Midway through the Baltimore Bays' fourth straight defeat, coach Kevin Healey had an inspired thought -- why not insert the kid from Dundalk in an attempt to rouse the team?
And in the second half of the game against the Greensboro Dynamo on May 9, off the bench came Terry Locklear. Sure enough, he scored the Bays' only goal of the game and scored another a week later, in his first start of the season, in the team's first victory, 3-2 over the Columbia (S.C.) Spirit.
Locklear will be in the starting lineup again when the Bays visit the Richmond Kickers tonight in the opener of a two-game southern swing that will conclude tomorrow night in Greensboro, N.C.
"The kid's a winner, so I knew he'd provide a spark," Healey said. "The whole team was uplifted. He's always been that way."
Locklear, 22, has played off and on under Healey for six years, beginning with the Dundalk Post 38 under-19 team.
"Terry hasn't sat back this season and waited for the veterans to coax him," Healey said. "He works hard and works smart, and that has rubbed off on the veterans. That work rate, desire and attitude can lead to victories. All of this is unspoken, but understood."
After a career at Patapsco High in which he made first-team all-state as a senior and was among the area's top 10 scorers, Locklear went to Essex Community College. He had a few scholarship offers from Division I colleges, but was "scared" because they were out of state.
Locklear helped Essex reach the national junior college final as a freshman and was a first-team JuCo All-America the following season when Essex lost in the Region 20 final to Montgomery-Rockville.
Afterward, Locklear went to UMBC on a full scholarship, in part because his Essex coach, Pete Caringi, took the Retrievers' job at that time. UMBC won the East Coast Conference championship in Locklear's first year and the Big South Conference title in his second.
However, Locklear's introduction to pro soccer during the Bays' tryouts last December made him realize he was moving up another level.
"When I did pretty well in the first game, my confidence came along," said Locklear, now a UMBC assistant under Caringi. "It showed me I could play with some of the best guys."