When junior forward Erin Kelly scored the overtime goal Saturday that provided the Archbishop Spalding field hockey team with the South River tournament championship, it completed a statement week for the Cavaliers.
Highlights included a 2-0 victory over then-No. 2 Bryn Mawr (now ranked fifth) on Thursday and the good work over the weekend - a convincing, 4-1 defeat of defending Class 4A state champion Quince Orchard of Montgomery County on Friday before Saturday's 1-0 overtime win over the tournament host and No. 13 Seahawks.
Including Tuesday's 5-0 rout of Friends, it added up to four wins in four games, with 12 goals scored and just one allowed.
"If I could have nominated my whole team for Athlete of the Week, I would have," said Spalding coach Leslee Brady.
With 11 players back from last year's 12-4 team, including seven seniors, Brady and the Cavaliers saw the potential for a big 2002.
So far, so good. The Cavaliers are 6-0 going into today's game at John Carroll and have moved up to No. 8 in The Sun's poll.
"Every game, someone else is stepping up big," Brady said. "We have great team chemistry and everybody is happy for everyone else when something good occurs."
Kelly (nine goals, one assist), Caitlin Swift (five goals, four assists) and Erin Love (four goals, four assists) give the Cavaliers a balanced attack. Senior goalkeeper Amanda Phillips has allowed only one goal in her first varsity season, and she has had plenty of defensive help, led by Amy Konrad.
Juniors Ashley Paschall and Jennifer Rowan have controlled the middle of the field.
This week's ranking for Spalding, ranked No. 12 last week, marks the first time the Cavaliers have been in the Top 10 since Brady took over the program five years ago.
Filling the gaps
The top-ranked St. Mary's girls soccer team has an injury report that is more fitting for a football team.
Senior defender Meghan Ryan (knee) is out for the season; starting goalkeeper Marie Oben (broken nose) is likely out for one more week; midfielder Alison Reinhart (sprained knee) is likely out for two more weeks; midfielder Christina Doyle (ankle) is day-to-day; forward Jamie Latta (headaches) is day-to-day; midfielder Annamaria Monmaney (shaken up after an automobile accident last week) is day-to-day; and forward Tricia Richardson (back) is day-to-day.
With a talented roster that extends beyond the 11 starting positions, St. Mary's has a phrase that comes into play when a starter gets hurt and a reserve gets a chance at more playing time: "You're next."
"We've been saying a whole lot of that lately," said St. Mary's coach Jerry Tobin.
With only one varsity substitute available and four underclassmen called up from the JV, the Saints (4-0-1) won the Wootton tournament over the weekend, shutting out the host team, 4-0, and edging Walt Whitman of Montgomery County, 4-3.
Senior midfielder Sarah Sample had three goals and an assist in the two games, and fellow senior sweeper Ashly Kennedy has done her part in keeping together the patchwork defense.
Tobin said the one positive has been the valuable, unexpected playing time the JV players have received and how well they've responded.
Headed for California
Three players from Anne Arundel will help represent Team Maryland in the U.S. Field Hockey Association's National Hockey Festival on Thanksgiving weekend in Indio, Calif.
Team Maryland will consist of two teams. Chesapeake's Mandy Bathras and Jennifer King will play for the Riptide. Annapolis High's Jan Lee will play for the Breakers.
Loss for South River
South River junior midfielder Paul Yarnell will be sidelined for the rest of the boys soccer season after breaking his right leg in the Seahawks' 1-1 tie with Calvert Hall in Saturday's Severna Park tournament.