Tightly marked in the first half of Tuesday's girls soccer showdown against rival Archbishop Spalding, McDonogh sophomore forward Bridgette Andrzejewski nudged by a defender for the through ball. Shortly after, while falling to the ground, she placed a shot from 14 yards that went just under the crossbar for her second goal of the game.
The effort best exemplified the 80 minutes of soccer the No. 2 Eagles played in a 5-0 home win over the No. 1 Cavaliers, the defending Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland A Conference champion.
Andrzejewski finished with two goals and one assist and senior forward Anna Bialczak added one goal and two assists as McDonogh outshot Spalding, 22-2, in the rare lopsided win. McDonogh improves to 7-2-2 and 5-1 in the IAAM, while Spalding falls to 7-2-1 and 5-1 in league play.
The Eagles had plenty of motivation coming into the game after losing to the Cavaliers by penalty kicks in last year's title game and last week, the Eagles lost to John Carroll to fall to No. 2 in The Sun's Top 15 poll.
The Eagles beat the Cavaliers to almost every ball, connecting passes and finishing scoring chances. Andrzejewski headed home a short cross from Bialczak in the 17th minute, scored again in the 22nd minute from Kyla Clark, and then sent a cross to senior forward Casey Martinez, who scored in front just before halftime for a 3-0 lead.
The teams, which have won the past five league titles (Spalding with three of the five), are more accustomed to closely-contested games. The Eagles weren't having it this time.
"Most of the emotional side came from the championship last year," said, Bialczak, who scored a goal in the second half. "We knew we had to come out and give our best game, but it had to be clean, had to be crisp and we've been working on that in practice this week. We just came out here and did what we needed to do and it worked."
The Cavaliers had their seven-game winning streak come to an end. In their five league wins, they outscored their opponents 16-1. First-year coach Ashly Kennedy credited McDonogh with physically dominating the game and said the setback will be put to good use.
"I think for us, this is a great learning experience in the sense of getting tested, being vulnerable and being able to try to find ways to bounce back." she said. "They've not really seen that yet and it was great to see that because now we have to deal with adversity and how we can bounce back from something like this, especially competing against a strong team."
2 McDonogh 5, 1 Spalding 0
Goals: M -- Andrzejewski 2, Bialczak, Martinez, Clark
Assists: M – Bialczak 2, Clark, Andrzejewski, Rankin
Saves: S – Babin 6; M – Donovan 1
Half: M, 3-0Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun