St. Mary's sinks and Catholic wins No. 1 Cubs' first goal hurts Saints in 2-0 loss

Girls soccer

September 26, 1997|By Glenn P. Graham | Glenn P. Graham,SUN STAFF

St. Mary's was getting to the ball first and had its short-passing game working well against No. 1 Catholic yesterday afternoon before disaster hit in the first half's last minute.

That's when senior striker Nicole Brooks found the ball and an open net at the same time to give the Cubs a lead. The No. 4 Saints weren't quite the same team after, giving up another goal 10 minutes into the second half to fall to their Catholic League rivals, 2-0, at Weems-Whelan Field in Annapolis.

Catholic, ranked fifth in the most recent USA Today Top 25 national poll, remained perfect at 8-0 this season, and St. Mary's dropped to 6-3-1.

"I thought we played very well. We sank a little for about 15 minutes of the second half, but this wasn't a down game. We lost to a very good Catholic team," said St. Mary's coach Jerry Tobin.

In the first half, the Saints took control of the midfield, largely due to the play of junior Maria Smear, and were able to string some passes together, but couldn't finish anything.

Senior Tiffany Schummer couldn't quite reach a through ball from Kelly Bertwell; Erin Coppedge took a pass from Smear and hit a shot high; and Kelly Coppedge got free along the right side but didn't get enough on her shot and Catholic goalkeeper Corrine Butcher made the save.

After all that, Catholic was able to cash on one of its rare chances of the half when Natalie Loftus found Brooks alone at the right post to give the Cubs a 1-0 lead 55 seconds before intermission.

"I thought we played really well in the first half, and then after the goal at the end of the half, we hung our heads a little," said Smear. "We tend to get better as the games go on. Last year, we lost to them the first game and came back [to beat them in the tournament final]. Hopefully, we can do that again."

The Saints had a chance to tie early in the second half when Susan MacWilliams had a shot from right in front go just wide.

Minutes later, Catholic senior midfielder Alison Healey tried a couple of times to turn on a ball from 22 yards out. She finally did, sending a shot over St. Mary's keeper Amy Mulligan to provide the two-goal lead.

"When you're talking about this team, one word comes to mind -- guts," said Catholic coach Jerry Dieter. "We've met every challenge, going up against a lot of good teams, with St. Mary's one of them. We held it together -- that's what this team is all about."

Pub Date: 9/26/97

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