Mercy’s girls soccer team had to dig deep late in the second half as C. Milton Wright made a late surge after trailing, 3-0. 

The Magic players were still feeling the effects of their double overtime tie against IAAM A Conference rival and fifth-ranked John Carroll on Wednesday.

But thanks to the depth of its team, No. 2 Mercy held off No. 6 C. Milton Wright for a 3-2 victory at home on Friday.

“That was a very long game,” said Mercy junior captain Alexis Prior-Brown about the match with John Carroll. “It was a lot of work and everybody was sore because a lot of players stayed in the game the whole time.  A lot of our starters and both goalies were really tired. Some people didn’t practice yesterday because they were so sore and then today we had to come out and play.”

The Magic (10-1-1) jumped on the board first after Nicole Kacher finished a corner kick sent in by Alexandra Pryor and was passed over by Lexi Neiodoba in the 9th minute.  Kacher placed the ball high over Mustangs keeper Jenna Bowen (three saves).

Prior-Brown extended the lead when she scored a goal that was assisted by Zion Clarke midway through the first half, giving Mercy a 2-0 lead at the break.

“We played hard in the first half but we didn’t play physical and with the intensity that we normally do so we regrouped at halftime,” said C. Milton Wright coach Paul Austin. “It was definitely a tale of two halves. But we’ve got to learn our lesson, you can’t do that with a good team, you have to play the full 80 minutes.”

Prior-Brown scored her second goal with 17:17 remaining, giving Mercy a 3-0 advantage that looked insurmountable.  But the Mustangs (8-1-1) began to pick up the intensity on the offensive end and it started to play dividends.

Senior captain Kellie McKinney scored with around 12 minutes left in the game to put C. Milton Wright on the board.  The Mustangs kept plugging away, keeping the ball in the Magic’s territory.

Mercy junior goalie Mary Oakey, who entered the game in the second half, was under constant fire but made five saves to preserve her team’s slim lead.

“I think they came back because they were frustrated in a way because they were down early and wanted to come back hard with fire in the second half,” said Oakey. “The defense played hard to keep us in the game and our midfield worked hard to get back. So, overall it was a team effort.”

Still trailing 3-1, C. Milton Wright sophomore Abby Smucker corralled a loose ball and pushed it past Oakey with one minute to play.

The Mustangs won the ball again and with 10 seconds left, Mercy was called for a foul.  Just as Kelsey Targarona set the ball up for the free kick, time expired and the Magic breathed a sigh of relief.

“After the John Carroll game, our kids are dead tired,” said Mercy coach Doug Pryor. “We have a lot of players and we just used as many legs are we could to try and stay strong at the end.  They did what they had to do to hang on but they are definitely fatigued.”

Mercy will face another conference opponent today when Maryvale Prep pays a visit at 3:00 p.m.

C. Milton Wright will look to rebound on Monday night when it faces archrival No. 9 Fallston for a stronghold of the UCBAC Chesapeake Division.

“We have our toughest game on Monday again our biggest rival Fallston, so what we talked about was what are we going to learn from this and that’s playing a full game,” said Austin.  “We’ve done that all year, this is the first time we haven’t and if you’re going to do that this season, maybe this was a good time for it to happen and learn our lesson.”

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No. 2 Mercy 3, No. 6 C. Milton Wright 2
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C.M. Wright022
Mercy213
Goals:
CMW-McKinney, Smucker; M-Prior-Brown 2, Kacher.
Assists:
M-Pryor, Nieodoba, Clarke.
Saves:
CMW-Bowen 3; M-Bourne 2, Oakey 5.