St. Mary's shuffles, deals Liberty a defeat No. 6 Saints avenge last week's loss with Pioneer Shootout win

Girls soccer

September 13, 1998|By Glenn P. Graham | Glenn P. Graham,SUN STAFF

Last Saturday against Liberty, St. Mary's often looked disorganized in back and a bit unsettled in the middle.

That was a week ago.

Some lineup shuffling and the week's worth of game experience paid obvious dividends for the No. 6 Saints yesterday afternoon, as they walked away with the Pioneer Shootout's first-place trophy at Anne Arundel Community College.

The Saints dominated No. 3 Liberty for the majority of regulation, but a 1-1 tie resulted in a second straight day of penalty kicks for both teams. A deserving St. Mary's team finally prevailed in the ninth round when Morgan Thalenberg found the lower right corner to give the Saints a 6-5 shootout win -- avenging a 3-2 loss to the Lions in the season opener.

"We've made five position adjustments and everyone looks much more relaxed now. We were real tentative early on in the season," said St. Mary's coach Jerry Tobin.

After surrendering the first "We were so inexperienced in that first Liberty game. We had to sort some things out and I think we did that. Kelly [Coppedge] and Kristen [Anderson] played great on defense. Now we just need to work a little on the finishing part." Maria Smear, St. Mary's midfielder three goals in the first meeting, the Saints took it right to Liberty yesterday afternoon, controlling the midfield and getting fine distribution from center midfielder Maria Smear.

The Saints finally cashed in late in the first half when Kelly Bertwell, who moved to midfield after starting the season on defense, finished from 15 yards out after Smear was able to slip a square pass to her. The goal came on the Saints' fourth solid scoring chance of the half.

"Maria didn't have a lot of room to get it through, so I thought if she could get it to me, I'd have to put it in," said Bertwell. "We really came together as a team today. It was not any one player, everybody helped out and worked hard."

The Lions got even 15 minutes into the second half on a direct kick from Meredith Priddy from 30 yards out.

The Lions took a 3-1 lead early in the shootout, but St. Mary's was able to get even with goals from Bertwell and Kerie Sample and a save from keeper Amy Mulligan.

At 5-5, Mulligan came up with her second save, turning back Jessica Roguski's shot, before Thalenberg left-footed a shot to the lower right corner for the win.

"We just hold hands and pray; it's worked two times in a row now," said Smear. "We were so inexperienced in that first Liberty game. We had to sort some things out and I think we did that. Kelly [Coppedge] and Kristen [Anderson] played great on defense. Now we just need to work a little on the finishing part."

Liberty coach Sam DeLaurence didn't leave disappointed.

"There was four top teams here and we finished in second place after a shootout," he said. "We exhaust a lot of emotion when we play and it was tough finding a spark going back-to-back. I'm happy with the outcome.

"We came here to play against high level competition to see what we're all about. We're getting on the bus knowing we have a very solid team."

In the consolation game, Natalie Klisas and Rashida Walcott scored second-half goals to lead No. 11 River Hill to a 2-0 victory over No. 5 Arundel.

Hawks sophomore keeper Jen Wright had 12 saves to earn the shutout against a Wildcats team that played its third game in three days.

Pub Date: 9/13/98

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