No. 1 McDonogh blanks Good Counsel, 3-0, in girls soccer

September 29, 2014|By Glenn Graham | The Baltimore Sun

When Good Counsel visited No. 1 McDonogh in a highly anticipated girls soccer showdown Monday, some of the state's top talent was on display.

With that, it only took a four-minute stretch in the first half for the home team's dynamic scoring tandem — juniors Bridgette Andrzejewski and Kia Rankin — to stand out.

Andrzejewski found Rankin for the opening goal with 18 minutes left before intermission and, soon after, Rankin set up Andrzejewski for the Eagles' second goal. A collectively strong effort took care of the rest as McDonogh came away with a 3-0 victory over the Falcons.

McDonogh, defending champions in the Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland A Conference, improved to 8-0 on the season. Good Counsel, which has won the past two Washington Catholic Athletic Conference titles and are No. 3 in The Washington Post rankings, fell to 6-3-1.

In an evenly played game with a fast pace and passing, the Eagles' ability to finish off scoring chances was the difference.

That's where Andrzejewski, who added a second goal in the second half, and Rankin factored in. The two have 25 goals between them so far this season.

"When they work together, it's really special and they've really found a chemistry the past few games that's been fun to watch," McDonogh coach Harry Canellakis said.

Minutes after Good Counsel senior defender Lexy Andrews hit a 40-yard shot off the top crossbar in a bid to open the scoring, the Eagles went to work. Andrzejewski threaded a short through ball to Rankin, who took one touch and then neatly placed a shot from 14 yards past Falcons goalie Chloe LaRochelle for the 1-0 lead with 17:55 left in the half.

"We won a ball out of the back, had a great tackle at the midfield and Bridgette got the ball and found me through, so it was a collective team effort all the way," Rankin said. "All I was thinking about was taking a touch and slotting it where she couldn't save it, and thankfully it went in."

The Eagles went through the middle of the Falcons defense to make it 2-0 when Rankin chipped a ball forward to Andrzejewski, who beat LaRochelle to the bouncing ball and headed it in from 10 yards out for the 2-0 advantage.

The Falcons had chances to get back in the game, but the Eagles defense responded, led by 10 saves from junior goalie Lindsey Clark. Less than two minutes after the Eagles took a 2-0 lead, the Falcons had two straight corner kicks, but they couldn't convert.

McDonogh senior midfielder Gaby Vincent kept one shot out of the goal, and Clark grabbed the second corner sent in. Just before the half, Clark came out aggressively to make a point-blank save on Nia Dorsey's shot from the right side.

With 30:25 to play in the game, Andrzejewski beat a defender to set up her right foot for a heavy shot from 25 yards out to make it 3-0.

"We all knew it was going to be a highly intense game," Rankin said. "It started with every 50-50 ball and once one person got it, that motivated our whole team, and I think we just stuck to it, and we matched their intensity and found the back of the net."

glenn.graham@baltsun.com

twitter.com/GlennGrahamSun

Girls soccer

1 McDonogh 3, Good Counsel 0

Goals: M --- Andrzejewski 2, Rankin

Assists: M – Andrzejewski, Rankin

Saves: GC – LaRochelle 6; M – Clark 10

Half: M, 2-0

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