Early goals set up Catholic for easy championship win 2 scores in 1st 10 minutes sink McDonogh

final: 4-1

Girls soccer

November 13, 1997|By Katherine Dunn | Katherine Dunn,SUN STAFF

Catholic wasted no time in snatching the No. 1 ranking back from McDonogh last night.

Alison Healey and Natalie Loftus scored in the first 10 minutes en TTC route to a 4-1 Cubs victory over the top-ranked Eagles for the Catholic League A Division tournament championship. Before a crowd of about 350 at Utz Twardowicz Field in Patterson Park, the Cubs outshot McDonogh, 20-5.

The Cubs, 20-1-1 and ranked sixth in the nation in the USA Today Top 25, carried plenty of incentive into last night's game. Two weeks ago, they had slipped to No. 2 in The Sun's Top 15 after losing 1-0 to McDonogh (16-3-4).

"When we lost to them, we felt we lost a lot of things we earned throughout the season," said Healey. "We knew if we came out here and won, we would get everything back."

Healey got them started. After Nicole Brooks' header hit the post, Healey nailed the rebound. About three minutes later, Loftus curled in a low corner kick.

"We talked about coming out and asserting ourselves," said Cubs coach Jerry Dieter. "We had to make sure we had them on their heels and not be back on ours."

The Cubs never were. Even after Rachel Engle brought the Eagles within 2-1 two minutes after the half, the Cubs continued to pound McDonogh's defense.

Eagles goalie Laura Fawley made five terrific saves in the second half. But when Becky Bieneman got loose for a one-on-one on a through ball from Allison Merkle, Fawley had no chance.

"My girl wasn't going on the ball. She was marking me, so I just went around her and I saw the right pole wide open," said Bieneman, who scored her 25th goal with 15 minutes left. "After that goal, we knew we had it."

Loftus added an insurance goal, deflecting a 15-yard rocket off an Eagles defender.

The Cubs' victory ended a terrific run by the Eagles, who had gone 14-0-2 since losing to Catholic 3-2 on Sept. 18. They had won eight straight, including Monday's 1-0 semifinal over defending champ and No. 3 St. Mary's.

"We don't have anything to be ashamed of," said Eagles coach Maurice Boylan, who got terrific games from stellar striker Marissa Schuchat and young defenders Kellan Hoover and Jamie Hupp. "We had a great year. Catholic was just a little bit too much for us."

The Eagles had relied on a one-two punch from Schuchat and Lisa Zanti to drive their attack. Last night, they were missing half of that punch. Zanti, a sophomore striker with 28 goals and 14 assists, could only watch after being red-carded in Monday's semifinal.

But Shuchat had been the real thorn in the Cubs' paw. The explosive junior, who had 25 goals and 13 assists, scored all three of the Eagles' previous goals against Catholic this season.

Healey shadowed Schuchat from the moment the Cubs jumped on top but few balls even reached Schuchat.

"Marissa's a great player," said Healey. "I had a really big challenge, but I give of credit to my midfield, because they didn't let the ball come to me too much and Beth [Frey] provided help a couple times when I needed it. That made my job a lot easier."

Schuchat spent much of the game playing way up, keeping Healey on the move and waiting for a long ball. Later, she moved back to try to generate some offense out of the midfield.

"We were trying to wear out the defender and get a couple opportunities because we didn't have that many and we didn't have as many numbers attacking," said Schuchat. "Having Lisa would have helped, but this was definitely their day. They played very well. They deserved to win."

Pub Date: 11/13/97

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