Denied the satisfaction of an IAAM B Conference title in 2009, it was a sweet, sweet win for the Glenelg Country Dragons, Sunday, topping the John Carroll Patriots, 1-0, for the 2010 conference championship.
“Having made it to the championship last year with only two senior starters, returning such a large group and going 11-1 through the conference during the season, we knew that we had the scoring power,” Dragons’ head coach Jessica McAdams said.
The scoring power was there for the 1-0 win at Goucher College, as the Dragons were relentless on their offensive pressure, putting seven shots on the Patriot goal and accumulating an incredible 18 corners to produce scoring chances.
But it only took one scoring chance midway through the second half to net the game-winner, when senior Claire McAuliffe sent a shot from the edge of the circle, across the goal and to the right post, where sophomore Amy Keth tapped the ball into the back of the net for the championship goal.
“We actually do a play which goes to the top of the circle,” McAuliffe explained, “but for that play, we decided to go to me. Usually I’m not that consistent, but today I had pretty consistent hits.
“I tried to shoot it to the right corner, and the post was wide open and she touched it in.”
McAuliffe’s shot skipped through the John Carroll defense, and Keth’s sweep of the slightly-wide shot was something she said was, “just like an instinct.”
Creating a number of scoring opportunities, both McAuliffe and junior teammate Allie Pickens were elusive amongst the Patriot defenders, slicing their way and even spinning around their foes to three corners in the first two minutes of the game.
“She had a fantastic game,” McAdams said of her captain McAuliffe. “And Allie Pickens, who is a junior, with her stick work she played a heck of a game.
“Sarah Bates, our goalie, she was in the Junior Olympics this past summer, she had a great game in the goal. All of these girls really wanted this win, and I am so glad they were able to get it.”
But credit is due to the Patriot defense, which battled the Dragons’ offensive assault and continuously cleared the ball during the 18 corners, not to mention long hits and breakaways.
“Coming out strong, staying composed and keeping a clear mind helped them in playing an excellent defensive game today,” Head Coach Megan Deroba said of her Patriots, who ended the regular season with just two in-conference losses. “They played an excellent game.
“They were really pumped for this game and showed a lot of improvement through the season to get here. I am very, very proud of how they played.”
Last year, the Dragons were just one score shy of a conference crown, losing to three-time champion McDonogh, 1-0, in overtime. But this year, with a previous 4-1 win over the Patriots in the regular season, the 12-1 Glenelg Country was letting nothing stand in its way.
“It is the best feeling,” McAuliffe said. “We lost last year here, 1-0, in overtime, so to finally win is the best feeling in the world.”
|Glenelg Country 1, John Carroll 0|
GC-Bates 1; JC-Krolewski 5.