Tomko eases into new Penn State role

Alumni report


Penn State soccer player Heather Tomko is out of the scoring spotlight and is happy about it.

The former North Carroll All-Metro first-team choice enjoyed some quick success with the Nittany Lions when she scored two goals as a freshman forward.

However, when she was switched to outside midfielder last season, she produced just one assist in a reserve role.

That's why Tomko, a junior, was more than happy last spring when coach Paula Wilkins asked her to play on the back line, where she had made her mark in high school and on the Bethesda travel team.

"I'm more of a scrappy player, technically I'm OK but I'm not as good as the rest of the girls," Tomko said. "For me, I really like the scrappy part, slide tackling, getting in and saving goals."

Tomko has started seven games for the Nittany Lions, who jumped off to a 12-0 start to gain the No. 2 ranking in the nation. Tomko has taken just one shot.

"She has a great attitude, especially one-on-one," Wilkins said. "She will throw herself in front of anything in front of the box, and she can attack because she was a midfielder before. Her move to the back has been good for us."

Tomko has been slowed in recent weeks by a sprained ankle, which occurred in a 3-0 victory over Maryland, but she has bounced back rather quickly.

"She had to convince me she could play," Wilkins said.

Tomko said: "I just looked her in the eye and said, `I can play.' She said, `I'll believe whatever you tell me.' "

Tomko is one of three Baltimore-area players on the Penn State women's soccer team, joining second-year freshman midfielder Zoe Bouchelle (Notre Dame Prep) and freshman forward Ashley Myers (John Carroll).

Bouchelle, The Sun's All-Metro Player of the Year in 2003, has started nine games, scoring one goal and contributing one assist, while Myers has played in two games.

Goloboski on roll

Richmond junior linebacker Adam Goloboski (Hereford) is the runaway tackling leader on the team with 40 tackles, which includes one sack for a loss of 12 yards and one fumble recovery.

The 6-foot, 220-pound Goloboski has 16 solo and 24 assisted tackles.

Zabel starts fast

LaSalle wide receiver John Zabel (Mount Hebron) is off to an outstanding start this season, catching 23 passes for 526 yards and three touchdowns in the first five games for the Explorers.

Zabel caught seven passes for 195 yards and two touchdowns, one a 92-yard scoring reception, in a 39-32 double-overtime victory over Iona and was named co-Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Player of the Week.

Contact Bill Free by e-mail at or by phone at 410-833-5349.

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