Give McDonogh striker Laurie Schwoy a step and she'll take a game.
No. 10 Centennial discovered that yesterday, when Schwoy outmaneuvered the defense midway through the second half to deliver a 1-0 victory for No. 3 McDonogh (8-2-1).
"If she gets one step on you, you're beat," said Centennial defender Gina Dinisio, who marked Schwoy the entire game. "You've got to not even let her touch the ball and you've got to be physical with her which, after I got a yellow card, was a little scary. She is without a doubt the best player I've ever played against."
Schwoy, the two-time All-Metro Player of the Year, started her scoring drive at midfield. Dinisio ran with her down the left side, but when All-Metro sweeper Tania Riismandel stepped up to help about 15 yards out, Schwoy sliced between them, leaving her with only keeper Rima Sidhu to outwit.
"The keeper came out," said Schwoy, "and left a lot behind her, so I just chipped it over her head. She came out pretty fast on me so I just flicked it in the air."
Earlier in the game, Sidhu turned away a handful of shots from Schwoy, who had scored six goals in her last two games. The senior keeper finished with 10 saves, including a couple of spectacular ones against Schwoy and Kendra Powell.
"I knew she was a good goalie and she was on top of everything today," said Schwoy. "I knew I had to get in behind the defense to score a goal."
McDonogh's defense, led by Laura Schroeder, Susie Pitts and keeper Laura Fawley (five saves), got its third straight shutout.
For Centennial, the defending state Class 3A/4A champ now struggling at 1-3-1, the offense remains an unsolved puzzle.
Despite being outshot 18-8, Centennial had its chances to score. All-Metro center halfback Lauren Molinaro set things up several times and narrowly missed on a few of her own shots.
"We're just struggling to finish," said Centennial coach Dave Greenberg. "That kind of thing is tough to overcome, because the more it happens, the more you think it's going to happen."