Spalding girls' soccer reaches new high
It was business as usual for the Spalding girls' soccer team Sunday afternoon in the IAAM A Division final, as the Cavaliers cruised to their fourth consecutive conference title with a 2-0 win over Mercy. The victory, though, meant more than just another championship. It gave No. 1 Spalding its first 20-win season.
That's no small feat for a program that is traditionally one of the best in the country, let alone this area. The Cavaliers finished with a 20-0-1 record, their lone blemish coming in a 0-0 tie to No. 2 Good Counsel back on Sep. 30.
"Some of the teams in the past were more focused on an individual star player, and even though a couple players did the majority of the scoring this year, this team was much more," said Coach Bob Dieterle. "Our kids were so on top of their game today, just like they have been for most of the season."
No kidding. The IAAM tournament was a perfect cap to Spalding's dominant campaign. Throughout the season, the Cavaliers have had to deal with teams taking a conservative approach, essentially trying to score 0-0 ties. In the semifinals against John Carroll last Thursday, for instance, Spalding allowed just three shots on goal, but found itself down 1-0 with less than a minute remaining.
John Carroll's goal came on a penalty shot awarded in the game's opening minutes. Spalding hit three posts and had several other near misses while controlling play the rest of the way. But just in the nick of time, forward Courtney Hoyes scored with about six seconds remaining in regulation. Then, Hoyes delivered the game winner in double overtime on a nice feed from junior Maggie Morrison to advance to the finals.
Morrison and Hoyes provided many of the highlights for Spalding this season. Hoyes, a senior, finished with 16 goals. Morrison had 18 goals and 10 assists. But the most impressive statistics belong to junior goalie Jocelyn McCoy, who benifitted from playing in back of talented defenders Kirsten Frank and Olivia Pomoff. McCoy allowed just four goals all season (0.23/game) and posted 16 shutouts.
Even more impressive is the competition Spalding accomplished it against. Currently ranked No. 4 in the nation by ESPN, the Cavaliers defeated Severna Park (No. 4 in the Post rankings), South River (No. 9 in the Post rankings), Glenelg (2008 Maryland 1A state champions) and Baltimore powerhouse McDonogh (currently No. 8 in the country according to ESPN). The Cavaliers currently have an area-best 36-match unbeaten streak dating back to Sep. 22, 2008, when they lost a 3-2 decision against Good Counsel.
Dieterle, though, has a bone to pick with his friend and Good Counsel Coach Jim Bruno. The only thing separating the Cavaliers from a perfect season in 2009 is that tie against the Falcons, who won the WCAC championship on Sunday, earlier this season. After playing to a scoreless draw after regulation, Good Counsel officials decided forgo overtime, a decision Dieterle found puzzling.
"I'm thinking about calling up Good Counsel and asking to play the last 20 minutes that we should have," Dieterle joked. "I've asked around everywhere and we've never found anybody else who doesn't play overtime."
November 2, 2009; 9:59 AM ET
Categories: Glenelg , Good Counsel , IAAM , Severna Park , South River , Spalding
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