Thomas Stone junior defender Kevin Simone stands just barely five feet tall. But, according to Thomas Stone Coach Tom Parker, Simone has spent most of his career off of his feet as the one of the team's top marking backs.
"He is the type of kid you see just always bouncing off of people and hitting the ground," Parker said. "But the thing that impresses me most about him is that no matter what, he is always getting up."
Perhaps some of Simone's tenacity comes from a soccer-rich family that has produced defenders at Thomas Stone such as his older sister Kim, who graduated in 2000. Simone also has a younger sister, Ashley, who was second team All-SMAC at forward last season as a freshman.
Last week in a 1-0 victory against Chopticon, Kevin Simone teamed with senior marking back Ryan Vangorden to help the Cougars (3-2, 1-1 SMAC) in their first shutout of the season.
"Chopticon played an outstanding offensive game and they had some big offensive players," Parker said. "But even as Kevin was getting blasted he just kept getting back up."
Patuxent 'Wake-Up Call'
Patuxent first-year coach Mike Malamphy calls the Panthers' season-opening 2-1 loss to Calvert "a wake-up call." Since the loss, the Panthers have put forth an impressive run through one of the toughest early season schedules.
Patuxent (3-1-1, 1-1) defeated Lackey 1-0 last week, thanks to a second half goal from senior striker Andrew Kaupp. Kaupp's goal came off a set piece assist from senior Shane Malamphy.
"I'm like anyone else because I hate to lose, but I think losing that first game probably helped us," said Coach Malamphy, whose Panthers also tied 10-ranked Northern on Sept. 11. "We're playing pretty good. There have been a couple surprises, but I think our biggest asset has been our senior leadership."
The Panthers have nine seniors, and their biggest surprise has been goalkeeper Eric Olson. Olson, a 6-5 junior who played junior varsity last season, made some key saves against Lackey as the Chargers tried to capitalize on several opportunities.
"I think that win helped us solidify our confidence," Malamphy said. "Because if you can hang on and beat one of the teams that people were calling the SMAC favorite, I think we are starting to believe."