Patient, persistent McDonogh overcomes Mount Hebron, 3-1 Engle scores two of three second-half Eagles goals

Girls soccer @

September 11, 1998|By Glenn P. Graham | Glenn P. Graham,SUN STAFF

The McDonogh Eagles had plenty of reasons to be frustrated, leaving the field at halftime yesterday afternoon at Mount Hebron.

The one-goal deficit they found themselves with was most notable, and all those missed opportunities were not far behind. Two shots hit posts and 16 others were either off the mark or turned aside by Hebron's freshman goalkeeper, Kaitlin Porter.

Instead, the top-ranked Eagles went into the second half with patience and poise, breaking through to find the net three times and come away with a 3-1 win, to avenge last year's 2-1 double-overtime loss to the Vikings.

Junior midfielder Rachel Engle scored twice for McDonogh, including the pivotal first goal to get things started early in the second half. Junior striker Lisa Zanti added a goal and an assist to lead an attack that eventually wore down Mount Hebron, doing all it could in its season opener.

McDonogh, fresh off Tuesday's win over defending Catholic League champ Catholic, improved to 5-0.

"A lot of times in the past we may have panicked once we were down a goal," said senior Marissa Schuchat, who dominated the middle of the field and assisted on Zanti's game-winner.

"But we knew we were playing hard, winning balls and knocking on the door," said Schuchat. "We knew if we stayed focused and kept working, it would be just a matter of time before we would finish."

Finishing turned out to be the easy part on the Eagles' first goal.

At halftime, coach Maurice Boylan talked about dropping the ball back to the midfield, as well as taking the ball wide, before attacking the goal directly.

The Eagles did both those things to get their first goal, stringing together four passes before Zanti finally pushed the ball over to Engle in close along the left side. The goal came seven minutes in and left the strong impression that more were to come.

"That was great ball movement from everyone, and Lisa gave me a great little cross. I just had to flick it in," said Engle, who was seeing her first full-time action after a hamstring injury.

Zanti went back to work 10 minutes later, scoring on a give-and-go from Schuchat.

L Engle provided the insurance goal in the closing 15 minutes.

Despite the task of going straight from practice to facing the top team in the area, Mount Hebron coach Jonathan Davis found plenty of positives.

The Vikings started with a lot of energy, got a pretty goal from freshman Julie Napolitano seven minutes into the game, and a solid defensive effort led by senior sweeper Rebecca Ferrell and Porter, who finished a busy day with 19 saves.

"I'm tickled to death," said Davis. "We knew they would be fired up, and we knew we'd play them tough. Going from practice to playing McDonogh, the best team in the state, is a big, big difference."

Pub Date: 9/11/98

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