Dye puts academic foot first


Her GPA is 3.95 (out of 4.0).

Her SAT score is 1,430 (out of 1,600).

Those are Ginny Dye's most important statistics.

"She's always been at the top of the class," said Antoinette Bwalya, who has been on the Oakland Mills varsity soccer team with Dye for four years. "She realizes how important grades are and tells the young ones that education comes before soccer."

Dye realized that a few years back while thinking about college. She thought that good grades would make it hard for colleges to tell her no. It would give the decision to her. She was right.

Dye's grandfathers, parents and brother and sister all attended Penn State. Check out the license plate on the family van. But right now, Dye is looking toward Brown University. It has the academics and soccer she wants. "Brown looks good in both categories," she said.

Dye's academic accomplishments mirror her prowess on the soccer field. It's not surprising. Her attitude toward both is the same. Hard work pays off.

"She plays as hard as she can all the time," said Oakland Mills coach Steve Matters. "She continuously gives her best effort."

"She's focused," Bwalya said. "The minute she steps on the field she's ready to play."

Said goalie Nyiesha Ford: "Mentally, she's always there. She holds the team together."

As a four-year starter, Dye has scored 39 goals. Her most memorable came as a freshman, when she took a pass from Tricia Witte, now a sophomore at Loyola College, and scored the winning goal in double overtime to beat Loch Raven in the state class 1A-2A championship game.

"That was the highlight of my soccer career . . . so far," said Dye, who also plays varsity basketball and runs track. "It was a boost to my self-confidence. It showed me I could play at the high school level and pretty much do anything if I put my mind to it. It was amazing. I'll always remember that."

Dye was a midfielder her first two years. When Witte, the county Player of the Year her senior year, graduated, Dye took her place at forward. Dye credits much of what she has accomplished on the front line to playing with Witte.

"She's someone I really looked up to," Dye said.

"When I left she needed to step up and take that role [of scorer]," said Witte, who remembers Dye as someone always eager to learn. "She's done a great job doing that."

Dye scored 17 goals last year, repeated as a first-team All-County player and made the All-Metro and All-State first teams.

But Dye is not about individual awards. "She's more about the team then herself," Ford said.

Said Bwalya: "She doesn't think she's better than the rest of us. She's one of the team."

And the team leader.

"Most of that comes from what she does," Matters said. "By example. This is what she does, and this is what we should be doing."

But Dye constantly offers verbal encouragement to her teammates.

"She's always talking, keeping us up," Bwalya said. "She's playing offense and she'll be talking up the defense. She talks the whole game, helping everybody out."

"I always look at the positive side," said Dye. "I'll never be negative."

Dye, who also plays on a club team and has spent six years on an Olympic Development Program team, has the skills and the speed to set her apart. But it's her work ethic and love for the game that makes her special.

"The only way you're going to get better is playing," said Dye.

Not so fun has been Oakland Mills' 1-2-2 start. But losing to No. 1 Fallston and No. 4 McDonogh by identical 2-1 scores, and tying No. 5 Arundel, 0-0, is nothing to be ashamed of. Dye knows this and looks forward to open-format playoffs.

"My goal is not to end the season with a loss," said Dye, whose team has reached the state championship game two of the past three years. "And that means ending the season with a state championship."

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