Time right for John Carroll

Goal just 2 seconds before half helps Patriots end Spalding's 37-game unbeaten streak

No. 2 John Carroll 1 No. 1 Arch. Spalding 0

October 17, 2007|By Glenn Graham | Glenn Graham,Sun reporter

In a back-and-forth girls soccer game between No. 1 Archbishop Spalding and host No. 2 John Carroll, three minutes ultimately proved to be the difference in the Patriots' 1-0 victory yesterday.

John Carroll had Spalding pinned down in its end, and junior midfielder Kayla Curry tapped in a ball two seconds before halftime to put the Patriots ahead. The Patriots protected their lead with poise and hard work, ending the Cavaliers' 37-game unbeaten streak.

The Cavaliers captured their first Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland A Conference championship with a 19-0-2 mark last season, and were 15-0-1 this season before running into a determined John Carroll team on its Senior Day. It was the Patriots who last defeated Spalding -- 3-2 on penalty kicks in the 2005 conference title game.

"It says a lot about our kids. Streaks take a lot to maintain, but eventually they have to come to an end," Spalding coach Bob Dieterle said. "John Carroll played well today -- it was their day, but this will make us a better team. Hopefully, we'll get the opportunity to play them again."

The Patriots (15-2) improved to 8-0 in the A Conference, while the Cavaliers (15-1-1) fell to 7-1-1 in league play.

Because of the pressure in the closing minutes of the first half, the Patriots were awarded a free kick at the left edge of the penalty area with 10 seconds left.

Mel Lookingland's shot hit off the crossbar and Curry scored on the rebound.

Senior midfielder Allyson Carey also provided a strong performance to lead the Patriots' effort.

"We wanted to make sure everybody stepped up as a team because we knew it was going to take us all putting it all together as a whole," she said. "It's exciting because it was such a great team effort."

Senior midfielder Krista Fassio, who was just returning to the lineup full time after recovering from a knee injury, met the challenge of marking Spalding's All-Metro standout Christine Nairn; junior defender Brittany Dashiell limited junior forward Erica Page's opportunities with the ball; and the Patriots also made sure to keep moving forward to help protect the lead.

With 30 minutes left in regulation, John Carroll senior forward Grace Gaeng banged a shot off the crossbar and with 14 minutes left, Spalding senior goalkeeper Karen Blocker dived to her right to stop Jenna Quaranta's penalty kick.

The Cavaliers' best chance to tie came early in the second half when Nairn sent a ball down the left sideline to Page, who cut inside and took a shot from 14 yards that went high and wide.

The win gave the Patriots a firm grasp on first place and the edge toward getting home-field advantage in the playoffs.

glenn.graham@baltsun.com

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