St. Mary's seniors Randall Goldsborough and Liz McGonagle are determined not to let history repeat itself for the Saints' soccer team.
Goldsborough, a fourth-year starter, and third-year teammate McGonagle have watched their team finish as the Catholic League tournament runners-up the past two seasons, losing each time to four-time champion John Carroll Patriots.
But the Patriots (1-2) graduated several starters from last year's team and have been struggling. The Saints, meanwhile, picked up their fifth straight victory, 4-0, yesterday over visiting Seton Keough (2-4).
With a 33-1 shots-on-goal advantage and a 10-0 advantage incorner kicks, the Saints dominated the game, which was played in a constant drizzle.
This year's Saints (5-0) have outscored their opponents, 15-2, behind a defense of McGonagle and juniors Meredith Kennedy and Tricia Monmaney and sophomore Lysa Messineo. Freshman goalie Erin Hon recorded her fourth shutout.
So, most fingers are pointing toward the Saints, ranked No. 4 in the metro area, as the favorite to win the league title.
"I know that a lot people are talking about St. Mary's. Even though we have a young team (seven starting underclassmen), we have a lot of good players and we've been playing well," said McGonagle, who moved to the center-midfield position for yesterday's game and scored two goals and assisted on another.
"I'm notgoing to be here next year, so I really want to do all that I can tohelp out the team," said Goldsborough, who scored her sixth goal of the season yesterday, raising her career record to 38 goals and 20 assists.
McGonagle and Goldsborough are two of just four starting seniors returning to the squad -- midfielders Terri Green and Meg Haslup are the others. The team's top scorer, junior striker Mo McDonough,is back after a 24-goal, seven-assist season.
"I guess it's up tous to try to be the role models for the rest of the team and sort ofbe there for them," said Goldsborough, who was there for a cross from McGonagle, chipping in a left-footed shot to give the Saints a 1-0 lead just 11 minutes into the game.
McGonagle then nailed in a header off a corner kick from Jillian Monmaney for a 2-0 lead with 16 minutes left in the first half.
The Saints led, 3-0, with 15 minutesleft in the game when McGonagle pounced on her second scoring opportunity. Keeper Amy Petro had dropped the ball after stopping a shot byKrissy Zurfluh and McGonagle beat her to it, banging in a hard shot off the line.
Zurfluh, a junior midfielder, scored the final goal with six minutes left.
The Saints tied John Carroll for the regular-season title a year ago, but ended their season with a 5-1 championship loss and a 15-3 record. Goldsborough (nine goals, eight assists)and McDonough led the way en route to respective All-League seasons.
Coach Jerry Tobin expects a battle from Mercy tomorrow afternoon.Mercy pounded Seton Keough, 8-0, earlier this season.
"All three of our games with Mercy last year were very close ones," he said. "They've got some good speed and some great skill, and I don't expect this game to be any different."