By the time Severn coach Renie Sotiropoulis gets finished talking about the crafty stickwork and fine all-around game of her senior standout, Bif Moorshead, there are few adjectives left to be used.
Elusive, dominating, amazing, polished.
The Admirals coach has grown so accustomed to seeing the extraordinary from Moorshead over the past three years, she sometimes takes her center back's skills for granted. First-year assistant coach Caroline Abruzzo provided a reminder after a game earlier this season.
"She was amazed at how much Bif sticks out," said Sotiropoulis. "I told her 'I guess you're right, I'm just so use to seeing it for so long.' "
Dodging three opponents deep in your defensive end before sending a clearing drive is usually not recommended. For Moorshead, who got her nickname after her younger sister was unable to pronounce Beth (short for her real name Elizabeth), it's become more like the norm.
"She can sucker a player one way and take it the other way every time," said Sotiropoulis. "She always stays low on the ball and has a natural sense of what way an opponent is leaning to get around them."
Moorshead, who earned first-team all-county honors as a junior, has no definite explanation regarding her uncanny skills, other than the fact she's been around the game since the third grade.
"I just know I have to get the ball out and that's the way I do it," she said.
Only after further investigation will she provide her secret.
"When you're going around a player, you have to draw them to you and then wait. As soon as they commit, you can get around them," she adds.
Another adjective from Sotiropoulis is versatile. She said she's never coached a player with a more complete game than Moorshead.
The center back position is mostly a defensive one, but $l Moorshead, who has three goals and two assists for the 5-3-2 Admirals, is not shy about stepping up in the middle to get the offense started. She receives the majority of the team's penalty corners offensively and she plays the trail on all defensive penalty corners.
"The way our system works, we get to move around so much. [Senior] Jen Scott is our center midfielder and we switch around a lot. It lets me play at the top of the circle and I can also still get back on defense," said Moorshead.
Despite all the roaming, Moorshead still manages to provide a steadying influence as team captain.
"She's a no-nonsense leader," said Sotiropoulis. "She'll just say 'Come on guys, lets pick it up' and it works. She brings a common sense attitude to the field. She doesn't get totally roused up and doesn't get too down. She's very consistent and it mirrors the way she plays."
Field hockey has a place in Moorshead's life, but it doesn't dominate. She's an honor student who also enjoys horseback riding, skiing and sailing.
"I love to play field hockey, but it's not my life. When I'm out there, I'm having fun and love to compete," she said.
Although Moorshead can likely play at the Division I level in college, she wants to go to a smaller school to stress academics and a more well-rounded four years. After vacationing and going to field hockey camps in Massachusetts, she plans to go north to play at a Division III school. Williams College in Williamstown, Mass., tops the list of possibilities for Moorshead, who has an interest in architecture.
Pub Date: 10/06/98