A bucket of ice is needed after every game and practice.
Francis Scott Key striker Robbie Green knows it comes with the territory.
Last year, when he scored 10 goals and added eight assists as a junior, a tag came along with it as the county's leading scorer.
This year, he came back as the county's returning leading scorer and a marked man. Two and sometimes three defenders are hacking at him all game long, but Green doesn't seem to mind; in fact, he gives it right back.
"He bangs in there, gets up and bangs in there again. He just keeps going and going," said Key coach G. Hibberd.
That could have come from his New Windsor rec league days as a defender before he got to Francis Scott Key, where Hibberd moved him up front. Green said his deceptive speed didn't come until he began weight training in high school.
But what about his uncanny ability to score goals?
"It's part luck and you just have to keep moving," Green said. "You always get pushed and tripped, but have to keep on going and work hard."
Some players simply have a knack for scoring. Green is one of them.
Tuesday against South Carroll, teammate Jason Diehl made a clean tackle at the Key end of the field and dribbled up the right side before sending a cross in Green's direction just before South Carroll's 18-yard mark. Cavalier keeper Andrew Kelley came out strong to cut it off, but Green got there first and one-timed it over him for a goal.
After the game, in which he added the game-winner in a 3-2 final, Green said: "That was a nice cross from Jason Diehl. I saw the
keeper come out and knew I had to get the first touch on it. Jason made the play and I just finished it."
Few high school players could have "just finished it," but Hibberd has seen it all before.
"When Robbie senses a goal opportunity, he can go at full speed and still keep the same touch. That was a great goal," he said, adding that Green assisted on the Eagles' other goal against South Carroll with a long throw-in.
Last season, most of the attention was drawn toward senior Randy Owings, leaving Green with plenty of room to create.
This year, Green is the focal point, and he and the Eagles #F needed time to adjust to that. The Eagles are 2-5 with the tough part of the schedule out of the way.
Green, who also plays basketball and baseball, has done all he can with six goals and three assists, and his supporting cast is beginning to step up. The strong win against South Carroll provides a big lift.
"We're building up for regionals and will go from there. The scoring is pretty much well-rounded and things are coming together and getting better and better," he said.
Hibberd always can come up with an anecdote or two on each of his players, but struggles to find one on Green.
"He does a good job of staying clear of all that. He's quiet, but has a mischievous smile," Hibberd said.
With more thought, he added: "When he was a freshman, I remember the guys teasing him unmercifully about his shooting." Not any more.