together."

Halfback Josh Ridgely and wing Mike Craig will be other key contributors with Brad Dean backing up Leonard in goal. All three are sophomores.

Francis Scott Key Eagles

Coach: G. Hibberd. 1994 record: 7-6

Top players: Robbie Green, Sr., F; Mike Crawmer, Sr., MF/G; Billy Baker, Sr., F/MF; Shaun Diehl, Sr., MF; Jessie Oakes, Sr., MF; Ryan Etzler, Sr., F/MF; Andy Hosmer, Sr., D; Eric Koeppen, Sr., D.

Outlook: The Eagles return the county's leading scorer from a year ago in Green (10 goals, six assists), and Hibberd believes there's plenty of support around him. The big question is in back with the goalie position still up for grabs late in the preseason and only one starter returning on defense. "It's going to be exciting at both ends," Hibberd promises.

Green, in his fourth year on varsity, caught some opponents off guard last season with his ability to score and pass. This season, teams will make it a priority to shut down the striker. Hibberd and the Eagles are expecting it. "We have enough help around him that if he gets too much attention, we'll have some others scoring," Hibberd said. "We're looking to knock the ball around. I don't see this as a kick the ball to Robbie Green and let him see what he can do. He'll be able to free up others and we have enough experience on the upper line that they'll come through."

Baker, Etzler and Kemp will rotate up front with Green. Hibberd also is expecting some scoring out of his midfield with Oakes, a transfer from Westminster, a big addition in the middle. "He has real good ball control, is in excellent condition and plays with a lot of savvy," Hibberd said. Crawmer, another four-year varsity player, is a constant threat with his long throw-ins and passing ability. Hibberd may use him in goal if one of the three other keepers -- Mike Corsini, Mark Krida or Dan Shorb -- don't step up. "The concern is huge in the sense if no one plugs the hole and Mike has to do it, we'll be weaker out in the field," Hibberd said. "Mike gives us a lot with his throw-ins and passing and we may give up a goal to get that." Krida has good size and looks to be the one who will step up. Hosmer, the lone defensive starter back, will have to take control at either sweeper or stopper. Every Hibberd team has a strong marking back; this season it's Koeppen.

Liberty Lions

Coach: Lee Kestler. 1994 record: 6-9

Top players: Matt Horrell, Sr., MF; Jamison Combs, Jr., MF; Tim Chairs, So., MF; Roy Geiser, Sr., MF; Jeff Wharton, Jr., MF; Todd Tupis, Sr., F; Thiago Marchi, Sr., F; Mike Silva, Jr., GK; Craig Wentz, Jr., D.

Outcome: There's no question the Lions' strength is at midfield this season, and Kestler is looking at a couple of different formations to get the most out of it. Silva has taken charge in goal and his improved play is needed with a lot of new faces on defense.

The Lions will use four and sometimes five midfielders at a time in an attempt to shut down opponents before they get started. Horrell, Combs and Chairs are the keys. Horrell missed the first half of last season with a foot injury and is looking to make up for it this year as a team captain. Combs, the other captain, is a proven defender who also will be expected to provide more offense. Chairs made a big impression as a freshman and will bring more size this fall. He also will be used up front.

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