1-2 punch shakes up girls soccer No. 1 John Carroll and No. 2 Mercy fall

October 14, 1998|By Katherine Dunn | Katherine Dunn,SUN STAFF

McDonogh's All-Metro girls soccer tandem of Lisa Zanti and Marissa Schuchat has become every No. 1 team's nightmare.

For the second October in a row, Zanti set up Schuchat for the knockout punch against the area's top-ranked team. Each time, the Eagles were ranked No. 3 and upset an unbeaten, nationally ranked team in the last two minutes.

Yesterday, John Carroll fell, 4-3, in the final 30 seconds. Last year, Catholic, the eventual Catholic League A Division champ, was the victim, 1-0.

In addition to No. 1 John Carroll (10-1, 7-1 in league play) taking a tumble, No. 2 Mercy also lost yesterday, falling 1-0 to unranked St. Mary's in another Catholic League A Division game.

For the host Patriots, ranked No. 12 in the nation, yesterday's loss was a heart-breaker, because they had the early lead and then had rallied twice to tie.

But Zanti and Schuchat had the final say.

With a defender on her, Zanti controlled the ball in the middle and sent it wide to the right for Schuchat. The senior carried it a few steps before netting it inside the far post.

"I knew they would assume that I would dribble, because I do," said Zanti, who had already scored two goals. "But Marissa called for it, so I gave it to her."

The Patriots looked disorganized defensively at times in the second half. McDonogh twice took advantage of a huge space between second-half sweeper Katie McAvoy and the rest of the defense. Both times, Jeanetta McGettigan served the ball to Zanti for goals.

The Patriots found it impossible to stop Zanti and Schuchat.

"They've got a great combination in those two kids," said Patriots coach Gary Lynch. "They put a lot of pressure on you. When they get shut out of a game, it's a heck of a defense that can do it."

John Carroll managed to shut out the Eagles in the first half, taking a 1-0 lead on Megan Spark's soaring 20-yard kick in the 22nd minute. But McDonogh exploded out of a lackluster first half with three goals in the first 10 minutes of the second -- Zanti's two and Ali Andrzejewski's curled-in corner kick.

After the Patriots' Jenny Biscoe headed in Kate Saul's corner kick to tie at 3-3, the Eagles (12-5-1, 5-1-1) needed a terrific save from Mariel Wilner in the 67th minute to remain in position to win the game. The freshman keeper made a leaping punch-out on Biscoe's restart from 20 yards out.

At Weems Whalen Field in Annapolis, St. Mary's pulled off the other big upset, edging Mercy on Maria Smear's first-half goal.

The victory pulls the Saints (6-5-1, 3-4-1) over .500 for the first time this season.

Mercy (9-2-3, 4-2-2) had suffered its only previous loss to John Carroll.

Smear scored on a feed from striker Melissa Anderson in the 25th minute. On the play, Anderson was part of a two-on-one Saints assault on Mercy sweeper Jessie Steck.

"When they collapsed on Jessie, Maria pulled through with the ball. She hit this very poised shot into the side of the net," said Mercy back Jesse Eckerl.

Pub Date: 10/14/98

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