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King savors 3-goal game


Southern's Kristy King had one of those once-in-a-lifetime games 10 days ago against North County, scoring three times in a 6-0 victory.

Three goals is a season for some players, a career for others.

It is certainly a rare moment for any field hockey player at any level, a moment worth savoring.

King is the first to admit it most likely will never happen again and realizes it was a special time in her life, one she will always look back on with pride.

"I hope I score three goals in one game again, but I doubt it," she said. "It was one of those days when the ball kept going right where I was all the time. You know, one of those times when all the bounces were just right for me. I had never scored three goals in one game anywhere."

In fact, three goals is all she has scored through the first seven games of this season for the 2-5 Bulldogs. The senior forward also has one assist.

King and her teammates were on a mission that day against North County because rain had wiped out two Southern goals the first time they tried to play the Knights, on Sept. 22.

"We were all fired up the second time because we had been leading 2-0 one minute before halftime when it started to rain," said King, who scored one of the two nullified goals. "If we had been able to play one more minute to complete the half, the goals would have counted and we would have picked the game up at a later date in the second half with the 2-0 lead. As it was, the whole game had to be played over. We wanted to get those goals back and we did, plus four more."

The hat trick was even more improbable because King is still learning how to think like a scorer. She was first and foremost a defensive player in the first two years of her field hockey career at Franklin High in Baltimore County.

When she transferred to Southern after her sophomore year, King told coach Carolyn Knowles she wanted to play defense again.

No way, said Knowles.

Southern isn't exactly a hotbed for field hockey and Knowles wanted to take full advantage of a player who just happened to land on her doorstep from a 3A Baltimore County school.

"I needed her at center forward and center link to put some punch in our offense," said the coach. "Kristy has a strong drive and a lot of skills, is good at the spin dodge move, has a lot of determination, is unselfish and is always optimistic."

The move didn't pay too many dividends until the last two games of the 1994 season when the Bulldogs finally had some success after starting out 0-10. Southern won one game and tied a game "down the stretch" and has seemed to carry some of that momentum over to this season.

With two wins already and some of the tougher opponents out of the way, there is talk around school of a possible .500 season.

King is in the middle of all that talk after the prestigious three-goal game.

"It was very exciting to see Kristy score three goals," said Knowles. "This is the strongest offense I've had in years. Missy [Bond] and Jillian [Williams] are also good at the spin dodge move. These girls are tired of losing."

If being a close-knit team means anything, the losing might just end soon for Southern.

According to King, members of the Bulldogs' field hockey team sit together at the lunch table and act "like we're a bunch of sisters."

"Other teams I've been around often are fighting among each other," she said. "We communicate well and once we get on the field, we put everything behind us."

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