Young John Carroll rallies for tie with No. 3 Mercy Biscoe's goal into open net near end lifts Patriots

Girls soccer

September 26, 1997|By Rich Scherr | Rich Scherr,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

Starting four sophomores and only two seniors, the John Carroll Patriots are one of the Catholic League's youngest teams. But don't start crying for coach Gary Lynch just yet.

For Lynch, this is no rebuilding year. And as his 15th-ranked team proved in yesterday's 1-1 tie with third-ranked Mercy, the ,, Patriots from Bel Air are certainly not a long-term project.

"I want to win the Catholic League this year," Lynch said. "I don't like to look toward the future, because you never know what's going to happen. We're preparing for November."

November, of course, means the Catholic League Tournament. And if John Carroll (4-2-1 overall, 4-1-1 in the league) continues to improve the way Lynch thinks it will, other teams will have their hands full.

With Mercy (6-1-3, 1-1-2) leading 1-0 on a goal by Jessie Whippo off a direct kick late in the first half, the Magic found out first-hand. After dominating play for the first 40 minutes -- outshooting their opponents 8-5 -- the Magic was forced into a defensive posture for much of the second half after the Patriots ++ made a crucial adjustment.

"We weren't controlling the ball in the first half with two forwards," said Lynch, "so we put three forwards up top and only one midfielder. From then on, we were able to keep the pressure up."

As much as that helped, however, it took a bit of a defensive breakdown for John Carroll to even the score.

With just over 10 minutes remaining in the game, the Patriots' Meredith Gunning got the ball to sophomore Jennifer Biscoe near the sideline.

Biscoe beat her defender and, with goalie Jenn Williams 20 yards out of position in pursuit of the ball, shot into an empty net.

"I had my girl beat after Meredith passed," said Biscoe. "The goalie came out, and the goal was wide open, so I had to score."

For Mercy, the post-game theme was missed opportunities.

"I was a little disappointed that we didn't execute some opportunities that we had to put the game away early on," said Magic coach Kevin Cromwell. "I take my hat off to them. They're a good team. They have good skills, and they're scrappy. And if you leave that kind of team in the game, they're going to stick around and bite you."

The Magic, which played to its second straight league tie, missed on at least three prime scoring chances in the first half and didn't get many more the rest of the way.

"There was a breakdown on that goal, but it shouldn't have come to that," Lynch said. "The defense should be allowed one mistake a game, and it's up to the offense to get the job done when we have the opportunities."

Pub Date: 9/26/97

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