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Soccer notes - Western Carolina a perfect choice for Fowkes

October 07, 2005|By ANDREW MASON and DAN KAUFFMAN

andrewm@herald-mail.com

kauffman@herald-mail.com

Shannon Fowkes wants to play.

"This year, having to sit and being out for five months just drives you crazy," said the Smithsburg senior forward, who tore the ACL in her right knee in a club soccer game last spring.

Fowkes, the two-time Herald-Mail All-Area Girls Soccer Player of the Year, doesn't plan on sitting next year - or the next.

That's why she recently made a verbal commitment to attend Western Carolina University in Cullowhee, N.C., and play for the NCAA Division I Catamounts on a full athletic scholarship.

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"I was their No. 1 recruit," Fowkes said. "You can never guarantee anybody playing time, but (WCU first-year coach Tammy DeCesare) said I'm going to come in and get good playing time right away and be an impact player. And that was a big reason I chose Western Carolina, because I was going to get to play.

"I was recruited by bigger schools, like Marquette and Virginia Tech, but I'd probably have to wait until my junior or senior year to play as much as (DeCesare) said I'm going to be able to play there right away."

Fowkes was sidelined for Smithsburg's first four contests this season, but she has been gradually seeing more playing time with each passing match. Through Wednesday, she had three goals and two assists for the No. 2 Leopards.

"At first I was kind of hesitant to start doing stuff, like cutting, but I need to forget about it because I know my knee is fixed," Fowkes said. "Everything feels normal."

Fowkes had 21 goals and six assists last year, leading Smithsburg to its fourth straight Maryland Class 1A West title and earning All-State first-team honors.

For her career, she has 59 goals and 28 assists and is seven goals shy of tying the school record for career goals.

What Fowkes really wants is a state title. Her freshman year, the Leopards lost in the state final. Their season ended in the state semifinals each of the last two years.

"We're dying to get a state championship," Fowkes said. "It would just make this senior year complete."

She'll be joining a Western Carolina team that's on the rise. The Catamounts are 9-3 this season.

"(DeCesare) has really helped turn things around," Fowkes said. "Before, they'd never won five games in a season."

Boys games to watch



  • No. 5 St. Maria Goretti at No. 10 Williamsport, Saturday - Though the Gaels' Michael Cushwa and the Wildcats' Phil Jordan get top billing, both teams have other weapons available - Jon Diamond and Jon Widmyer for Goretti, Derek Hadley and Matt Oliver for Williamsport. This should be an up-tempo, back-and-forth affair.

  • No. 4 Martinsburg at No. 5 St. Maria Goretti, Tuesday - One of the first results of the season was also a surprising one at the time - Gaels 5, Bulldogs 2 on Aug. 23. Since then, both teams have proven themselves, and the rematch - on Goretti's short field - could turn into a shootout.

  • No. 1 Boonsboro at Smithsburg, Thursday - The Warriors are clear favorites here, but if Smithsburg keeps it close through the first half on its home field, there is a chance this one gets real interesting.


Crunching the numbers



  • No. 4 Martinsburg's Trent Reid leads the area with 26 goals. He has singlehandedly outscored at least 13 area teams this season.

    (Granted, the Bulldogs have played 16 games, significantly more than some other teams.)

  • No. 8 Middletown has played nine games, has only nine goals and has only lost three games. The defenders have earned a few game balls.
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