McDonogh girl soccer coach Harry Canellakis said that “there is a lot of parody” in the IAAM A Conference and every game is tough.
His Eagles team may have the toughest three conference games of the season over the next eight days when it faces three league opponents – John Carroll, Archbishop Spalding and Mercy – all ranked in the top five of Varsity Sports Network Top 20 girls soccer poll.
The first test for No. 1 McDonogh came on Monday when the No. 4 Patriots traveled to the Owings Mills and the Eagles passed with flying colors as they handed previously unbeaten John Carroll a 4-1 loss.
“You can see why John Carroll was undefeated coming into this game; they work hard and they are a very physically team,” said Canellakis.
Freshman Casey Martinez broke a scoreless tie in the 52nd minute after junior defender Mallory Schonk (two assists) played the ball in from the midfield. Martinez settled the ball and carried it past a John Carroll defender, firing a shot it into the far post.
“Our coach was just commenting how great we worked during practice and when he says to really work hard, we put in our effort and it really showed because were out-hustling them to the ball in the second half.”
She added: “Our fitness really helped.”
Patriots’ junior goalie Gina Maiorana was under fire for most of the game. Just a minute into the contest, Martinez fired a shot toward the bet but Maiorana made a diving, one-handed stop.
That would be a theme of the day as McDonogh controlled the run of play and put 19 shots on goal to just four for John Carroll. Maiorana did her part, making 11 saves and keeping her team within reach.
“She actually plays on a club team with [Ashley Spivey] so we knew she was going to be good and we knew we couldn’t beat her beyond 18 or 20 [yards],” said Canellakis about Maiorana. “I thought she was a little bit unlucky with some of the goals, I don’t fault her for any of those goals.”
Junior midfielder Ashley Spivey scored on an assist from Martinez to push the Eagles lead to 2-0. The Patriots got on the board a couple of minute later when Olivia DiFonso misdirected a kick that was sent in by Shelby Foit off of a free kick, cutting the lead to 2-1.
But McDonogh continued charging, keeping the pressure on John Carroll’s defense and broke through with two more goals, one by Lexi Goldstein and another by Martinez, assisted by Schonk and Spivey respectively, to finish off the game.
“We thought that we could stay with them which we did in the first half and then they really came fired up in the second half,” Patriots coach Gary Lynch said. “We just couldn’t matchup in the second half as well as we did in the first half.”
McDonogh improved to 10-0-0 overall and 7-0-0 in the A Conference while John Carroll drops to 8-1-2 and 3-1-2 respectively.
Next up for the Eagles will be an important match with No. 3 Archbishop Spalding, the two-time defending A Conference champions on Wednesday at 4 p.m.
After that, No. 2 Mercy will travel to McDonogh next Monday.
CLICK RELATED VIDEOS TAB ABOVE FOR GAME HIGHLIGHTS!
|No. 1 McDonogh 4, No. 4 John Carroll 1|
JC-DiFonso; McD-Martinez 2, Spivey, Goldstein.
JC-Foit; McD-Schonk 2, Martinez, Spivey.
JC-Maiorana 11, Cumpston 1; McD-Ruhl 1.