Fallston's Beth Blasi can do a lot of things to hurt her opponent on the soccer field.
Her coach, Nancy Ferguson, has watched her play on the varsity for four years and has grown to admire her skills and leadership qualities.
What impresses Ferguson most, however, is Blasi's unassuming personality.
"She just loves the sport and she goes out and plays it and she doesn't really understand why people are making a fuss," said Ferguson. "She's a coach's dream. She's very humble. No matter how many goals she scores, she doesn't want to talk about them. She's not looking for attention, she's just having fun."
Albeit at her opponents' expense.
Seven games into her senior year, Blasi has accumulated 10 goals and 11 assists, but more importantly, Fallston's girls soccer team is still undefeated and ranked No. 1 in the Baltimore Sun's metro area poll.
"We lost a lot of good players to graduation, but we've had some freshmen step up and everyone wants to play hard and win states again," said Blasi, a two-time All-County selection who was named the county's Player of the Year after leading the Cougars to their first state championship last season. "For the seniors, this is it, we all want to go back to states again."
Fallston's third game of the 1995 must have stirred some of those state playoff memories. In a rematch of last year's Class 1A-2A state final against Oakland Mills, Fallston escaped with a 2-1 victory. There to make the difference at the end was Blasi, who scored the game-winner off a header from senior Courtney Benner.
"I've seen Beth play on the club level and the high school level and she's very opportunistic. She never quits," said Oakland Mills coach Steve Matters. "She's very quick, especially in front of the goal, and if there's a loose ball bouncing around in there, she usually gets something out of it.
"What makes her good is that even if she's marked, she still finds a way to do something. A lot of players give up when they're double- and triple-teamed, but she hangs in there, and her persistance pretty often pays off."
It paid high dividends in Fallston's 6-0 win over Liberty. Despite being double-teamed, Blasi recorded a hat trick and assisted on another goal.
"She never loses sight of what her teammates are doing away from the ball. She's a very heady player," said Ferguson, whose
team moved up to Class 3A-4A this season. "She has the ability to score goals, but she is just as willing to set up her teammate. I thought her assist total could be higher but a lot of times her teammates see her take off with the ball and they sit back and watch her do it herself."
Where Blasi will play soccer in college next fall has yet to be decided. Schools that have shown interest include Delaware, Wake Forest, James Madison, UNC-Greensboro and UMBC.
Right now, Blasi isn't thinking that far ahead. She'll have plenty of time to visit colleges this winter -- before the start of the lacrosse season. Right now, she's focusing on tomorrow's game with Perry Hall.
"Her work ethic is exceptional," said Ferguson. "She makes everyone on the team work harder in practice and she's someone you can always count on to come up with the big goal in the big game."