St. Mary's pours it on McDonogh No. 5 Saints victorious in soggy showdown, 3-0

September 14, 1996|By Jeff Seidel | Jeff Seidel,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

McDonogh co-coach Maurice Boylan had many excuses available yesterday -- poor weather, terrible field conditions, an injury-riddled team.

But Boylan wouldn't make any after watching No. 5 St. Mary's dominate and defeat his fourth-ranked Eagles, 3-0, in a Catholic League game. To him, it was all rather simple.

"They just beat us," said Boylan, who coaches McDonogh with Georgia Holland.

For St. Mary's, this was a memorable season opener. The Saints handed McDonogh (3-1, 1-1) its first home loss since 1992 -- when the Eagles fell to St. Mary's in a Catholic League tournament semifinal.

In this game, both teams struggled with the field conditions. A torrential downpour delayed the start of the game 15 minutes and left a water-logged field in which running was difficult and passing on the ground nearly impossible.

But St. Mary's played well from the start. The Saints pushed the ball into the McDonogh end early and often, won most 50-50 balls and controlled play.

"We played very well," said St. Mary's coach Jerry Tobin. "We wanted to control the ball and play hard. Usually, good things will happen if you do that."

St. Mary's adjusted better to the field. The Saints sent the ball downfield in the air more than trying to roll it down -- which McDonogh often tried with little success.

"They didn't seem to let the field bother them as much," said Boylan. "We had the same difficult adjustments, and I think they adjusted to the conditions [better]."

St. Mary's scored in the eighth minute when Marianne Gioffre sent a long ball into the box from about 30 yards out. The ball bounced over the hands of McDonogh goalie Laura Fawley for a 1-0 lead.

"I think that helped get our pace going," said Gioffre.

McDonogh had chances in the first half. Marissa Schuchat and Natalie Cox had good shots, but St. Mary's goalie Jen Corradini (seven saves) stopped both.

Krista Killian got a ball in the box, but her shot curled just wide of the left post. Also, Cox and Rachel Engle were making a good run downfield before a deep puddle stopped Engle in mid-dribble.

St. Mary's then broke the game open in the second half. Erin Coppedge started it, scoring in the fifth minute off a perfect Kellie Thompson feed.

Thompson pushed the ball through the McDonogh defense to Coppedge, who broke in alone on Fawley, brought the keeper to her knees with a great fake, and put the ball into the empty net.

The Saints got some help from the field for their third goal. Kristin Hagert sent a long ball in from about 30 yards that hit some water and skidded past Fawley.

"Our play was as sloppy as the field," said Boylan.

Pub Date: 9/14/96

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