The St. Mary's roster is filled with sophomores and freshmen this fall, but that doesn't mean the No. 7-ranked Saints aren't battle-tested.
Evidence came yesterday afternoon at Mercy, where the Saints dominated the two 10-minute overtime periods to come away with a 4-2 win over the No. 9 Magic as the teams opened play in the new Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland League.
Midfielder Kelly Coppedge, one of three seniors for the Saints, scored her second goal of the game two minutes into the second overtime session to provide the winner, with freshman Mary Key scoring an insurance goal four minutes later.
"We're young, but we have some very experienced players in club ball and the Olympic Development Program," said St. Mary's coach Jerry Tobin. "They've been through the wars and don't get flustered. They just go out and keep on playing."
The Saints (2-0) used the entire field with some sound one-touch play to create plenty of scoring chances in the first half.
Coppedge found the goal on a corner kick that got past Mercy keeper Liz Lombardo and between two defenders on the far post for a 1-0 lead 16 minutes in.
The Magic (2-2) was quick to answer when senior Kaitlin Schuyler found room on the left side and finished from 18 yards.
A late goal from Maren Bertwell salvaged the Saints' strong effort in the first 40 minutes to give them the lead at the half.
Then Mercy stepped up.
"We were too nice in the first half. At the half, we talked about desire and how important it was to pick up our intensity," said Mercy first-year coach Geoff Daras. "We came back and knocked them off the ball better to get them out of their rhythm."
Now pressing, the Magic got even with 15 minutes left in regulation on a header by sophomore Katie Chrest, left unmarked in front, off a corner kick from Kristi Korrow.
After hitting their second crossbar in the first overtime, the Saints regained the lead when Coppedge just beat Lombardo to a loose ball for an easy finish from 12 yards.
"We were all a little nervous after the first overtime, but we settled down and took our time," said Coppedge, who now has three goals on the young season. "This team is so young. But we have a lot of skill and, playing club ball together, we know each other well. With more experience, we'll be really good at the end of the season."
Starting four sophomores in the back, with Lombardo an experienced sophomore in goal, the Magic also is learning as it goes.
"The decisions we made were a little suspect and that makes it tough to beat a quality team like St. Mary's. But we're young back there and better decisions will come with time," said Daras.
Pub Date: 9/15/99