tampabay.com

Soccer standout has eye on top prize

By NANCY MORGAN, Times Sports Corespondent
Published September 23, 2007


Megan Honig Countryside believes a second run at the NCAA soccer championships would provide a perfect ending to her collegiate career at Columbus State.

The high-school-forward-turned-college-defender is confident the Cougars have the talent to follow up on last year's achievements. "Play for each other" is this year's slogan.

"If we can go out each game and play for each other, our talent will be there," said Honig, 21. "It would be great to get another chance in the NCAAs.

"Last year was our first time to get that far. We reached the Peach Belt championship that came down to penalty kicks, and to win that this year would be a great achievement, too."

Honig is one of five players remaining from the inaugural team of 25 from 2004. The Cougars' only head coach, Jay Entlich, has known Honig since 1999 and coached her on Hillsborough's club soccer Blackwatch squad. He recruited her for Columbus State.

After college, the exercise science major is considering attending medical school.

MORE SOCCER: East Tennessee State's freshman Kelly Brinkman (Palm Harbor University) was named Atlantic Sun Conference offensive player of the week after her performance in the ETSU Invitational. In the tournament opener with Tennessee Tech, the freshman assisted on the game-tying goal and against Western Carolina connected on a penalty kick that helped earn the team title. Brinkman was named to the all-tournament squad.

- North Florida goalkeeper Rachel Howard (St. Petersburg) recorded four saves in a 1-0 loss to Western Michigan. In a 13-0 victory over Alabama State, the junior scored her first career goal.

- Midfielder David O'Brien (St. Petersburg) broke a 1-1 tie to help the Coast Guard beat New England 2-1 in the Bears' opener this month.

- FGCU freshman defender Chris DiNapoli (Clearwater Central Catholic) was named the school's student-athlete of the week.

- Among the freshmen on FGCU's inaugural women's squad are defenders Kathleen Hunter (Clearwater Central Catholic) and Danielle Hannon (Clearwater Central Catholic) and midfielder Kelli Haemmelmann (Lakewood).

FOOTBALL: Kyle Chilton (Clearwater/West Virginia) is kicking for the Pikeville College Bears.

- Colgate's junior placekicker Jacob Stein (Shorecrest) is averaging 38.1 yards on 15 punts and 58.9 yards in 13 kickoffs.

- Terrell Skinner (Boca Ciega) is Maryland's top kickoff returner.

- Linebacker LeRue Rumph (Clearwater Central Catholic) has 14 tackles for NC State.

- Todd Stroud (Lakewood/FSU) has returned to his alma mater as the Seminoles' strength and conditioning coach.

BASEBALL: This summer, Chris Gutierrez (St. Petersburg Catholic) pitched for the Wenatchee Applesox in the West Coast Collegiate Baseball League. In seven appearances, Gutierrez earned a 0.82 ERA on 11 strikeouts in 11 innings.

- NC State's Nick Stanley (Seminole/South Florida CC) spent the summer playing for the New Market Rebels in the Valley Baseball League. Named to the All-Star Valley team, the catcher averaged .325 and led the league in doubles with 15.

VOLLEYBALL: Ashley Knight (Tarpon Springs) is a freshman outside hitter for Lincoln Memorial. Against Union College in the LMU Invitational, Knight posted 10 kills and 17 digs and is second overall in kills per game for the Railsplitters.

News for this column may be faxed to Nancy Morgan, 445-4119; e-mailed to namorgan@tampabay.rr.com or sent to 710 Court St., Clearwater, FL 33756. Please include phone number.