The John Carroll girls soccer team has had more downs than ups so far this season with a string of injuires -- seven players currently out of the lineup -- and a largely inexperienced roster that includes eight freshmen.
For the Patriots, it made Tuesday's stunning 1-0 upset win over No. 1 McDonogh that much more special. Playing at home, the Patriots packed it in against the talented Eagles and mostly relied on counter attacks.
With 29 seconds left in regulation, senior captain Sophie Centi provided the big moment when she beat a couple defenders to find just enough space to unleash a heavy shot from 18 yards that found the far corner.
The result shakes things up in the Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland A Conference.
McDonogh (6-2-1 overall) is now 4-1 in the IAAM A Conference and falls to second place behind No. 2 Archbishop Spalding, which is 7-1-1 and 4-0 in league play. John Carroll (4-7-1, 1-3-1) won its first league of the season. Spalding travels to McDonogh next Tuesday (4 p.m.) with first place on the line.
At the beginning of the season, John Carroll coach Gary Lynch said a league team would have to bring its absolute best to get past the stacked Eagles and he got that from his resilient group.
"Our kids played so hard and for 80 minutes, they did what we asked them to do. They're tired today," he said. "With us being so young, this could be our season or the start of something. For the older players, it is so well deserved because we've been hanging close with the ranked teams we've played."
Junior central defender Kara Klages led the Patriots' defensive effort with senior goalie Katie Cooper also shining with nine saves.