After No. 3 McDonogh edged visiting Mercy, 2-1, yesterday to increase its Catholic League lead over the second-place Magic to 1 1/2 games, there was no celebration or even pats on the back.
There was a meeting.
No coaches. Just McDonogh captain Laurie Schwoy standing in the center with everyone's eyes directed at her.
"We just talked about how everyone is just following," said Schwoy, the area's leading scorer. "Everybody needs to step it up, especially the younger players. It seems we are only going through the motions."
Schwoy once again carried the offensive spark for the Eagles (11-2-2, 6-1-2 in the league), scoring both goals.
With about 15 minutes remaining in the first half, Schwoy eluded three Magic defenders and planted the ball in the upper right corner of the goal. Schwoy then put McDonogh ahead 2-0 just before halftime when she lofted a 20-yard direct kick that deflected off the crossbar and into the goal.
Mercy (10-4-3, 5-2-3) stayed in the game by beating McDonogh to the loose balls. But the Magic couldn't maintain any attack.
McDonogh outshot Mercy 33-7, including 17-3 in the second half. However, the Magic did close to 2-1 when Tina Steck scored on a rebound with 17 minutes left.
"I'm happy with the win, but very disappointed in our effort," said McDonogh coach Maurice Boylan, whose Eagles collected two yellow cards. "I know we can play much better."
That's why Schwoy called for the team meeting, which lasted about five minutes.
"We expected to blow out this team," said Schwoy, who was injured for an earlier tie with Mercy. "We are so much better than the other teams in the Catholic League. Our skill level is so high on this team. Today it was like our stupid-level was high. If we keep playing like this, we'll get beat."