No. 1 Catholic streaks along with 3-0 victory Fallston falls, as Cubs get third shutout in 3 days

September 28, 1997|By Glenn P. Graham | Glenn P. Graham,SUN STAFF

With No. 1 Catholic, there are no secrets.

Game after game, the Cubs simply take the field and dare opponents to find a weakness.

And one by one -- the count now standing at 10 straight this season -- no team has been able to find one.

Fallston, the defending Class 3A-4A state champs ranked sixth in the metro area, was the latest team to give it a try in the final of yesterday afternoon's Glen Burnie Shootout.

As well as the Cougars played in hanging tough into the second half, it wasn't enough with Catholic senior Nicole Brooks providing all the offense and the Cubs' defense producing its third shutout in as many days with an impressive 3-0 win.

"They're just an exceptional team. They play hard all over the field, finish well you name it," said Fallston coach Nancy Ferguson. "You come off a game like [Friday's 7-1 win over Glen Burnie] feeling pretty good and then [Catholic] shows you how much more you have to go -- it's a reality check."

Reality for the 10-0 Cubs, ranked fifth in the USA Today national poll, is winning and they've done plenty of that this season -- in particularly impressive fashion the past three days.

On Thursday, the Cubs went to Annapolis and knocked off No. 4 St. Mary's, 2-0, in a key Catholic League test. They followed that with a solid 5-0 win over No. 9 Chesapeake-AA in the tournament opener on Friday and completed the trifecta with yesterday's effort against Fallston.

That's three top 10 metro area opponents in three days with 10 goals for and no goals against.

Most of the talk this season has been about the Cubs' potent 1-2 punch up top -- Brooks and junior Rebecca Bieneman -- and their fine midfield, but it was the defense that got the job done yesterday afternoon.

Brooks provided the Cubs with a 1-0 lead nine minutes into the first half with the first of her three goals, but that didn't deter Fallston, which had a number of scoring chances shut down by a cohesive Cubs defense led by senior sweeper Elizabeth Frey.

The Cougars (6-2) came out fast in the second half and had an immediate chance when senior forward Kelly Caine hit the crossbar from in close after senior Christy Peterson sent a cross from the right flag.

More pressure came, but the Cubs' defense handled it all with poise.

Brooks went back to work nine minutes into the second half, collecting a through ball from senior midfielder Alison Healey and promptly finishing to make it 2-0. Four minutes later, she let a shot go from 25 yards out that slipped under Fallston keeper Candi Kuligowski to give the Cubs a 3-0 lead.

"If the defense doesn't make the plays, we don't get the ball. They were able to suck it up and get the ball out of there," Brooks said. "We try to keep a triangle around the ball so we always have options. We can work the wing or go inside. Our midfield controls the whole game."

Pub Date: 9/28/97

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