Jean Tyrell's unselfishness on the field for the Bel Air girls soccer team might be her biggest asset.
Tyrell has put together another solid season with nine goals through 12 games. She has complemented that with an equal number of assists.
She has had at least a goal or an assist in every game, and her flexibility to play at either midfield or forward keeps her around the ball.
Because her goal total isn't as high as some of the other leaders in Harford County, Bobcats coach Bill Zimmerman says Tyrell's unselfishness is perhaps the only thing that keeps her numbers lower than the county's leading scorers.
That's fine with Tyrell, though, a junior, who chooses to look for the pass before the score.
"A lot of girls in the county can score goals, but Jean is not afraid to give the ball up, and there is nothing bad about that," said Zimmerman. "She's got all the foot skills, so skill-wise she is up there with best of them."
Either way, Tyrell has established herself as a major contributor for the Bobcats (7-5). Tyrell finished second on the team a year ago with 11 goals and nine assists, and she figures to come close to matching those numbers this year.
She credits much of her performance to a better team -- although it is young.
"We've had a better team than during my first two years. We're stronger individually and that contributes a lot," said Tyrell.
So has seeing a lot of action at midfield. "Playing midfield gives me a lot more work with the ball and allows me to distribute it," said Tyrell. "It is always important to know where the ball is, and I feel that just having good field sense of where I'm supposed to be is the best part of my game."
Zimmerman said: "When we want to control the center of the field then we'll drop her back to halfback. She's a hustler."
Tyrell did more than control an early-season game against Patterson -- she dominated it with three goals and three assists to lead the Bobcats to victory. Then against Aberdeen she scored the tying goal with 1:26 left in regulation and the overtime goal that lifted Bel Air to a 3-2 win.
Tyrell has come a long way since her freshman year. Zimmerman recalled how the level of play overwhelmed her as a freshman, although she possessed all the skills. She has closed the gap by playing in club leagues the past two years.
"Club ball has helped a lot because it is a much higher level of play. The girls are more aggressive and better individually and only the best players in the area are picked to fill the teams," said Tyrell. "Also there is good competition."
Tyrell has grown accustomed to the intense play at the varsity level, and her coaches recognize that she has become a more aggressive player. Tyrell said the team's improvement can be attributed to more of her teammates playing in the club leagues.
For the rest of this season, Tyrell has set her sights on making first-team All-County as well as scoring more goals than last year.
"I aim high every year, and if I don't do as well as I would like to, I'll try and do better next year," she said.