Matthew LeMaire, 20, nationally recognized amateur soccer player


Matthew Brent LeMaire, a college student who gained national recognition as an amateur soccer player, died Saturday of injuries he suffered when he lost control of a motorcycle on a Harford County road and struck a tree. The Bel Air resident was 20.

Mr. LeMaire, who graduated from C. Milton Wright High School in Bel Air in 1998, was between semesters at Harford Community College, where he was studying computer science.

He began playing soccer as a 5-year-old in the Hickory-Fountain Green Recreation Council in Harford County.

Mr. LeMaire also had played baseball and lacrosse in the Hickory Recreation League.

In high school, he was a midfielder and forward on the varsity soccer team for three years. He had been team captain at Harford Community College and played for the Rox Club Team, an indoor soccer team that won national amateur championships.

Mr. LeMaire, 5 feet 9 inches tall and weighing 150 pounds, was considered a formidable player.

"He was an all-around player and had great attacking skills. He was very fast and fluid with the ball," said Kevin K. Cromwell, soccer coach at Villa Julie College, who also coaches the Rox team.

Rox "went to three national tournaments and won two championships in 1997 and 1998 in Columbus, Ohio," Mr. Cromwell said. He said Mr. LeMaire earned national recognition at the tournaments.

Mr. Cromwell had wanted Mr. LeMaire to help him coach at Villa Julie.

"He had great technical skills and a booming shot," the coach said. "He could shoot from 30 yards and liked the long-range shot. ...

"Matt was a leader and a very fiery guy. He wanted the big penalty kicks and was always ready to step up to the challenge."

"Matt was a very popular boy. He was happy-go-lucky and good spirited," said his father, Jesse B. LeMaire of Bel Air.

"He got along well with everybody. He was the kind of guy who would do anything for anybody. If you needed something, he was there. He was just an all-around guy," said Walter A. Krout of Bel Air, a friend since middle school.

Born and raised in Bel Air, Mr. LeMaire enjoyed riding his red, Honda 929 motorcycle. Recently, he bought a red Mitsubishi Eclipse Spider turbo sports car that he loved driving and started learning to play the guitar.

He also enjoyed collecting compact discs, and his tastes included rap and country and western.

He was a member of Edgewood Assembly of God Church.

Services were held yesterday.

In addition to his father, he is survived by his mother, Angela Mae Counts LeMaire; a brother, Phillip E. LeMaire of Bel Air; paternal grandparents, Ed and Hazel LeMaire of Street; maternal grandmother, Audrey Counts of Front Royal, Va.; two uncles; and two aunts.

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