Eagles handed 1st defeat since 2013
Cavaliers impressive as they outplay defending champs
It had been 35 games since the No. 1 McDonogh girls soccer team lost — a streak of 31 wins, with one tie preceding that, dating to October 2013.
It had been even longer since the Eagles, a perennial national power and three-time defending Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland A Conference champions, had been considerably outplayed.
That was the case Tuesday at Archbishop Spalding.
The host and No. 4 Cavaliers were faster to the ball and smart with it, connecting passes and creating scoring opportunities throughout the game.
Seniors Maria Kiskis and Katie Martin put two chances away in the first half, and the Cavaliers fended off a late McDonogh charge to claim a 2-1 win in Severn.
Spalding improved to 4-1-1 overall and 1-0 in the IAAM. In McDonogh’s season and league opener, the Eagles fell for the first time since a1-0 setback against John Carroll on Oct. 1, 2013.
“It was a big accomplishment for us to beat McDonogh. We hadn’t beaten them in a while, and their winning streak was phenomenal. And we were able to break it, so it’s a really good accomplishment for Spalding, and it’s really exciting,” Martin said.
The Cavaliers, who finished with a 16-6 advantage in shots, settled into the game quickly. They opened the scoring when Kiskis got possession of the ball on the left side and was able to get around McDonogh goalie Margaret Donovan before finishing from in close for a 1-0 lead with 17:22 to play before halftime.
With less than two minutes in the half, Jenna Snead sent an ideal through ball to Martin, who finished to the far post from the left side for a 2-0 lead.
Donovan (10 saves) made a brilliant stop with 27:25 left in the game, tipping a shot from Kaitlyn Keaton over the crossbar to keep the Eagles close.
The Eagles cut the deficit on a goal from freshman Lilly McCarthy with 6:22 to play, Archbishop Spalding goalie Catherine Davis makes a save as McDonogh’s Julia Dorsey attempts to score. Davis made three saves as the Cavaliers defense secured the win. but the Cavaliers defense stayed poised the rest of the game to secure the win. Spalding goalie Catherine Davis, who spelled injured starter Jillian Savageau, made three saves.
Starting four freshmen, and with other players from last year’s championship team taking on bigger roles, McDonogh coach Harry Canellakis knew opening at Spalding would be tough. With the A Conference down to five teams this season, they will meet a second time during the regular season, at McDonogh on Oct. 4.
“I thought the first half was poor, but mainly because of a lack of experience,” Canellakis said. “It’s tough for a young team to come on the road against one of the better teams in the conference as their first game.”
Canellakis said the end of the winning streak — the Eagles finished 12-0 last season and 14-0 in 2014 — didn’t matter.
“What these kids have to understand is that doesn’t count for anything, and they just found that out. We’re not really thinking about that at all,” he said. “Even for the previous groups, that record has never really been [anything]. We’ve talked about what we’re trying to do, which is build something special, and we still feel like we have the players to do that.”
While the Eagles are a young team and looking to find their identity, the Cavaliers have been impressive in the early season, with Tuesday’s win the biggest to date. Kiskis and Martin provided the scoring, the entire midfield played strong and together, and defenders Emily Roberts and Natalie Holmes kept things tidy in back.
“Since Day One with this group, I have had so much belief in them,” Spalding coach Ashly Kennedy said. “I think they have a lot of drive and fight and strong leadership with this group collectively.”
As for coming up with the win that ended McDonogh’s run: “We’re going to face them again, so I’m not going to say much. But I’m really proud of the group; I’m proud of our bite. … [The early goals] kind of set the tone for us and our control. I’m one to say McDonogh is a powerhouse, they always will be, and now we have to go to their house.”
McDonogh and Spalding have won the past eight IAAM A championships, the Eagles claiming five and the Cavaliers capturing three.