Before this season started, Annandale Coach Cindy Hook said her main concern for her team was finding a player who could give the Atoms an offensive spark. Senior forward Jackie Mayhugh has addressed that concern.

Mayhugh has scored eight goals to help lead the Atoms to a 6-0 start, including a 3-0 record in the Virginia AAA Patriot District. In all, eight players have scored for Annandale, which went 10-6-1 last season and was eliminated by McLean in the quarterfinals of the Northern Region tournament.

"They're playing well together, and we're having a great time scoring a lot of goals," Hook said.

Elsewhere in the Patriot District, No. 3 Lake Braddock is off to a 4-0 start, and hasn't allowed a goal in its four district games. Two sophomores are splitting time in goal for the Bruins, Allison Ford and Sarah Gualiardo. Coach Diane Miller plays both every game, one in each half.

Senior defender Kristin McNeill, expected to be a key player, hasn't played this season after a leg injury playing soccer Aug. 21. Miller said McNeill, whose injury hasn't been diagnosed yet, has a doctor's appointment Tuesday and hopes to have her back soon. . . .

In the Liberty District, Langley has been the early surprise. The Saxons, who went 2-11 last season, are 6-1, with the only loss coming against Lake Braddock, 3-2, in the Herndon Invitational in August. Senior goalie Lindsay Turner, in her third year on varsity, hasn't yielded a goal in three district games. . . .

In the Concorde District, Centreville is off to a 2-0 start after beating two of the district's top other teams, Herndon and Jefferson, both by 2-1.

They Shoot, They Score

Perennial power Severna Park is once again one of the top teams in the area. And once again, it's because the defending Maryland 4A state champions have one of top offenses in Anne Arundel County, scoring 20 goals in its first four games, all wins.

Erin Shaklee, Kristen Burke and Nicki Barnes have led the way for the No. 1 Falcons. Shaklee has four goals and six assists, Burke has six goals and two assists, and Barnes added three goals and two assists.

Barnes got the game-winning goal -- assisted by Burke -- in Tuesday's 2-1 victory over Annapolis, the only team to really give the Falcons a test thus far. Their other three wins came by margins of 4-1 (Severn), 5-1 (Broadneck) and 9-0 (Northeast).

"We have a lot of people that go in and play and contribute," Coach Lil Shelton said. "The depth makes us better."

Giving up three goals in four games is a little unusual for Severna Park, which had 16 shutouts last season (and 13 straight) en route to an 18-1 mark in which it outscored the opposition 71-4. Shelton said the defense will grow as the season goes along. Senior Kim Lawton and sophomore Michelle Swartz split time in the goal. The pair has combined for just 12 saves in the four games. . . .

Severn hasn't had too many tests since its season-opening loss to Severna Park. The Admirals beat Lutheran of Baltimore, 4-1, and blanked Episcopal, 2-0. The only goal the Admirals allowed was an own-goal accidentally tipped in by a Severn defender.

Severn should be in the hunt in the Association of Independent Schools A Division, a tough group of Maryland private schools. The Admirals have a defense that has grown in strength and experience and has become one of the team's strengths.

Meg Myers has been solid at center back, and midfielder Jen Gens has been impressive in the transition game. Catherine Koch has been a plus at right back.