Having beaten McDonogh early in the season, No. 1 John Carroll knew the No. 3 Eagles would be gunning for revenge yesterday. The Patriots' defense was ready.
Led by sweeper Morgan Russell and back Shannon Seipp, the Patriots became the first local team in four years to shut out the Eagles, winning, 1-0, on Erica Korecky's first-half goal.
With the victory, the host Patriots (16-1-1, 10-0-1 league) held onto first place in the Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland A Division. The Eagles, who lost, 3-2, to John Carroll in their season-opening tournament, dropped to 14-5 and 9-1.
The Patriots' defense -- Russell, Seipp, Megan Sparks and Kerry VanShura -- limited the Eagles' high-powered offense to few opportunities. Although the Eagles took nine shots, most were from far out and only a couple even challenged keeper Maggie Pyzik, who saved all nine.
Freshman back Seipp shut down Eagles All-Metro striker Lisa Zanti, who has 20 goals and 15 assists this season. She didn't give Zanti a single open shot.
"She's fast and very skilled," said Seipp, "so I knew I couldn't rush in and I just had to play smart. I couldn't make any stupid mistakes because she's got a great shot."
The Eagles never adjusted to the Patriots' smaller field and never showed any offensive rhythm or spark.
"All three of the players up top we were really selfish, including me," said Zanti. "We weren't looking to use each other as teammates. We were just knocking balls and not to anybody. We're usually all like a family, but we didn't play like we even knew each other today."
The Patriots, however, did use teamwork and it paid off with Korecky's goal in the 14th minute.
VanShura set up the goal, bringing the ball up the middle while Korecky moved left. As the ball came to Korecky, Eagles goalie Mariel Wilner tried to get there first. Wilner slid toward the ball and Korecky booted it over her into the net.
"Beating them twice is wonderful," said Korecky, a senior. "It was great today, because this was the seniors' last day to play on our home field. It's nice beating them on our home field."