The North Carroll and South Carroll field-hockey teams will begin to give up goals at some point this season - maybe.
The teams allowed scores for the first time Tuesday in a 1-1 tie between the longtime rivals. Entering the game, they had combined to outscore opponents, 24-0.
North Carroll coach Denean Koontz emphasizes defense and being consistent with clears. The Panthers (4-0-2, 2-0-1 in county, 0-0-2 in Central Maryland Conference) stick with a simple formula - beat opponents to the ball, clear as consistently as possible and get good work from goalie Brittany Wigley, who made key saves in the South Carroll tie.
The formula seems to be working. So far, North Carroll has beaten Century, Key and Westminster by shutout and played to a scoreless tie with Frederick.
"I always tell them it all starts with defense and with [goaltending]," Koontz said.
Coach Erin Soulen has a South Carroll team (3-0-1, 2-0-1, 2-0-1) with great speed and stickwork and it uses those ingredients to keep the ball away from goalie Abby Treworgy. She had little to do in the tie with North Carroll, but she made some nice plays and might be the county's best, which gives the Cavaliers something else to lean on.
South Carroll has blanked Century, Liberty and Oakland Mills. Soulen was especially happy with her team's play against North Carroll, the Cavaliers' toughest test so far. The only goal came when the ball popped into the air and several Cavaliers thought play would be stopped. But Lisa Engel shot it in from the top of the circle. Other than that, no one has scored on the Cavaliers this season.
"We've played well, and [we've] played together," Soulen said.
Liberty pair two of a kind
Liberty's Keith Locklear is a junior who recently earned his first varsity soccer start this season. Younger brother Sean is a sophomore who's a fixture in the lineup.
Both have played increasingly important roles for the Lions, who are trying to follow up a 14-2 campaign last year that ended with a double-overtime loss to Paint Branch in the region final.
In a 3-1 win against Francis Scott Key last Thursday, Sean Locklear got the first goal on a blistering 10-yard shot in the fourth minute. Keith Locklear then gave the Lions some insurance with a header from inside the box.
The brothers are "completely different personalities," according to Liberty coach Ed DeVincent. Sean is quiet, with dark hair and braces, while Keith is blond and not afraid to express his opinion - which occasionally conflicts with his brother's.
"It's frustrating at times," Keith said with a laugh. "But we know what each other is going to do. I think that it works to our advantage."
For their coach, this season has been double the pleasure.
"One thing they have in common is how they work hard," DeVincent said. "They're the consummate team players."
Owls freshman steps up
With top hitter Katie Seibel out of action with a sprained ankle, the Westminster volleyball team might have discovered a new weapon Tuesday in freshman middle hitter Stephanie Outten.
Filling in for Seibel, Outten made her varsity debut count, recording a team-high five kills to help the Owls throw a scare into three-time defending county champion Liberty before falling in three games.
"We just brought her up for this match to start throwing her into spots," Westminster coach Kris Rusinko said. "She played very well. She had several touches on blocks."
Rusinko said the performance might have helped the former JV standout earn a spot on the varsity, at least for the time being. Seibel, who suffered her injury last week against Thomas Johnson, is expected back later this week.
In Tuesday's editions, retired Calvert Hall coach Bill Karpovich (422 wins) should have been identified as the first boys soccer coach in the metro area to win 300 games. On Tuesday, Severna Park's Don Gregg became the first coach for a public school team to win 300 games.
Rich Scherr contributed to this article.