Hornfecks are sure shot for Arundel goals


A neighbor keeps the running tab.

Ask Michelle Hornfeck, the senior leading scorer for the Arundel field hockey team, or her little sister, Melissa, the freshman sensation on the Wildcats soccer team, who has more goals between the two and both will tell you they're not sure.

This much is for sure: The Hornfecks' are a goal-scoring family, keeping the neighbor particularly busy with the math this week.

Tuesday: two goals for Melissa in a win against Annapolis. Wednesday: Michelle answers with two goals against Annapolis, again a win. Thursday: Michelle has four and Melissa has three and the two Wildcats teams both enjoy wins against Meade.

At week's end, both have 10 goals with the fall season only through its third week.

Toward each other, the Hornfecks aren't competitive. "Two different things," Michelle says. Once on their respective playing fields? "Definitely, we go after the other team big time," she adds.

The two have taken different paths to the success they've found on their Wildcats teams.

Field hockey was about the only sport Michelle didn't play while growing up. She started playing as a freshman, moved up to varsity during the playoffs that same year and has been a mainstay on the Wildcats' front line ever since.

She led the team in scoring last season with 10 goals and has already matched that output with the Wildcats at 5-2 this fall.

"Michelle plays extremely hard and has so much athleticism," said Arundel field hockey coach Clint Gosnell. "She has a much harder, more accurate shot and anticipates much better than last season."

Making the move from left wing to center this season has helped produce more goals and wins.

"I'm always running around where the ball is. Last year, I stayed to the left a little more so now that I'm staying in the center, it's giving me some more chances," said Michelle. "I just look where the goalie is and know where I need to put it. A lot of it is also getting your feet around."

Melissa presents herself as a typical ninth-grader: She giggles, says "really cool" a lot and looks up to her older sister.

And then she takes to the soccer field.

An under-14 ODP pool player who has been playing soccer since the age of 4, she has made an immediate impact at Arundel with high skills and an endless work rate that has helped raise the entire team's level of play.

"Her maturity on the field is way above a ninth-grader. But how she interacts with the others is just like a ninth-grader - that's remarkable. She has fit in so well," said Arundel coach Tom Degner. "She's quiet off the field and then can turn the intensity on when she gets on the field."

Melissa works hard, spending hours in the backyard with just the ball, and keeps it all in perspective.

"It's fun, I enjoy it and love the challenge," she said. "It's cool being on varsity because I have a whole bunch of friends on the team and they're all nice to me."

The age difference aside, Michelle and Melissa say they are alike in a lot of ways. With Michelle off to college next fall, they are enjoying this year together, and in the spring, both will play lacrosse.

"I'll go out and practice with her playing soccer - I used to play and love the sport, too - and she comes out and fools around with the hockey stick with me. With sports, we have a lot in common," said Michelle.

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