Archbishop Spalding girls soccer coach Wayne Sanchez made no effort at disguising his scheme to mark St. Mary's scoring ace Mo McDonough.
"Mo's out of the game," Sanchez yelled to his players midway through the first half of his team's 3-1 loss yesterday to its Baltimore Catholic League rival while McDonough was taking a breather. "We don't have to be as conservative now."
Sanchez's commands drew the attention of St. Mary's assistant coach Tom Ehart who countered with the question, "What the heck's going on here?"
A smiling Sanchez threw his arms skyward and said, "I'm not trying to hide what I'm doing."
What Spalding was so openly trying to do was contain McDonough, a junior striker, who entered the game as the Saints' top contributor with six goals and four assists.
The Cavs managed to contain the McDonough-led Saints for nearly an hour before St. Mary's scored two quick goals to take a 2-1 lead with17 minutes and 11 seconds left to go.
"We were asleep for 60 minutes," said Tobin, who saw his team fall behind, 1-0, when Amy Councilman chipped a penalty kick over the outstretched hands of freshman keeper Erin Hon.
"Spalding out-hustled us, and they played very well. After the penalty shot, we woke up, and they started going to the ball.
"The last 20 minutes, they played the way they are capable ofplaying. If you put enough pressure on them and you get enough shotsoff, you're going to get some in. Mo's one of our best players, and he put his best defender (Melissa Goebel) on her. We expect that."
Sanchez said, "They dominated us territorially, but we had the lead.My players played with a lot of heart and a lot of drive, but I'm starting to get used to that. I almost take it for granted."
St. Mary's (7-1 overall, 6-1 league) finally got on the scoreboard in the game's 59th minute when Randall Goldsborough booted a high-looping shotfrom the right corner that landed in front of Spalding goalie NicoleTrumpler (16 saves) and bounced -- with some authority -- just inside the crossbar.
"My girls aren't used to being in the lead in a game they want that badly," said Sanchez, "When we got the lead, we started playing afraid.
"We started playing back on our heels a bit, hoping they wouldn't score, instead of taking it to them and creatingmore opportunities for ourselves. Once we started playing passively,the game was theirs."
The Saints, who outshot the hosts, 22-4, scored three minutes later when McDonough took a crossing-pass from Goldsborough, dribbled by a defender and kicked a low liner into the left corner of the net.
St. Mary's wasn't finished, however, as Goldsborough drilled a pass to Meg Haslup, who sent it into the goal with just over a minute remaining.
"I'm not ready to write off this season," said Sanchez, whose Cavaliers slipped to 2-6 overall and 2-5 inthe league. "We can do well in the tournament, and we can do well the rest of the season."