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Mercy shuts down fifth-ranked St. Mary's, 2-0


After a series of one-goal losses and a disappointing tie, the Mercy Sharpshooters, the defending Catholic League tournament soccer champion, came up with a 2-0 shutout of fifth-ranked St. Mary's (3-1-1, 0-1-1) yesterday in girls soccer.

The unranked Sharpshooters (1-3-1, 1-1-1) scored both goals in the game's first 15 minutes, and they dominated the rest of the game, out-shooting the visitors, 13-5, in the first half (17-8 for the game).

"Basically, we didn't want to give them anything. We were ready forthis team," said sweeper Shannon Davis, a senior tri-captain with striker Jen Hershberger and center midfielder Lauren Szczepaniak.

Unlike Monday's 2-2 tie with league rival Catholic, the Sharpshooters didn't lose their 2-0 lead.

Coach Bob Doerfler had Davis, stopper Erin Rebbel and fullbacks Melissa Davidson and Christina Williamson spend a half hour of Tuesday's practice working on a zone defense designed for St. Mary's Mo McDonough, who has a school record of 60 goals and 26 assists.

"We just told the girls to hold their positions and just sort of trap her. She'd have to go through someone to score," said Doerfler, whose Sharpshooters lost one-goal games to No. 6 McDonogh, No. 8 Loch Raven and Howard. "We had tried that specialized marking stuff earlier this year, and we got burned."

Yesterday's strategy worked to perfection. McDonough rarely touched the ball. In fact, her only two shots came in the game's final 45 seconds.

"We were passing well and making good decisions, but we weren't finishing," said St. Mary's coach Jerry Tobin, whose team was coming off of a scoreless tie against No. 11 John Carroll.

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