J. Carroll rallies to defeat Glenelg

Eikenberg's 3 goals give top-ranked Patriots victory over tournament host Gladiators

John Carroll 5 Glenelg 4

Varsity

Girls Soccer

September 10, 2006|By Glenn Graham | Glenn Graham,SUN REPORTER

Last season, the John Carroll girls soccer team shrugged off a 1-3 start to win its second straight Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland A Conference crown, stating the case that it's not how you start, but how you finish.

In the championship game of yesterday's Glenelg Tournament, the No. 1 Patriots proved the theory true once again.

Trailing by two goals on two different occasions against host and No. 9 Gladiators, the Patriots showed poise instead of panic and an impressive finishing touch, coming away with a 5-4 win.

Sophomore Jenn Eikenberg tied the game at 4 with her third goal of the game and junior Grace Gaeng provided the game-winner with 10 minutes left.

"I can't say enough about the kids' resiliency. To be down as many times as we were in this game, come back to tie it up, go down tie it up and then go ahead, I can't say enough - they just deserve so much credit," said John Carroll coach Gary Lynch, whose Patriots (3-1) defeated Wilde Lake 6-2 earlier in the day to reach the title game.

The Gladiators (2-1) took a 3-1 lead early in the second half when senior defender Alissa Bourne bent home a direct kick from the left side for her second goal of the game. After John Carroll rallied to tie the game at 3 on a goal from Eikenberg, the home team showed some of its own ability to bounce back with Emily Horwath putting away a shot from 16 yards to regain the lead with 20 minutes left.

Still, it was the Patriots, who were adamant about driving hard through Glenelg's penalty area all game long, that had the final say with Gaeng parked at the far post to finish off a long throw.

Eikenberg said the effort was a valuable lesson learned.

"Never give up, don't let anything try to bring you down - you can win if you want it more," she said.

Glenelg coach Dean Sheridan said the chance to play a quality team early in the season can only help later down the line. "This is what you want to do this time of year - play teams that can expose some of your weaknesses. And we definitely had some trouble inside the six, right in front ... so now we know what we got to work on," Sheridan said.

glenn.graham@baltsun.com

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