The much-anticipated Mercy vs. St. Mary's matchup in tomorrow night's championship game of the Catholic League Soccer Tournament will not be.
That is because lightly regarded and third-seeded McDonogh rallied twice to tie, then beat second-seeded and No. 7 St. Mary's in a shootout, 3-2, to reach the championship final against top seed and No. 6 Mercy tomorrow (5:30) at Utz Field.
Mercy (13-1-2) had two goals from Robyn DePasquale in downing fourth-seeded John Carroll (6-7-4), 4-0, in last night's other semifinal.
McDonogh (10-7-2), which lost twice to St. Mary's (13-3-1) in the regular season, trailed, 1-0, until Debbie Johnson took the rebound of her shot off Saints goalkeeper Erin Hon and tied the game with 11 minutes left in regulation.
Then, after Liz McGonagle assisted Maureen McDonogh on the go-ahead goal after 4 minutes, 30 seconds of overtime, Johnson capitalized on a misplayed clearing pass to beat the onrushing ++ Hon and send the game to a shootout.
In the best-of-five, McDonogh's Ann Kimberling and Christine Coroneos sandwiched goals around one by Meredith Kennedy of St. Mary's. Eagles keeper Sarah Manekin then blanked the Saints' Tricia Monmamey and Bridget Smith in succession, and Debbie Hantman sealed the 3-1 shootout with a shot low to the right of the diving Hon.
"Nobody feels we have a chance. We know we have a chance," said Eagles coach Ted Scocos, who starts nine freshmen and sophomores in the school's second Catholic League season.
Saints coach Jerry Tobin said: "We never work on penalty shots because the league doesn't take them [in the regular season]. This [loss] was just a case of a bunch of young kids in a pressure situation."
St. Mary's, which lost in the tournament semifinals or finals for the fifth straight year, took its 1-0 lead when Randall Goldsborough's cross put McDonogh one-on-one with Manekin in the 36th minute.