Far and away the biggest surprise at Western Maryland College so far in the early season has been the soccer programs.
The men equaled the best start in school history at 5-0-1 before a 2-1 loss against St. Mary's on Tuesday. The 1935 Green Terror had the same 5-0-1 record before losing to West Chester, 4-3. That team finished 8-1-2 and boasted wins over Maryland and Bucknell.
This year's version has already won more games than all of last year, when it went 4-12-2 in coach John Plevyak's first season. Sophomore Christiaan Abildso (seven goals, one assist) and junior Rick Estes (six goals) both have eclipsed their total goal output of a year ago.
The women (3-1) are looking to get off to their best start in the program's nine years if they can get by College of Notre Dame today. The Green Terror has scored 19 goals in its first four games with seven players having at least two goals.
Freshman Stephanie Van Deusen leads the attack with four goals and one assist. Fellow freshman Natalie Hannibal (Liberty) has three goals. Sophomore keeper Julie Backof (Westminster) has 30 saves with a 1.4 goals against.
Not as close as it looks
Saturday's 21-17 score doesn't depict the domination the Western Maryland football team had in its win over Gettysburg.
In improving to 2-1, the Green Terror had a 446 to 227 edge in total yards against Gettysburg and a 24 to 13 advantage in first downs.
Turnovers, right? Wrong, the Green Terror were a plus-three in turnover ratio. The Western Maryland special teams were unsuccessful on three field goal tries and yielded an 85-yard kickoff return.
Sophomore receiver Trey Rash scored his first two touchdown passes and finished with seven catches for 143 yards.
The Green Terror will play host to Centennial Conference foe Ursinus (1-1) on Saturday.
Off and running
The Western Maryland cross country team had some impressive efforts at the Towson State Invitational on Saturday.
Greg Davis (Westminster) finished 10th out of 87 runners and tops among the small school competitors. Freshman Mike Cushwa, who played soccer in high school, ran his first race ever and was second to Davis among the small-school runners. On the women's side, Kelly Parrish took third overall out of 73 runners and first among the non-Division I competitors.
Fast start at Westminster
No county high school team in any sport this fall is off to a more impressive start than the Westminster field hockey team.
The Owls (3-0) are ranked fourth in the metro area and have not allowed a goal in beating Francis Scott Key, Dulaney and Centennial by a combined 10-0 margin. Centennial is ranked ninth in The Baltimore Sun's Top 15 poll, with Key and Dulaney falling under the other teams considered this week.
Senior Megan Magee has been the big spark on offense with five goals and two assists.
Key girls soccer learning
The young Francis Scott Key girls soccer team did just about everything right except one thing Monday against Walkersville: score.
The Eagles outshot the visiting Lions, 16-5, but lost 2-0. Freshman forwards Sindi Stem and Melissa Merson made a lot of things happen up front, accounting for 11 of the Eagles' shots.
"We're getting the shots. They're just not putting the ball in the right spots. That will come with practice and experience," said Key coach Joe Linthicum.
Grass is greener at Liberty
Liberty's stadium field has never looked better and credit goes to Jan and Mary Louise Carter, who spent Tuesday morning rolling it.
The Carters are the parents of Heather, a senior field hockey and lacrosse player, and Scott, a freshman soccer player.
The field went through a pretty good workout on Friday with the Liberty football team's 41-20 win over Atholton. Running backs Bill Shaffer (133 yards, two TDs), Justin Barnowski (137 yard, one TD) and Josh Denning (95 yards, two TDs) marched up and down the field as the Lions (2-0) moved into The Baltimore Sun's Top 15.