Coming into the game with Maryvale, McDonogh’s girls soccer team had defeated its last three opponents, St. Mary’s, St. Vincent Pallotti and Institute of Notre Dame, by a combined score of 21-0.
And despite a 3-0 shutout win over the visiting Lions on Wednesday afternoon, Eagles coach Harry Canellakis said the contest with Maryvale was the first real test his team has had in a while.
“Maryvale is a very balanced team,” said Canellakis. “They have an excellent midfield and I thought [winning] 3-0 flattered us a little bit and that’s a credit to them.”
The Lions hung with No. 1 McDonogh through the first 33 minutes before junior forward Taylor Cummings broke through for the Eagles (8-0-0 overall, 5-0-0 IAAM A Conference).
Cummings split two Lions defenders and fired the ball past goalie Katie Smith to give McDonogh a 1-0 lead at the half.
Smith, who has committed to play soccer at Frostburg State, had a stellar game for Maryvale (5-5-1, 3-3-0). She made 10 saves and kept the charging McDonogh offense from scoring easily.
“We’ve been scoring a bunch of goals this year and [Smith] frustrated us early and she made some really nice saves,” said Canellakis.
“As a goal keeper you always want to come up big for your team when you need to,” said Smith. “To play well against this team, is great. It really kept my team going.”
In the second half, McDonogh extended its lead when Cummings touched a pass to freshman forward Casey Martinez, who finished the play. With five minutes remaining, junior midfielder Ashley Spivey scored on a penalty kick.
“Our game plan was to cover Ashley [Spivey], watch Ashley and keep her out of the game, then you can play 10-on-10,” said Maryvale coach Colin Devlin. “So we manned up on her and we were right there with this team. I’m really proud of how my team played today.”
McDonogh will finish the week with a trip to Mount de Sales on Friday before beginning a three-game stretch that will shape the A Conference race.
The Eagles will host No. 5 John Carroll on Monday at 4 p.m. in a makeup from last week’s rainouts. Then, No. 3 Archbishop Spalding will head out to the Owings Mills campus on Wednesday. Finally, a week from Monday, McDonogh will host No. 2 Mercy.
“It’s just an anomaly in the schedule but we’re really looking forward to it,” said Canellakis of the tough stretch ahead. “Maryvale gave us a challenge and I think these girls like it when they’re in games were they are being challenged.”
TO SEE HIGHLIGHTS FROM GAME, CLICK RELATED VIDEOS LINK AT TOP OF ARTICLE!
|No. 1 McDonogh 3, Maryvale 0|
McDonogh-Cummings, Martinez, Spivey.
Maryvale-Smith 10; McDonogh-Ruhl.