Constantly a step or two faster to the ball, No. 6-ranked St. Mary's was able to stay one or two passes ahead of Archbishop Spalding throughout last night's game in Severn.
The Saints' crisp, one-touch passing display resulted in a 3-1 win against the determined but overmatched Cavaliers.
The primary connectors were sophomores Kristin Anderson and Kerie Sample, who accounted for much of St. Mary's offense in an efficient, sometimes dazzling manner.
Anderson, moving up top for the first time this season after playing sweeper, scored twice in the first half off feeds by Sample, who closed out the scoring with a goal in the game's final minute.
The Saints improved to 5-2-1 overall and stayed unbeaten at 4-0-1 in the Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland.
The Cavaliers, who were able to stay close with a goal from Shelley Sullivan and an 11-save performance from goalie Yasmin Alter, dropped to 4-4 overall and 1-2 in league play.
Having lost 4-2 to Potomac on Tuesday, the Saints counted on a test from league and county rival Spalding to bounce back.
"We didn't play with much intensity against Potomac. If we could have came out with the same energy we had tonight against Spalding, we may have had a different result," said St. Mary's coach Jerry Tobin.
"Spalding is the local rivalry, and we always get up for them. That was the best passing we've had all year, and we've had some nice games. They're starting to catch onto the one-two [passing], and it's nice to watch."
Anderson scored her first in the 10th minute. Above the penalty area, Sample beat a defender and attracted another one before slipping a pass to Anderson, who shot low against the drawn-out Alter.
On one of the Cavaliers' rare, first-half scoring chances, Sullivan tied the score in the 24th minute from 30 yards.
But the Sample-Anderson combination went back to work just before the half and got St. Mary's the lead for good.
The pair worked a quick give-and-go in tight quarters before Sample again found Anderson with a through ball that she finished from 15 yards.
"I was kind of surprised [to play forward], because I've been playing sweeper," said Anderson. "Kerie and I seem to play really good together, and the whole team played well. We always want to beat Spalding, and they always want to beat us, so we were really fired up."
Senior Kelly Coppedge, who dropped back to sweeper from the midfield for the Saints, provided strong clears when needed.
Lauren Bonnani, the Saints' third goalkeeper this season, needed to make a diving save to her right on a shot from Amanda Collins with 17 minutes left and the Saints leading by one.
Sample, who distributed effectively for most of the game, finished on an opportunity at the top of the penalty area to provide the late insurance goal.
Pub Date: 9/30/99