It didn't taken long for Wilde Lake foreign exchange student Abdel Ait Nasser to make an impression on the soccer field.
Ait Nasser, a senior midfielder from Belgium, posted two goals and an assist in a 4-0 victory over Howard last Thursday, and has four goals and three assists for the boys' team this season.
"I'm happy I got the chance to come to America," said Ait Nasser. "I've had a lot of fun here, and it's been great getting to be part of the team."
"He's still getting used to a more physical style of play here," Wilde Lake Coach Dave Nesbitt said. "Our [guidance] counselors know that if we get any kids from foreign countries, they should send them to see me."
Against Howard, Ait Nasser assisted on the first goal by sliding a pass to junior Scott Templin. Ait Nasser extended the lead in the ninth minute, controlling a loose ball on the end line, 10 yards from the goal, then curving the ball into the far side of the net. He scored again in the 43rd minute.
"He definitely gives us another dimension to our team," Templin said. "He's able to get passes to us up top and has been great to have on our team."
An Important Date
Glenelg Coach Don Beall gave an order to his volleyball team following its 25-22, 25-16, 25-18 loss to Centennial last week: Circle Nov. 3 on the calendar.
That's the date of the county championship match, when Glenelg could again face Centennial (5-0 overall and league), the first county team to defeat the Gladiators since 2001.
"We had a nice run, but all streaks have to come to an end," Beall said. "I told our team to be ready to see Centennial again."
Glenelg (5-1, 5-1) defeated Centennial twice last season, including a three-game victory in the county championship match.
The top two teams in the regular season advance to the county championship match. Centennial is the only undefeated team, and Atholton and Glenelg entered the week with one league loss each.
Glenelg returned two starters -- hitters Rebecca Tursell and Julie Hollrah -- from last year's team that lost to Liberty in the 2A final. But Beall said he is confident his team can rebound from its loss to Centennial, when the Eagles rallied from an 18-16 deficit in the first game and did not trail again.
"That first game really changed everything because if we could have gotten over the hump in the first game, then we would have taken control of the match," Beall said. "But I still think we could have played better, and we'll be better the next time we see them."
Doh Leads Gators
After a foot injury sidelined Reservoir's Moon Doh for most of last fall, the senior forward hasn't lost a step this season.
Doh has scored five of his team's seven goals entering the week and is a major reason why Reservoir (3-2, 2-2) entered the week with more wins that it had all of last year.
"He flew in under the radar after getting hurt last year and has made a big impact on our team," Reservoir Coach Kevin Flynn said. "He's got the talent to play Division I soccer, and he's been a big help to our team."
The Gators, led by senior goalie Jimmy Engelkemier and senior sweeper Aaron Solomon, have posted three shutouts and allowed just five goals this season.
"Every team in the county we've played so far -- Long Reach, Oakland Mills, Glenelg and Mount Hebron -- has scored fewer goals on us than they scored on us last year," said Flynn. "I still don't think we'll be able to be at the top of the county with River Hill and Mount Hebron, but hopefully we can be at the top of the middle pack of teams."
Injury Hurts Chapelgate
Chapelgate Christian's volleyball team entered the week with seven players after its best player, senior hitter Lucy Rushing, suffered what could be a season-ending leg injury, according to Coach Chris Moxley.
Rushing, who was averaging a team-high four kills per game, is wearing a brace and will get X-rays this week after what had been a nagging injury became very painful during practice last week, Moxley said.
"Hopefully it's just a bone bruise and she'll be back in a week," Moxley said. "But it might be worse, like a fracture, but we won't know until she gets a bone scan."
The injury leaves the Yellowjackets with little bench support, since six players take the court at one time. The team (8-2 overall, 7-2 Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland A Conference) will rely on setter Val Pusatery and hitters Mary Fishel, Laura Issac, Jenna Landis and Abigail Groves. They were scheduled to play conference-leading Institute of Notre Dame on Wednesday in a game that ended too late for this edition.
"We began the year with eight players because that's how many we felt were ready to play on the varsity level," Moxley said. "Lucy is a big part of our team, so we are going to need a lot of players to step up."