No. 9 Pallotti wins IAAM title

Panthers stop No. 3 McDonogh, 1-0, for 1st crown

Maryvale repeats

November 05, 2007|By Glenn Graham | Glenn Graham,SUN REPORTER

The St. Vincent Pallotti girls soccer team proved a resilient bunch this season, relying on substance over flash with nothing coming easily.

It was never more apparent than the No. 9 Panthers' successful run through the Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland A Conference playoffs, highlighted by their 1-0 win over No. 3 McDonogh in yesterday's championship game at Glenelg Country School.

Senior midfielder Randall Marshall scored her second straight game-winning goal, senior goalkeeper Amanda Carta earned her third straight 1-0 shutout win in the postseason, and a sturdy defensive front kept McDonogh's dangerous offense in check to bring home the first league crown for Pallotti (11-5-2) after a runner-up finish last year.

"This team, we lost a lot of our starters, seniors from last year that had a big impact," said Carta, an All-Metro selection last season who finished with seven saves. "At the beginning of the season, we tried to step up and fill their shoes. We were a little bit spotty over the season, but I think this is what matters."

Just as in the Panthers' 1-0 double-overtime win against John Carroll in the semifinals, Marshall provided the necessary offense coming off a corner kick with 5:30 left in the first half. Sophomore Tori Elman served the corner to the far post, where Jackie Henehan placed it in the middle for Marshall, who scored in a crowd.

McDonogh (14-5-3), which upset defending league champ Spalding, 1-0, to reach the title game, controlled play most of the way and had chances but couldn't get break through. The Eagles' best chance to tie came five minutes into the second half when Gigi Mangione hit the crossbar from 15 yards, and Molly Fernandez followed with a shot from 8 yards that hit the same spot.

"It's a group that has never been to the championship game before, so beating Spalding the other day was huge," said McDonogh coach Maurice Boylan, whose team had only one senior. "Today, I thought we had the run of play, but I think the game played out exactly how they wanted it to. They absorbed what we took to them, they played for set pieces and got the corner kick. They were able to put their chance away and we couldn't."

B Conference

Maryvale 3, Severn 0 -- Junior forward Sophia Thomas scored two goals and added an assist, and senior goalkeeper Sarah Mather had nine saves to lead the Lions to their second straight championship. Thomas gave the Lions (12-3-4) a 1-0 halftime lead with an early goal off an assist from Meghan Clothier. Mather and the defense protected the lead until goals from Thomas and freshman Lauren Federline midway through the second half gave the Lions a firm hold on the championship. "Our team worked great together, and we came out strong. This was our third straight time in the championship game since my freshman year, so we weren't nervous," said Thomas, whose Lions lost to Severn in the 2005 title game.

glenn.graham@baltsun.com

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