A standout at Severna Park

October 03, 1995|By Bill Free | Bill Free,SUN STAFF

Just the sight of Amy Noble taking the field with her Severna Park field hockey teammates can be a little scary for the opposition.

She is 5 feet 10, very athletic, is extremely skilled in all phases of the game, has a reputation for being a big scorer and has striking blond hair that makes her hard to miss on the field.

"People can pick Amy up very easily," said Severna Park coach Lil Shelton. "She is very tall, very blond, we have her in the center of the field and we try to get the ball to her."

Noble, a junior, discovers early in every game that the other team is out to stop her.

"I hear them saying 'Get No. 19,' " she said. "Playing center, being so tall and having this naturally blond hair that is so blond it looks bleach blond, there is no way I'm going to hide from anybody."

It also helps that Noble has six goals and two assists in the first seven games for the No. 1-ranked and unbeaten Falcons, who have run their winning streak to 44 straight. Severna Park has won three straight state 4A championships and has not lost since the final regular-season game in 1992.

Being the top scorer on a team with so much field hockey tradition could be a burden for some athletes, but not Noble.

She has grown up competing in all kind of sports and plays field hockey year-round on the Washington Wolves, a top club team.

"My mom [Shelley] started me in swimming and running at a real young age," said Noble. "I went on to play water polo for the Annapolis Water Polo team for five years [age 11-15] and we won three national titles."

Playing water polo helped improve her upper body strength and her overall athletic ability, which she is now using to good advantage in field hockey.

Since making the Severna Park varsity as a sophomore last season, Noble has been a part of 23 straight wins and a 4A state title over Northern of Calvert County.

Shelton said Noble has become the team's leading scorer because she is more focused and mature.

"She has a strong drive and gets a lot of cleanup goals. She is always in the right place at the right time," said Shelton. "And she has good speed to go along with all her experience from playing in the Junior Olympics and on the Washington club team."

Noble made the 15-and-under national team and competed in the Junior Olympics at Wake Forest University after attending a field hockey Futures Camp for two years.

Her field hockey experiences at higher levels have been interesting, said Noble, but being a part of the Severna Park team means the most to her.

"We have so much fun that I even look forward to practice," she said. "We are so close as a team that when one person scores, it's like all of us scoring. Everybody can have skill, but the most important thing is team unity."

Noble sees the Falcons remaining on top as long as Shelton, in her 21st year, stays on as coach.

"She sets the standards with her morals and team values and I learned early what she expects when I went to her summer camp four straight years," said Noble. "Sure the streak puts a lot of pressure on us but she makes us feel like we can win. We all feel obligated to keep the streak going."

Noble doesn't see Shelton giving up her coaching position any time soon.

"She'll have to be forced out," said Noble, who also runs indoor track and plays lacrosse for Severna Park. "Anyway, I wouldn't want her leaving before I graduate. She makes us feel like we're part of a college program with all the team breakfasts and dinners we have. My sister [Sara, who is a sophomore field hockey starter at Radford] said playing in college is just like playing at Severna Park."

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