Posting shutouts goal for Raiders' Froman Sweeper: Loch Raven senior Nicole Froman enjoys playing defense, and it shows: in 29 of her 48 games, the opponent has been shut out.

September 22, 1996|By Katherine Dunn | Katherine Dunn,SUN STAFF

Nicole Froman plays every soccer game with the same outcome in mind.

"Shutouts -- that's what I like," said Loch Raven's senior sweeper. "If I don't score a goal, if it's 1-0, I did my job. My shutouts are my goals."

Froman has helped record more career shutouts than many good strikers have goals.

Of the 49 high school games she has played, 30 have been shutout victories. The Raiders are 41-7-1 with her in the lineup and have allowed only 30 goals.

While Froman spreads the credit around for those stats to the entire defense, much of the Raiders' strength is based on her performance in the back.

"She's the one who has always solidified their team," said Hereford coach Steve Power, whose Bulls lost to the third-ranked Raiders, 1-0, last week. "Some players have an innate sense about spacing -- they have field sense and a field presence, and some players have speed. She has both. She reads the game very well and she's rarely caught off balance."

Froman emerged as the Baltimore County league's best field defender right from her debut as a freshman. That year, the Raiders posted nine shutouts, allowed just 10 goals and won the state Class 1A/2A championship. Froman earned All-Metro second-team honors before making the first team as a sophomore and junior.

"Nicole can do amazing things out there on the field," said Raiders coach Anthony Menegatti. "She's strong in the air, she has range on her shot from about 40 yards out and she has throw that, when the adrenalin's going in a game, can reach 40 to 50 yards."

With all of those talents, Froman doesn't find herself confined to the backfield.

"If I get the ball and I don't feel like I'm putting my team at risk, I'll make a run and sometimes it works," she said. "It seems some teams feel intimidated by me. Maybe it's my height, but I'm not sure."

If it's not her height -- 5 feet 9 -- that intimidates opponents it might be her speed, her quickness or the moves she makes with the ball.

Hereford goalie Kate Macfarlane has seen all those moves -- mostly from behind since the two have been club teammates on the Baltimore Football Club Mixx/Energizers for more than a year. Together they helped the Mixx/Energizers win the state Under-17 title and reach the semifinals of the Eastern regionals last summer.

Macfarlane, a two-time All-Metro keeper, certainly would rather have Froman playing on her team than against her.

"She's most dangerous when she carries the ball up the field," said Macfarlane. "Her throw-ins are dangerous but I'm not really too worried about that. Mostly, it's just I don't want her coming right up the middle of the field shooting at me, because she definitely has a good shot."

Froman has drawn the attention of many Division I college coaches. A member of the National Honor Society who hopes to become a psychiatrist or a pediatric orthopedist, she has narrowed her list to Brown, Richmond, William and Mary and James Madison.

At Loch Raven, Froman also excels at basketball and lacrosse although not to the extent that she can dominate a soccer game.

"Everything she does, she's the best at," said her sister, Ashley, the Raiders' striker. "People have high expectations of me because I'm her sister, but we're best friends and it's not a competition. I'd drive myself crazy if I had to compete with her."

Pub Date: 9/22/96

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