St. Mary's breaks hex after 3 tries McDonough lifts Saints to 1st title Girls soccer

It was a day of firsts for St. Mary's girls soccer team.

The Saints (10-3-3) traveled to John Carroll, where they had never had a victory, in pursuit of a tourna- Girls soccer


ment title that had escaped them in three prior attempts.

Despite having the odds stacked against them, the Saints defeated the Patriots of Harford County, 3-1, yesterday to capture the Catholic League tournament crown.


"We lined up all the negatives and thought we'd get rid of them all at once," St. Mary's coach Jerry Tobin quipped.

"I like to treat each year as a new team and I don't let that baggage carry on too much, but for some of the ones who have been around for four years, it's kind of been hanging on them a little bit."

The only two four-year members on St. Mary's -- seniors Mo McDonough and Melissa Holmes -- provided all the scoring for the Saints. McDonough scored two goals and assisted Holmes on a third that came just 4:38 into the second half.

McDonough got the Saints on the board in the game's eighth minute, when she fielded a follow-up shot by Holmes and -- with her back to the net -- kicked the ball up and over her right shoulder and off the right post where it slammed in for the score.

"That was luck," said Tobin.

McDonough agreed that her initial goal was lucky and acknowledged that all she was trying to do was keep the ball in play.

"Actually I was trying to save it," she said. "I was going to kick it back into the middle, but somehow it went off the side of my foot and I looked back and it went into the goal."

The Saints, who advanced to the final by defeating Catholic League regular season champion McDonough, 2-1, in last Tuesday's semifinal, took a 2-0 lead with 17:25 left in the first half when McDonough followed up her own shot that bounced off the chest of keeper Amanda Sappington (five saves).


John Carroll (9-2-3) got on the scoreboard and back into the ballgame 90 seconds into the second half when Catholic League Player of the Year Amity Torbit fed senior left wing Katie Nietubicz, who booted it past keeper Erin Hon (five saves).

The Patriots' hopes for a come-from-behind victory were short-lived, however, as the Saints answered three minutes later to return the margin to two.

"We had a bit of [a] lack of communication and when they first scored I think we panicked a little and our communication broke down," said Torbit, a senior center forward. "We had a lot of shots on goal, and we just didn't put them away. Our one goal gave us a lift, but they came right back and scored on us."

While Tobin called the Saints' performance "his team's best 80 minutes of soccer this season," McDonough and Holmes shared the same adjective in describing it -- awesome.