Cavaliers' Smith provides winning touch

Varsity Iaam Girls Soccer Championships

November 03, 2008|By Glenn Graham | Glenn Graham,

All season, the Archbishop Spalding girls soccer team has shown timely flashes of offensive brilliance and consistently sturdy play in the back.

In yesterday's Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland A Conference championship game against No. 1 McDonogh, those two traits came together again.

Junior midfielder Stephanie Smith provided the important finishing touch, volleying home a cross sent in by senior forward Erica Page in the 18th minute. The No. 3 Cavaliers withstood a persistent McDonogh attack in the second half to come away with a 2-0 win and the program's second crown in three years at Gerstell Academy in Finksburg.

The Cavaliers (19-1-3) finish the season with nine consecutive shutouts and 14 overall, proving to be the only team McDonogh couldn't handle. The Eagles, playing without All-Metro standout midfielder Gigi Mangione because of a red card issued in Thursday's semifinal, went 21-1-1 with their tie and first loss coming against the Cavaliers.

After holding off steady pressure from the Eagles throughout the second half, the Cavaliers found relief when sophomore forward Maggie Morrison found the lower-left corner with 3:30 to play to secure the championship.

"I didn't know if one goal was going to be enough, but we were able to hold it and we got the second one to secure the win. They fought the whole time and put us under pressure the whole game, so it was hard," said Page, who finished the season with 16 goals and 17 assists. "It's great. We fought the whole the season, we had a really good season and we came out here and played with a lot of heart."

Under the weather and limited most of the way, Smith was in the game at just the right time for the Cavaliers. Page found space on the left side and sent a cross to the far post that Smith cleanly struck to find the left side of the net.

"It's her third goal of the year, but at least one of her other goals was almost identical to that," Spalding coach Bob Dieterle said. "She's very good on volleys and she came in attacking from that [right] side where she plays outside midfield, came right in and put one on net. I was delighted, but I wasn't surprised that she did it."

Without Mangione, their offensive catalyst and captain, the Eagles pressed with quality chances in the second half, but junior sweeper Kirsten Frank, sophomore goalie Jocelyn McCoy (12 saves) and the Cavaliers protected their territory.

"You got to put the ball in the net in this game, so all that effort and hard work just didn't produce goals for us," McDonogh coach Maurice Boylan Jr. said. "I'm more disappointed that Gigi didn't get to play and that we didn't get the win for the seniors as opposed to the season ending like this. We're 21-1-1."

B Conference

Friends 2, St. Paul's 1 (OT): : Senior Flannery McCardle scored with 1:02 left in the first 10-minute overtime to lift the Quakers (15-1-1) to the win.

McCardle worked her way to the end line along the right side and then went to the near post on a tough angle to provide the game-winner.

"It was really a team effort - the whole overtime everybody was just working so hard. We just knew that we didn't want it to go to penalty kicks, so everybody pulled together," McCardle said.

Junior Melanie Gatewood gave Friends a 1-0 lead in the 11th minute, but the Gators (13-5-1) answered five minutes later on a goal by sophomore Jessica Van Dyke.

Baltimore Sun Articles
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.