After just nine games, former South Carroll field hockey standout Patti Duffy has made a name for herself at Virginia Commonwealth University.
"She's a big-time player," VCU spokesman Mark Halstead said yesterday. "Whenever you can get a freshman to come in and play like Patti has for us, you're very fortunate."
Duffy gained attention when she became only the second freshman to start a season opener for coach Pat Stauffer.
Duffy has played all but 13 minutes in nine games for the Division I school in Richmond.
Used as a link by South Carroll coach Stacy Stem, Duffy is playing defense for VCU and has attempted seven shots from long range without connecting.
"She has no stats, but you don't expect her to score. She's been a terror on defense for us," said Halstead.
VCU, which started the season at No. 12 in the country and beat Michigan State, 2-1, in the opener, is ranked No. 20 with a 5-4 record.
VCU's gain has been South Carroll's loss.
The Cavaliers have struggled without Duffy and her ability to inspire her teammates.
"We miss Patti a lot," Stem said. "No one has taken her place yet."
Houck hits it hard
Around the College of Notre Dame on Charles Street in Baltimore, people are marveling at how hard Westminster grad Tinah Houck shoots the ball for the 6-3 field hockey team.
"She has one of the hardest shots of anybody we've ever had here," said Notre Dame athletic director Donna Ledwin.
In nine games, Houck, a freshman, has six goals and two assists for 14 points -- second on the team in scoring.
Frederick High's Julie Desmond leads with 13 goals and two assists for 28 points.
Notre Dame has won four straight games after a slow start.
Douglas stars for Towson
Former North Carroll girls soccer star Ashlee Douglas is off to a good start for the Towson State women's team, contributing five assists in seven games to lead the Tigers.
Douglas has played a major role in Towson's 4-3 record and hopes to help the Tigers build a stronger program.
Owls to play for UMBC
Center fielder Todd Dorsey and hard-throwing left-handed pitcher Chris Archambault, both All-Carroll County first-team selections last spring for Westminster High, will continue their baseball careers at the University of Maryland Baltimore County.
There had been talk that Dorsey possibly would play in the Atlantic Coast Conference at Georgia Tech, but his stock dropped a little his senior season.
Archambault came on strong late in his senior year and made the Crown Central All-Star team. But he also didn't get a lot of attention from colleges.
A classic soccer battle
It was a classic girls soccer show Monday night at North Carroll, featuring previously unbeaten South Carroll against inspired North Carroll.
Both teams moved the ball quickly and never sat back on their heels.
A total of 25 shots were taken, with North Carroll scoring three straight goals for a 3-1 lead and then holding off a furious South Carroll rally for a 3-2 upset.
The fans loved the action and even the officials were talking about the fast pace as they left the field.