It's all downhill for No. 1 Catholic in 4-0 victory Cubs dominate 2nd half, handing Magic 1st shut out

Girls soccer

October 24, 1997|By Katherine Dunn | Katherine Dunn,SUN STAFF

Looking for the slightest edge on No. 1-ranked Catholic, Mercy found one in the slope of the Cubs' Herring Run field that rolls slightly downward toward one goal.

Attacking the lower goal on a slanted field first, No. 5 Mercy played the Cubs even. But after the halftime switch, it was all up hill for the Magic.

Alison Healey scored on a penalty kick five minutes into the second half to spark the Cubs to a 4-0 victory in the Catholic League A Division match.

Healey's goal ignited a blistering second-half display by the Cubs attack which outshot the Magic 17-0. Keeper Corrine Butcher never touched the ball in the half, notching the 11th shutout for the Cubs (16-0-1 overall, 10-0-1 in the Catholic League).

The Magic (11-3-4, 5-3-3) had not been shut out this fall. Behind aggressive efforts, especially from Judith Vojik, Abby Pyzik, Jessie Steck and Becca Hojnowksi, they tried to sustain that streak.

"On this field, there is a definitive advantage going down hill," said Magic coach Kevin Cromwell. "I'm not saying that was the only factor, but it was something we wanted. We wanted to try to jump on top in the first half and it was working for us."

Then came the field switch and the Cubs, ranked fifth in the nation in USA Today, turned it on.

Healey's penalty kick came after Nicole Brooks was tripped just inside the box.

Brooks made her next effort count two minutes later. Taking a wide pass from Allison Merkle, Brooks shot just inside the near post. Magic keeper Jenn Williams dived for the ball, deflecting it into the post, but it caromed in.

"I kept saying throughout the first half that we had to pick it up -- we're slacking, we're a step behind and they're going to beat us if we continue to play like that," said Brooks, whose team had beaten Mercy 5-2 last month. "At halftime, we knew it was our game. We had all the advantages -- we were going downhill and the sun makes a big difference."

Williams made 13 of her 14 saves in the second half with the sun in her eyes, but there were two more that she couldn't stop.

Brooks headed in a high ball from Merkle and Becky Bieneman curled in a long cross.

No. 3 St. Mary's 1, No. 12 John Carroll 1. Athena Gramates scored with 11 minutes left to give the Saints (10-3-4, 7-1-3) a tie with John Carroll (8-4-2, 7-3-2) at Weems-Whelan Field in Annapolis. The Patriots had taken the lead on a counterattack when Jenny Biscoe carried the ball down the middle and found Laura Tiburzi open for the goal.

Pub Date: 10/24/97

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