The Liberty girls lacrosse team has cranked out another scoring phenom.
The newest version of instant offense for the Lions is senior midfielder Amie Rose, who has ripped apart four Howard County teams for 18 goals and four assists in four easy wins.
Rose is off to such a torrid start that she might surpass Nathalie Skovron's county record of 76 goals in 18 games for Liberty, set in 1994.
Skovron averaged 4.2 goals, and Rose is scoring 4.5 goals a game, putting her on pace to score 81 if Liberty makes it all the way to the state finals (18 games) again.
"Amie's our best player right now," said Liberty coach Courtney Vaughn. "She's quick and fast, sees the whole field, can shoot as well as dish off, and can catch and shoot with both hands. Not many high school players can do that."
In short, Rose's time has come, after she played in the shadows of Chrissy Primavera, Megan Horneman, Skovron and Kym Frey the past two seasons.
"I've always been waiting for this moment," she said. "It feels good. It has been a dream for me to step up one day and be the scoring leader. I love lacrosse so much."
Rose and the Lions do not expect to be severely tested until next Saturday when they play host to an Easter tournament that will include last year's state Class 3A-4A runner-up Dulaney, National Cathedral of Washington, and St. Stephens/St. Agnes of Alexandria, Va.
Liberty will meet National Cathedral at 9 a.m., and Dulaney will take on St. Stephens/St. Agnes at 11 a.m.
The winners will meet for the championship at 3 p.m., and the losers play in a 1 p.m. consolation encounter.
"That tournament will be good for us," said Rose. "We need to play some tough competition to prepare for the likes of a Loch Raven, which we need to beat before we can win a state [1A-2A] title. Our regular season is not too challenging."
Last season, the Lions roared through the regionals and the state semifinals before running up against a powerful Loch Raven team in the state championship game. Loch Raven was simply too tall and too talented for Liberty and the result was a 19-7 loss.
Talk about a motive for revenge.
"We're going to need confidence and patience to beat
Loch Raven," said Rose. "The patience is needed to slow the ball down and run a pattern offense when the transition game is not there. We have a lot of younger players [nine juniors] this year and they need to learn how to be patient on offense. They have a tendency to get frustrated when we can't fast-break."
Rose has provided a strong example for her teammates with a high-level work ethic in practice, Vaughn said.
And what about Rose's rare ability to catch and shoot with both hands?
"I know this might sound funny," said Rose. "But when I was in the 10th grade, I used to spend a lot of time in my bedroom in front of a mirror with my lacrosse stick in my hand without a ball. I mimicked my right hand as being my left hand and developed both hands at the same time, cradling first with my right hand and then moving the stick to my left hand."
Funny or not, it worked, giving Rose an extra dimension on the field.
"My biggest thrill has been seeing myself improve so much since the 10th grade," she said. "It's exciting. Miss Vaughn has taught me a lot and she always makes sure we give 100 percent all the time in practice and games."
And Rose has made Vaughn look something like a prophet.
Before the season, Vaughn said: "Hopefully someone like Debbi Bourke, Amy North or Amie Rose can do the same thing for us as a senior that Nathalie Skovron did. Nathalie went from 20 goals her junior year to 76 as a senior [Rose had 25 as a junior]."