It's Myers' turn to lead the Cavaliers Soccer: South Carroll's Stephanie Myers has always counted on and looked up to the upperclassmen. Now it's the senior All-County player who's being looked up to by younger teammates.

September 22, 1996|By Glenn P. Graham | Glenn P. Graham,SUN STAFF

There's no question Stephanie Myers is right at home.

Last season, her third as South Carroll's starting sweeper, she earned first-team All-County honors with her strong defensive play and ability to work the ball out of the back.

A senior co-captain now, Myers remembers being the youngster on an experienced and talented defense. There was Kendra Pulis in goal her first two years; Carrie Tamburo a solid fixture at fullback along with stopper Jamie Baier, who created as well as she covered. Myers calls them her "heroes."

This season, it's Myers turn to be the hero.

She looks to her left and finds freshman Katie Hancock; glances to her right and sees Sandy Lagana, another freshman.

There is familiarity when she looks in front and finds "Baier" on the back of the stopper's uniform. But it's not Jamie -- an All-Metro first-teamer last year -- it's Jamie's younger sister, Jodi, a sophomore.

"It's a definite adjustment and a different feeling being the oldest person out there after always being the youngest," Myers said. "I always had the older players to look up to. Now, I have younger players looking up to me. That's kind of neat."

So far, Myers has been the glue to the No. 10 Cavaliers 2-0-1 start. Coach Jim Horn talked to her before the season about how she will have to be the leader of an otherwise young defense. He had no doubts.

"Stephanie has been holding us together and just working her tail off," he said.

"For three years, it was always 'Steph, this is how we do it.' Now, it is Stephanie who's saying this is how we do it. It's something entirely new for her. I just told her to learn to be patient and learn to be a leader. She's handled it well."

Myers looks at it as carrying on tradition. The 1995 Cavaliers rolled through the regular season undefeated and their strength was on defense.

"One of the biggest things I learned from them was the high work ethic. We never gave up and never got down. I want to keep that going," Myers said.

She knows it will take some time -- so far, so good.

"We're still figuring out some things and learning to jell. I try to keep things positive and talk as much as I can," she said. "We all get along so well and are striving to have fun. We want to see how far we can go."

Myers has come a long way since her younger days, when Horn often had to take her aside to tell her she belonged on varsity.

She has played the game since the age of 7, but mostly at midfield before getting to the high school level. When Horn saw her talent, he figured she could handle the sweeping duties knowing the quality players she had around her.

"I was very intimidated at first. It was a neat experience and a privilege being on the same field with them," Myers said. "I have more confidence in my own ability now and feel safe back there -- it's home."

Myers isn't afraid to leave home when she needs to. One of her biggest attributes is how she can carry the ball up field. Often times, opponents expect the sweeper to simply clear the ball out of danger. That's when Myers settles the ball and dribbles past them.

"Playing sweeper, you see the entire field and have to know where the ball is and where it needs to be," she said. "I like making the runs and know our defense will be there to back me up."

Spoken like a true leader.

Pub Date: 9/22/96

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