Biscoe flashes brilliance, keeps J. Carroll moving Girls soccer: Senior Jenny Biscoe makes up for her small stature with her blazing speed and refined skills, staying several steps ahead of Patriots opponents.

October 18, 1998|By Katherine Dunn | Katherine Dunn,SUN STAFF

John Carroll's Jenny Biscoe can't remember who first called her Bisquick, but her exceptional flare for soccer has made the nickname stick.

Linking her last name to one of her greatest assets as an athlete creates the perfect nickname for the All-Metro second-teamer, who also stands out on the basketball court.

This flash of blond ponytail and gold jersey is the primary reason the Patriots have been ranked No. 1 in The Sun, No. 1 in Maryland, and No. 12 in the nation for most of the season.

"She's everywhere," said Catholic's Allison Merkle. "It seemed our midfield was just worried about 'mark Biscoe, mark Biscoe,' and it was impossible to. One minute she'd be up making a forward run, and the next minute, she'd be back supporting the defense. She flies."

A one-touch wonder at center midfield, Biscoe rolls every athletic asset into one 5-foot-2 1/2 package.

"She reminds me of a cat," said Mike Lookingland, her coach for four years with the Soccer Club of Baltimore U-17 Pride. "Most great players will be one play or two plays ahead of the action, but Jenny's three or four steps ahead of any other player on the field. She's going up against girls who are easily 6 inches taller and 30 or 40 pounds heavier, and she can outplay them."

Biscoe, who started playing soccer at age 4, honed her skills playing on boys teams from the time she was 8 until she joined the Pride at 13. Facing stronger, speedier guys forced her to develop exceptional skills and game smarts to keep up.

"Jenny doesn't think; she just reacts," said Patriots basketball coach Kathleen Shannon. "She's mature beyond her years in terms of being an athlete. Playing soccer all those years with boys probably had a lot to do with developing those instincts."

Her instincts complement a natural athleticism and a desire that her father said has been evident since she was a little girl.

"Whenever there was a game, she was ready," said Bob Biscoe. "She just enjoys playing."

Of all her athletic advantages, however, the most impressive is her intensity.

""She attacks with a vengeance, and she's a very intense defender," said McDonogh coach Maurice Boylan Jr. "She just lets it all hang out offensively. She's a delight to watch."

On the field, Biscoe is 100 percent business. Off the field, it's a different story.

"She's the entertainer," said fellow team captain Laura Tiburzi. "She's really funny. She makes everybody laugh. Everybody loves Jenny."

In addition to a wide repertoire of stories and jokes, Biscoe is known for her rendition of "I Think We're Alone Now." She first used the song to win a spur-of-the-moment team talent contest concocted by coach Gary Lynch, but it's now a regular part of the Patriots' pre-game preparation.

As the Patriots' fun continues, Biscoe faces the toughest athletic decision she may ever have to make -- whether to play soccer or basketball in college.

She's agonizing over the choice.

She could play either sport -- but not both -- in Division I, or she could choose to forgo a scholarship and play both in Division III.

Although Biscoe is an exceptional point guard, her size likely would hold her back in basketball, but she could be a highly sought-after soccer recruit.

She simply needs a little more exposure, said Lookingland, who considers Biscoe regional if not national Olympic Development Program material.

However, Biscoe has never played ODP soccer, opting instead for Amateur Athletic Union basketball, which has taken her to nationals twice.

Still, Lookingland said, college soccer coaches have asked about her.

She likely will draw more attention when she makes her first trip with the Pride to one of the country's largest soccer tournaments, the Orange Bowl in Miami at Christmas.

Her experience there may help with her college decision and whether to play ODP soccer next spring. While her coaches try not to push, it's obvious that they see a bright future for her in college soccer.

"If she wants to play soccer, she can go wherever she wants," said Lynch. "Wherever she goes, she'll be an impact player."

Pub Date: 10/18/98

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