Pooling their soccer talents Class club: The Severna Park Rangers feature an all-county caliber lineup that is making waves in the Washington Area Girls Soccer League.

November 07, 1995|By Bill Free | Bill Free,SUN STAFF

Jessica Marion blows by a defender and sends the ball ahead to 5-foot-11 Shannon Chaney who runs through everybody and sticks the ball in the net.

Carina Sonberg dribbles around three people and gets the ball to Kristin Briggs who bolts through a crowd for a high percentage shot that disappears into the goal.

Jill Harrison, Alicia Curran and Julie Tice control the midfield with amazing regularity.

This is not a dream or a wild fantasy.

These highly celebrated Anne Arundel county girls are actually playing on the same club soccer team every weekend these days.

They're called the Severna Park Rangers and they're making quite a fuss in the prestigious Washington Area Girls Soccer League.

The Rangers have posted a 7-0 record during regular-season play and went 2-0-1 in the recent fall tournament before a large contingent of college scouts.

Many of those same scouts will flock to see Marion, Chaney, Sonberg, Briggs and company perform three more times before the end of the year.

The Rangers will be shooting for high national recognition in the Bethesda Thanksgiving tournament (Nov. 18-19), the Raleigh Shootout (Dec. 2-3) and the Miami Junior Orange Bowl (Dec. 27-30).

"We have a bunch of girls who are committed to soccer and I expect them to do very well," said Marc Osterberger who coaches the Rangers. "We have so much talent up front that we simply wear the other team's fullbacks down after a while. I rotate Marion, Chaney and Briggs at the two forward positions every eight minutes. That is a load for any defense to handle."

Marion, an All-Metro choice from South River last season, has so much speed and ability that she has been recruited heavily by James Madison and has already given an oral commitment to the school which has an outstanding women's soccer program.

Chaney is one of those gifted athletes who has size, quickness, speed and an incredible thirst to succeed. She has visited Duke and will play at a top-level Division I women's soccer school.

Chaney has registered an amazing 46 shutouts in her high school goal-keeping career for Severna Park but just might be an even better field player than goalkeeper.

Osterberger, who has the luxury of using Chaney up front, and Severna Park coach Joyce Stefancik both believe the Falcons' offense would be much more potent with Chaney at forward. However, Stefancik does not want to give up a near-certain shutout every time Severna Park takes the field.

So, Chaney has to wait until the weekends to do her thing on offense.

Even the talented Marion is impressed with what she seeds of Chaney up front.

... TC "We work the give-and-go good together," said Marion. "I just send it to her and she'll take it in. I consider myself a pretty big girl [5 feet 7], but I can't match Shannon's height. Not too many people around here can."

Michelle Osterberger, Marc's sister who is the team's sweeper, gets a kick out of watching the Marion-Chaney show every game.

"They just go through everything in their way," said the girl who has played a major role in the Rangers' only allowing five goals in 10 games while scoring 36.

Other top Anne Arundel county players on the Rangers are Severna Park's Bethanne Houck, Old Mill's Sarah Meehan and Amber Wilkerson, South River's Theresa Beckett and Tammy Mitchell and Northeast's Anna Otto.

Due to time restrictions, the team never practices but the players have come together quicker than Osterberger thought.

"The main thing I have to do is make sure everybody is on the same page," said the coach who also is the head coach for the Severn boys soccer team. "Our main goal is to go to showcase tournaments and have fun."

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