The C. Milton Wright girls lacrosse team always has relied on balanced scoring under head coach Kathy Breymaier, yet junior Becky Gerhart has quickly assumed the lead role on attack.
Gerhart has gone from a defensive player with average skills to the Mustangs' strongest player up front, with quickness and stickwork, while leading the county in goals scored (42) a year ago. Gerhart's move up to attack last season also allowed the Mustangs to advance to the state semifinals.
"I want to be the leader, I would rather have that responsibility," said Gerhart, who also leads the Mustangs in ground balls.
And already with 27 goals -- nine of which came in a game against Oakland Mills last week -- after only five games, Gerhart, a first-team All-County selection last year, figures to have an even finer season this year for the Mustangs (3-2).
"Within two years she has the best stickwork on the team," said Breymaier. "She can go on any one-on-one situation and gets things going for us on offense. She is just a very dominating force on our team. Last year when she came out, I would have never known she was just a second-year player."
The constant for Gerhart has been her ability to go to the goal. Much of that comes from her experience as an offensive player on the Mustangs' soccer team. Also, she credits her teammates on the wings, Miranda James and Jen Kuehn with getting her the ball.
"From soccer you get a sense of where people are going to be and when you should go to the goal and when to pass," said Gerhart.
Statistically, the Oakland Mills game was Gerhart's best thus far, but she also stepped up big in several key games last year when the Mustangs needed a goal. Among them were both the Mustangs' regional playoff games the last two years against Perry Hall and more notably, the county championship game at Fallston a year ago.
"In the Fallston game, we couldn't get many goals but she scored them," said Breymaier. "It's almost like when you get down in a game and you need a goal, you can count on Becky to put the ball in the goal."
Gerhart said, "Sometimes when things get frustrating I usually try to pick up for whatever needs to be done. The counties are always really big because of Fallston and since they always seem to beat us in soccer, when lacrosse comes around I always want revenge. And luckily we've beaten them each year."
Gerhart said a lot of her progress came simply from watching Julie Jakum, who holds the single-season record for goals scored at Wright with 70. Jakum was a senior during Gerhart's freshman season.
"Julie had excellent stickwork, went to a lot of camps and tried to be a classic lacrosse player and Becky had great admiration for her," said Breymaier. "I think Becky tried to emulate what Julie did with her stick because she plays very similarly to Julie."