The California-based Maria Carrillo girls soccer team came to the McDonogh Invitational on Friday with speedy, skilled and pesky forwards.
The No. 1 Eagles couldn't quite keep up.
In an early-season game filled with goals, the Pumas from outside of San Francisco put in one more to come away with an entertaining 4-3 win over the host Eagles.
After McDonogh sophomore Bridgette Andrzejewski gave the host team a 2-1 lead in the 16th minute of the first half, Maria Carrillo scored three straight times to gain control.
Brittany Lore scored two goals — including the eventual game-winner with four minutes left — for the Pumas, while Madison Gonzalez added three assists. After Lore finished off a chance in close off a rebound from a shot taken by Gonzalez, McDonogh senior Casey Martinez answered with her second goal of the game with three minutes to play. But the Eagles' strong push for the tying goal was unsuccessful.
Originally planned to be McDonogh's season opener, Friday's game turned out to be the Eagles second contest following a 0-0 tie with Strongsville (Ohio) in late August that was originally set up as a scrimmage. The Eagles will host Northern Highlands (N.J.) at 7:15 p.m. Saturday in the second day of the tournament, but that is now being considered a scrimmage because of New Jersey state rules.
For the Eagles, who are ranked fifth in the National Soccer Coaches Association of America poll and third in the Student Sports Fab 50 national poll, the chance to play against other top-notch sides early in the season provides them with valuable experience for later in the year.
"Maria Carrillo is a fantastic team, and so if you are going to lose, you certainly don't mind losing to a team that is honest, well-organized and really skillful," McDonogh coach Harry Canellakis said. "I was just thrilled with the spectacle of the game — it was good soccer."
After falling behind in the game's fourth minute, the Eagles were quick to respond when Martinez blasted a left-footed shot from 22 yards to even the score. The home team gained the momentum and capitalized when Andrzejewski beat a defender on the right side before burying a chance from 14 yards for a 2-1 lead in the 16th minute.
But the Pumas, ranked No. 2 in the NSCAA poll and No. 9 in the Student Sports Fab 50, had more answers, tying the game shortly after and then claiming a 3-2 halftime lead with Lore's first goal with three minutes before the break.
Good Counsel 3, No. 2 River Hill 0: The Falcons, a perennial national power ranked No. 5 by Student Sports, got a goal and an assist from senior Imani Dorsey to get past River Hill (ranked No. 18 by Student Sports) in the Hawks' season opener at the McDonogh Invitational.
Dorsey served a long cross from the left side to the far post for Courtney Darr, who headed it home for a 1-0 lead in the 16th minute. After the Hawks settled in and played closer to even late in the first half and early second, Dorsey found the far post from a left-footed shot 12 yards out to push the Falcons' lead to 2-0 before Nicole Bautista added a late goal to close out the scoring.
"Every girl who steps on the field wants to win," River Hill coach Brian Song said. "But I told them forget the wins and losses [early in the season] and it's what you get out of it as a team. I think we got a lot of today's game."
It's the first loss since the 2011 season for River Hill, which went 19-0 last season in claiming the Class 3A state championship.
Good Counsel 3, 2 River Hill 0
Goals: GC – Darr, Dorsey, Bautista
Assists: GC -- Dorsey
Saves: RH – Caine 7; GC – Hinz 2.
Half: GC, 1-0
Maria Carrillo 4, 1 McDonogh 3
Goals: MC – Mi. Gonzalez, Lore 2, Rencken; McD – Martinez 2, Andrzejewski
Assists: MC – Ma. Gonzalez 3; McD – Rankin.
Saves: MC – Tiewater 2, Howard 3; McD – Clark 6.
Half: MC, 3-2