McDonogh junior midfielder Ashley Spivey said had trouble getting to bed last night in anticipation of the upcoming matchup between the No. 1 Eagles and No. 3 Archbishop Spalding on Wednesday afternoon.

“These are the kind of games you can’t sleep at night, you have butterflies in your stomach all day,” she said.

Cavaliers’ senior midfielder Maggie Morrison said her team was extra focused on playing its biggest rival: “We were definitely focused and took warm-ups very seriously. Every year we look forward to this game and I’m pretty sure they look forward to it too.”

As expected, McDonogh and Spalding played a close, hard-nosed game.  The teams traded goals in the first half and held each other scoreless over the next sixty minutes, including overtime, with the game ending in a 1-1 tie.

“I think when you can come up and play a quality game like that, both teams really want it and you’re coming in as visitors and get a tie, you come away at least knowing you put forth a good effort,” said Cavaliers coach Bob Dieterle.  “I think that proves that both teams are right there and it’s going to be a battle all the way.”

“Spalding is a quality team,” said Eagles coach Harry Canellakis.  “Defensively, they are very strong.  They play with a diamond back-four and we just didn’t physically match up with them today. We’ll look forward to playing them again.”

Spalding, the two-time defending IAAM A Conference champions, got the first strike of the contest when Morrison knocked in a shot past McDonogh goal keeper Morgan Ruhl with 18:38 left in the first half.

“Jocelyn made a nice save then had a huge punt; I think it went 75 percent of the field.  Mo [Ostrowski] got a touch and I was literally on the end of it to put in the goal,” said Morrison.  “It definitely gave us momentum but at the same time, McDonogh is a good enough team that isn’t going to give up. They came right back.”

She added: “It gave us a little boast but we needed to put in two or three more to solidify the game.”

The Cavaliers (11-3-2 overall, 5-0-2 IAAM A Conference) held onto the lead until Eagles junior forward Taylor Cummings tied the game with about a minute left in the half.  Cummings received a pass from freshman Casey Martinez, made a move to her left and fired a shot over Spalding goalie Jocelyn McCoy’s head to even the game.

“Taylor played phenomenal up top, working the defense and our freshman Casey was getting in and getting opportunities but it was just a shame that we couldn’t find the back of the net,” Spivey said.

In the second half, McDonogh (10-0-1, 7-0-1) controlled the play, out-shooting the Cavaliers, 5-1, but could not finish its opportunities.

Early in the half, Cummings got off a shot on goal but a Spalding defender turned it away.

Later, Spivey sent a pass over to Martinez who shot the ball but McCoy made the save.  Martinez found the rebound within 10 yards but pushed the second attempt over the goal.

The Cavaliers’ best chance in the second half came with just five minutes to go in regulation.  Francesca Springer crossed the ball to Laikyn Duffey, who sent the shot in but Ruhl came up with the stop.

In double overtime, the Eagles again had several chances to put in the game-winner but couldn’t cash in.

Spivey fired a deep shot on goal but McCoy gobbled it up with five minutes left in the game.  A minute later, in what may have been McDonogh’s best look, Martinez kicked the ball from 12-yards out but McCoy made a diving stop.

Spivey had one last shot inside of two minutes from close range but had her shot went wide left.

“I [missed] one at the six and was just kicking myself in the butt about it,” said Spivey. “In those last ten minutes, we were right there the whole time and couldn’t finish.  It’s alright; we’ll get them next time.”

The play of both defenses was the difference in the game.  Spalding’s back line – comprised of Michelle Boivin, Vickie Connor, Dani Beard and Julie Hibberd – made it difficult for the Eagles’ offense to get easy looks.

McDonogh’s defenders – Lexi Goldstein, Jen Cook, Mallory Schonk and Shelby Winsatt – were first to a lot of balls, keeping the Cavaliers’ high octane offense at bay.”

“I’m not disappointed [with a tie],” said Dieterle.  “I think it was a good quality game and its one step closer to getting ready for the playoffs.

No. 1 McDonogh 1, No. 3 Arch. Spalding 1, 2OT
Spalding-Morrison; McDonogh-Cummings.
Spalding-Ostrowski; McDonogh-Martinez.
Spalding-McCoy 6; McDonogh-Ruhl 2.