Spalding girls soccer prepares for try at title

November 06, 2008|By Glenn Graham | Glenn Graham,glenn.graham@baltsun.com

Last season, the Archbishop Spalding girls soccer team appeared primed to defend its 2006 Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland A Conference championship with a senior-laden team that pushed the program over the top.

A late bad hop played big in a 1-0 upset loss to McDonogh in the semifinals, abruptly ending the Cavaliers' season.

Led by senior forward Erica Page and a stingy defense that finished with 14 shutouts, the Cavaliers made amends this season with a 2-0 win over McDonogh in Sunday's championship game. It was the first loss of the season for the then-No. 1 Eagles, whose only other blemish was a 1-1 tie against Spalding in a 21-1-1 season.

"Last year is last year," Spalding coach Bob Dieterle said. "Sure, we thought we should have been in the finals, but that's soccer. You're going to get bad bounces, calls that go your way and also against you - that's the way it goes. You just got to keep plugging."

The Cavaliers did just that in the title game, getting a first-half goal from Stephanie Smith and then protected the lead brilliantly with McDonogh constantly moving forward in the second half. With under four minutes to play, sophomore Maggie Morrison iced the victory on a counter for her 14th goal of the season.

"We didn't break, and were set for the counter. When the ball went to Maggie, I knew ... one-on-one, she's tough, she really is tough," Dieterle said.

For Page, an All-Metro forward who finished the season with 16 goals and 17 assists, it was a fitting end to a four-year career.

"It's great to end out on a win ... senior, my last game, so I'll always remember this," said Page, who will play at Maryland next fall.

The Annapolis Area Christian girls soccer team also showed a strong finishing kick, wrapping up a 19-0-1 season with its third straight IAAM C Conference crown by defeating Towson Catholic, 1-0, on Monday.

The Eagles got a goal from senior midfielder Ariana Baldwin with six minutes left, and senior goalie Lane Cheeks had six saves as the team finished with 14 shutouts this season.

Big final night of football

Rarely do you come across the final week of the county's football regular season with so much left to be decided.

The county title is still on the line with Arundel, Old Mill and North County all 8-1 this season. In the Class 4A East region, the fight for homefield advantage in the opening round of the playoffs is on with Arundel (95 points) leading the way, followed by Old Mill (93) and North County (88). Severna Park (fourth place with 65 points) can wrap up the final playoff berth with a win at Chesapeake, while Broadneck (fifth with 60 points) needs a win at North County and help from the Cougars to gain a spot. Arundel travels to Southern, and Old Mill hosts South River.

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