When Georgetown Prep senior striker Jimmie Guntle discusses why he left the Little Hoyas' cross-country team this season to play soccer, he invariably starts by talking about goals.
As an all-IAC runner for the Little Hoyas last fall, Guntle said he fulfilled his goal of helping Georgetown Prep capture a conference title. So when the opportunity arose this season for Guntle to join the soccer team, he said he decided to set a new goal.
Along with his brother, junior midfielder Zach, Guntle has made quite an impact for the second-ranked Little Hoyas (8-0-1, 3-0). He had a first-half goal last Friday as the Little Hoyas defeated St. Benedict's of Newark, N.J. -- then the top-ranked high school team in the nation.
"I had watched a fair amount of soccer games before and I really liked going to them, because the atmosphere was great and I knew all the soccer players," said Guntle, who plays club soccer as well. "We really like soccer and we thought it would be a fun thing to do for Prep. So after we won the IAC championship [in cross-country] we decided to try out."
Currently, Jimmie Guntle is Prep's second-leading scorer with five goals, one goal behind senior All-Met midfielder Matt Wood. Against St. Benedict's, though, Guntle moved back to defense after scoring his goal.
St. Benedict's "had such a fast counterattack that I said 'If we don't put someone back there who can run with these guys, we are gonna have to call 911,' " Georgetown Prep Coach Guy Fraiture said. "Jimmie's got the speed after 20 minutes."
Wootton Bounces Back
After winning just three games last season and finishing with its first losing record in six years, Wootton has rebounded this season by starting 6-2.
Although Wootton opened the season with a 5-0 streak, perhaps the pinnacle of the Patriots' turnaround came Friday, when they shut out Montgomery County 4A rival Whitman, 2-0. The victory snapped a two-game losing streak -- a 1-0 overtime loss to Churchill on Oct. 5 and a 1-0 loss to Richard Mongomery the next day.
"We came out and played an absolutely fabulous game against Whitman," Wootton Coach Doug Schuessler said. "It wasn't necessarily a do-or-die situation, but I think the kids came out really focused to beat Whitman. They were fired up."
Though the Patriots offense has been low-scoring -- none of the Patriots' eight goal scorers have tallied more than two goals -- Wootton has been successful with a more flexible, free-flowing defense led by sophomore sweeper Marcus Ranney and junior defender Jon Pike.
The Patriots have outscored their eight opponents by a combined 10-3. Senior goalkeeper Greg O'Connor notched his fifth shutout of the season against Whitman.