McDonogh girls soccer team wins own invitational on OT goal

Cummings' goal in lifts Eagles over Va. team, 3-2

September 11, 2010|By Glenn Graham, The Baltimore Sun

After two comfortable wins to reach the girls soccer championship game of the McDonogh Invitational, the host and No. 2 Eagles had to first find resiliency in the closing minutes and then save some energy for overtime and an ideal finish against Virginia-based Bishop O'Connell on Saturday.

Junior forward Taylor Cummings provided the extra-time heroics, heading home Jordan Pearson's cross from the left side to give the Eagles a 3-2 victory over the Knights. The decisive golden goal came with 2:35 left in the first 10-minute overtime period.

The win sealed a stellar opening weekend for the Eagles, who cruised past Virginia-based Paul VI, 5-0, in the opener on Friday before handling D.C.'s St. John's, 3-0, in Saturday morning's semifinal round.

The home team successfully dealt with its first bit of adversity against O'Connell in the championship, falling behind 2-1 on an own goal with 6:05 left in regulation. Unfazed, the Eagles answered less than two minutes later when freshman midfielder Anna Bialczak put away a ball in front off another cross by Pearson.

It gave Cummings the chance to provide the fantastic finish in overtime as she made a strong near-post run before redirecting Pearson's cross to the near side.

"I've never had a game-winning goal so it was pretty cool. But it was all Jordan Pearson who beat a girl and got the cross off," said Cummings, who also scored the Eagles' first goal.

"We knew that when we went down 2-1 that we could still come back and win. And then Anna just put it back in the net which is exactly what we needed. It showed that we were really intense, have a lot of heart and are like a family."

The Knights, who knocked off No. 1 Archbishop Spalding on penalty kicks in the semifinal round, played on even terms with the Eagles until surrendering the goal in overtime. McDonogh coach Harry Canellakis said the competition the six-team tournament presented was exactly what he was looking for in the early going.

"We talked about it at halftime," he said. "This was a perfect challenge at the perfect time in the season where we felt we had enough in the tank to come back and win the game. And the girls stepped up and met the challenge."

The Eagles got a dominant two-way performance from All-Metro junior midfielder Ashley Spivey, who controlled the middle of the field throughout and assisted on the team's first goal.

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