St. Mary's, John Carroll battle to tough, 1-1 finish Freshman Grametes ties game with 8 minutes left

Girls soccer

October 24, 1997|By Glenn P. Graham | Glenn P. Graham,SUN STAFF

If yesterday afternoon's 1-1 draw between St. Mary's and visiting John Carroll is any indication of what's to come in the Catholic League Tournament, who knows what to expect?

Unbeaten Catholic, which has maintained the metro area's No. 1 ranking for the majority of the season, is certainly the clear favorite.

After that, it's anyone's guess.

A goal from freshman Athena Gramates with eight minutes left provided the No. 3-ranked Saints with the equalizer against No. 12 John Carroll at Weems-Whelan Field in Annapolis.

Back in mid-September, St. Mary's coasted to a 4-1 win at John Carroll.

Two other Catholic League schools -- McDonogh and Mercy -- are smacked between St. Mary's and John Carroll in the area rankings to make things even more interesting.

John Carroll coach Gary Lynch said his Patriots came looking for the win yesterday, but he left satisfied with the work rate his team supplied.

"We played hard. We're trying to peak toward the tournament, and we're coming out harder each time out," he said. "We wanted the win, but knew they would come at us."

After a first half featuring some solid build-up from both teams with no end results, John Carroll (8-4-2) came out fast after intermission to take a 1-0 lead when junior Laura Tiburzi scored from the left side.

Sophomore Jen Briscoe, who gave the Saints defense problems throughout the day, started the by collecting a ball on the right side and sending a short cross that Melissa Hedrick headed to Tiburzi, who finished from the far post.

The goal seemed to wake up St. Mary's, which pressed for the equalizer the rest of the way, finding it when Gramates one-timed a ball through the middle.

"Athena is a very good ballplayer who strikes the ball as well as anyone on our team," said St. Mary's coach Jerry Tobin.

The Saints (10-3-4) had a couple more chances in the closing minutes to break the tie but couldn't finish on anything else.

Junior Kelly Bertwell took a quick restart from 25 yards that was right on but that the Patriots' freshman keeper, Maggie Pyzik, saved.

"We didn't sit back. They just brought it to us, and we expected that. That's why they're the third-ranked team," said Lynch.

Minus a couple of lapses, particularly the one at the start of the second half, Tobin was pleased with the effort he got from his Saints, who close out their regular season against Notre Dame Prep and Archbishop Spalding next week before starting tournament play the week after.

"We're playing better every game, as long as we can get past these sleep times," he said. "We're a finesse team, and when we go up against a team that's fast and aggressive, like John Carroll, it causes a lot of problems."

Pub Date: 10/24/97

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