McDonough meets her match in Morris

September 27, 1992|By Katherine Dunn | Katherine Dunn,Staff Writer

John Carroll's Elaina Morris had just one job to do against St. Mary's -- stop the Saints' top scoring threat Mo McDonough.

That was no easy task for the junior stopper.

A second-team All-Metro striker, McDonough holds the career record for goals at St. Mary's with 60. In the Saints' first three games this season, she had scored five goals and had three assists.

But Morris held McDonough scoreless en route to a 0-0 tie between the archrivals at Weems Whalen Field in Annapolis Wednesday afternoon.

"By far, she's the toughest person I've played against," said Morris. "You have to be aware of her every second. You can't ball watch or she'll be gone."

Most of the time, Morris took McDonough completely out of the Saints' offense. Patriots' coach Joe Rehrmann called her defense the key to holding the Saints (3-0-1) scoreless in the Catholic League opener for both teams.

"We had all the confidence in Elaina," said Rehrmann, who also had used Morris to shut out Loch Raven striker Michele DeJuliis in a 4-1 Patriots victory. "She has the speed, reflexes, strength and size, and she understands what she has to do."

Morris didn't see much action last year on the Patriots' varsity, and she credits her club soccer experience with a vast improvement in her defensive play. She plays for the Harford United 75 club soccer team along with teammates Krystin Porcella, Katie Nietubicz, Christine Pascone and Lauren DeRosset.

"Playing club ball makes me a much better player, because in the off-season I get to keep playing," she said.

Against St. Mary's, whom the Patriots defeated for the Catholic League title in 1990, John Carroll (2-0-1) also got an impressive performance from keeper Amanda Sappington. The senior saved shots, including a key stop on a close-range McDonough attempt in the final minutes of the game.

"At first I kind of thought [Sappington] was tall and weak," said McDonough, "but she came through and I give her credit. She's a good player."

Fullbacks Carrie Stevenson and Carlyn Gray as well as sweeper Amy Dean also turned in fine performances.

"When you have two good teams with two good defenses that go hard, you'd think you would end in a 0-0 tie," said Dean.

Offensively, both teams had plenty of opportunities. The Patriots outshot St. Mary's 18-11 but they couldn't put the ball past Saints' keeper Erin Hon (seven saves).

Neither team dominated for long with play moving quickly up and down the field. Each team had six corner kicks -- John Carroll all in the first half and St. Mary's all in the second half.

Hon made several outstanding saves in the final minutes, including one on a Nietubicz header and a couple on seemingly well-placed attempts by Kristy Metz.

The Patriots' best chance to score came in the last three minutes when speedy striker Amity Torbit broke away at midfield. After upsetting St. Mary's last corner kick, the defense booted the ball ahead to Torbit, who raced downfield ahead of all the Saints' defenders. But Torbit's shot sailed over the crossbar.

John Carroll's second Catholic League game with Mercy was postponed by rain Friday afternoon and will be made up on Oct. 5. This week, the Patriots play host to Spalding and McDonogh.

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