The McDonogh girls soccer team impressively played the part of the area's No. 1-ranked team in its opening weekend at the Anne Arundel Community College Labor Day Tournament.
With poised play in back and some timely moments from their skilled forwards on offense, the Eagles came away with a 3-0 win over No. 6 Severna Park on Monday to improve to 2-0 on the season.
Senior Taylor Cummings scored two goals and added an assist, while sophomore Casey Martinez scored the first goal to complete a productive weekend. On Friday night, the defending Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference champions comfortably handled No. 8 South River, 5-1, in the tournament opener.
After seeing his team pour in five goals against South River, McDonogh coach Harry Canellakis was particularly pleased to see the tidy play in back with a strong collective effort on defense. Senior midfielder Ashley Spivey controlled the middle and senior goalie Morgan Ruhl cleanly handled all six shots that came her way.
"It's a good tournament at the perfect time of the season to just lay the groundwork on a nice pitch," Canellakis said. "Against South River, I thought we were a little disorganized in back at time and then tonight I thought we were really organizes, so it was good stuff."
The Eagles took a 1-0 lead in the 18th minute when Martinez collected a ball from Cummings in the middle, handled a challenge from a Severna Park defender and then blasted a shot from 15 yards out for her third goal of the tournament.
Cummings dominated the second half, making it 2-0 on a heavy shot from 30 yards with 25 minutes to play, and then adding another goal 10 minutes later from in close. Despite outscoring two quality opponents by an 8-1 margin, Canellakis still sees room for improvement.
"We've got dynamic players up front, but we need to make sure they are in sync with one another. In the attacking third, I was pretty disappointed with our play just because it was a little bit of this and a little bit of that," Canellakis said. "There were times when a winger was showing and then we play a through ball or we want to go long and they play it short. It's all part of the early season and that's what is so great about this event."
Severna Park (0-2) got 10 saves from senior goalie Lexie Cavey.
The tournament's final game on Monday between No. 3 Archbishop Spalding and South River was postponed because of heavy rain. The teams plan to try to make up the game, but no date has yet been set.
AACC Labor Day Tournament
1 McDonogh 3, 6 Severna Park 0
Goals: M -- Cummings 2, Martinez.
Assists: M – Cummings, Pearson.
Saves: SP – Cavey 10; M – Ruhl 6.
Half: M, 1-0Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun