There was no one happier than senior goalkeeper Mike Kovacs when the McDonough boys soccer team held off defending Maryland 3A co-champion Thomas Stone, 1-0, on Sept. 30--and everyone on the field knew it. Last season against the Cougars, Kovacs was pulled at halftime after yielding three first-half goals.

This season, after stopping Stone on several point-blank shots, Kovacs was carried off the field by jubilant teammates.

"He was something else in that game," said McDonough Coach Jeremy Campbell, whose Rams are 4-2--with three shutouts--after a 3-0 victory over Great Mills on Thursday. "He hadn't forgotten what happened last year, but he more than redeemed himself. He made some absolutely amazing saves."

LACKEY: Athletic Director David Anderson said that 275 students are participating in sports this fall. With 1,170 students at the school, Anderson said, those numbers should be higher.

"The kids are here. It's just a matter of getting them out [for sports]," said Anderson, who also coaches boys varsity soccer. "Right now, the only full team we have is the cheerleading team. Everybody else could use a few more players."

Lackey has 85 football players, 32 field hockey players, 28 boys soccer players, 24 volleyball players, 10 cross-country runners and nine golfers competing, including junior varsity teams. Anderson did not have exact figures for girls soccer and cheerleading, but a total of 87 girls participate in those activities, he said.

Only the golf and field hockey rosters have grown since last season, Anderson said.

THOMAS STONE: The field hockey team has lost four straight, but not by much. The Cougars (2-4) have dropped two overtime matches and one in double overtime. "It's a slump, but I have to think we'll get out of it," Coach Jan Milman said. Part of the problem is depth: Thomas Stone has just 14 players.

LA PLATA: Jesse Stump and Wes Valcarcel both broke McDonough's cross-country course record in a tri meet Wednesday. Valcarcel won the meet in 17 minutes 19 seconds, and Stump was second at 17:24 as the Warriors (5-2) defeated Lackey and the host Rams. La Plata's girls (6-1) took seven of the top eight places at the tri meet, with Tracy Warring finishing first in 21:12.

WESTLAKE: The volleyball team is 5-2 and placed sixth last weekend at the 15-team North Caroline Tournament. Westlake got a look at five teams in the tournament, including conference foes Patuxent and top-ranked Northern.