No. 1 John Carroll up to NDP challenge Pesky Pirates hang tough, but Patriots survive, 2-0

Girls soccer

September 23, 1998|By Glenn P. Graham | Glenn P. Graham,SUN STAFF

Top-ranked John Carroll was being outshot and slightly outplayed by a vastly improved Notre Dame Prep team in the first half yesterday when lightning struck in the final minute before intermission.

It came from the left foot of junior midfielder Jen Biscoe -- a well-placed shot from 20 yards out -- setting the tone for the rest of the afternoon as the Patriots survived their toughest test this season with a 2-0 win over the No. 9 Pirates in Bel Air.

The Patriots remain perfect at 7-0, 4-0 in the Catholic League. Notre Dame Prep -- easily off to its best start since joining the A Division in 1995 -- falls to 6-1 and 3-1 in league play.

The pivotal play late in the first half started innocently enough when a Pirates defender headed the ball out of the penalty area. Waiting was Biscoe, who one-timed a shot that found the lower right corner just past a diving Heather Stone in goal.

"That's the kind of play that shows [Biscoe] is Player of the Year in our league. She's a real leader -- it's a dream to have her," said John Carroll coach Gary Lynch.

The game was not the same after Biscoe's goal as the Patriots made a key adjustment at the break -- adding a fourth midfielder after playing the first 40 minutes with three.

Getting to the ball first and continually moving forward, the Patriots had a 16-4 edge in shots in the second half after the Pirates had a 10-7 advantage in the first.

Lindsay Syphard provided the insurance goal 15 minutes into the second half, beating two defenders down the right side before sending a cross that instead found the top far post.

"We went out [in the first half] with the wrong style and [NDP] came out fired up," said Lynch. "We were losing the midfield, so once we added one, it gave Jen [Biscoe] the help she needed."

At 6-1, the Pirates have already matched their win output of 1997 when they went 6-7-1. First-year coach Mark Deaton found plenty of positives in the team's first setback yesterday.

"We've come together real well as a team and are finding out how we can play with the top teams in the league. I'm pleased with what I saw," he said.

John Carroll freshman sweeper Morgan Russell had a strong effort, with help from senior fullback Laura Tiburzi. Stone, a freshman, finished with 14 saves in goal for the Pirates.

Pub Date: 9/23/98

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