The boys soccer Player of the Year in Harford County was practically a foregone conclusion even before the season started.
Any discussions about the good county players always was prefaced by, "Well, besides Shane . . . "
Shane Dougherty has been a four-year starter at forward for Fallston, with skills honed by work in the Olympic Development program. A year ago, he and senior Tom Gould each had 20 goals, and the team went to the Class 1A semifinals.
This year, with Dougherty the team's only real go-to scorer, he responded with a county-high 23 goals and six assists in his team's 12 regular-season games (10-1-1). Along the way, he scored at least one goal in each of them.
"Our record made it tougher for us, because there seemed to be more rivalry in the games -- everybody pointing for us," Dougherty said.
"Even so, I'd find myself losing concentration, getting lost in a game, then suddenly snapping back into it."
That idea reinforces the thought that pressure is the chief ingredient that drives Dougherty, a 5-foot-7, 135-pound player whose skill level always seems to be a notch or two above those around him.