McDonogh topples No. 1 Catholic Late counterattack yields goal in 1-0 win

October 29, 1997|By Katherine Dunn | Katherine Dunn,SUN STAFF

McDonogh finally put together a complete game of full-tilt soccer, and it couldn't have come at a better time.

The No. 3 Eagles stunned top-ranked Catholic, 1-0, yesterday after Marissa Schuchat polished off a counterattack in the 78th minute.

A noisy crowd of about 150 turned out to cheer the second upset in two days by McDonogh soccer over a No. 1 team. The second-ranked Eagles boys had toppled Calvert Hall, 2-0, Monday.

"The bottom line is we finally played 80 minutes," said Eagles coach Maurice Boylan, whose young team has been inconsistent although it hasn't lost a game in the past six weeks.

But the last loss provided plenty of incentive yesterday. The Eagles (13-2-4, 9-1-2 in the Catholic League A Division) still felt the sting of a Sept. 18 setback to the Cubs, 3-2 on a goal in the final six seconds.

"Losing to them with six seconds left was really hard," said Schuchat. "They're definitely one of the top teams in the Catholic League, but as long as we play the best we can, we're as good as anybody."

The Cubs, who were unbeaten and ranked No. 6 in yesterday's USA Today Top 25, certainly played a game worthy of one of the nation's top teams. The Eagles were just a little better.

Schuchat had spent much of the season in the midfield, but Boylan moved her up top yesterday to take advantage of her speed and aggressiveness. That's exactly what made the game-winner.

On a cross from Lisa Zanti, Schuchat raced past a back-pedaling Cubs defender to the center. Cubs keeper Corrine Butcher (14 saves) tipped her shot and it rolled toward the right post.

"It hit off [Butcher] or me and went forward right in front of the goal. I just slid and it went in," said Schuchat.

The Cubs (16-1-1, 10-1-1) had played sweeper Beth Frey extremely deep the entire game, but the counterattack caught her and the rest of the defense at midfield.

"Our defense was further up than it had been the whole game. They countered and we couldn't recover," said Cubs midfielder Alison Healey, who had cleared a ball off the goal line to prevent an Eagles goal in the 64th minute.

"We had Marissa and Lisa marked the whole game," said Healey, "because we knew all they had to do was get one chance and conquer and that's exactly what happened."

The counterattack started with an equally impressive save by Eagles goalie Laura Fawley against All-Metro striker Nicole Brooks.

Bieneman served up a ball to Brooks in the middle and Brooks had time to maneuver and shoot toward the left post. Fawley made a diving save.

"I can't believe I got my hands on it and that I held it," said Fawley, who finished with 11 saves. "She's a really good player and it was a really big save."

The Cubs had other chances as well despite being outshot 18-13. Fawley batted away a high shot by Brooks in the first half and Allison Merkle and Bieneman also had good shots.

Eagles back Kellan Hoover did a great job of shutting out Brooks for the second game in a row. Defenders Laura Schroeder, Jamie Hupp and Cede Bell also had terrific games.

"This feels really good," said All-Metro sweeper Schroeder, a four-year varsity player. "Some of the younger girls don't know what it's like, but a few years ago we were No. 1 [in The Sun], we were No. 3 in the nation. Even though we're not ranked there, it's good to know that we can still play with those people that are."

Pub Date: 10/29/97

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