No. 2 McDonogh's injured two-time All-Metro striker Laurie Schwoy watched helplessly from the sideline yesterday as Tina Steck led unranked Mercy to a 3-2 Catholic League win over the visiting two-time league champs.
"Rough" was the best way coach Maurice Boylan described his team's situation with Schwoy's injury suffered against St. Mary's Tuesday (out for three weeks), coupled with a season-opening forfeit to Loch Raven that ended their unbeaten streak at 40-0-2.
But the feeling for Steck and her teammates can best be described by their new nickname: Magic.
"This was just an incredible win for us and we were just so hyped up," said Steck, a junior.
The determination of the Magic (6-3, 3-1) paid off with 10:30 left in the first half as Lacey Morley converted a penalty kick, set up after a collision between teammate Shannon Cohen and McDonogh keeper Laura Fawley.
McDonogh's Kendra Powell converted Susan Pitt's direct kick to tie the game seven minutes later, but Steck went to work 6:05 into the second half.
Steck beat three defenders to a pass from Katie Korrow nearly 22 yards out, dribbled through traffic to the 18 and slammed a low shot that found its way through Fawley's hands and legs for a 2-1 lead. Four minutes later, Cohen banged a rebound of Steck's blocked shot into an empty net.
Midfielder Julie Baker beat keeper Jen Bailey (12 saves) with a 30-yard volley with 2:30 remaining in the game, but Bailey robbed the Eagles (4-2-1, 2-1-1) continuously. The Magic were outshot, 13-5, in the second half (22-13 for the game), but Morley or defenders Melissa Davidson, Jennifer Dietrich, Krista Graf or Angie Dachille often frustrated the Eagles.