No. 1 Notre Dame Prep gets past No. 7 St. Mary's in sudden death, 2-1

THE BALTIMORE SUN

The Notre Dame Prep girls soccer team came into the week with the metro area's top ranking and an undefeated record.

What more could the Blazers ask for? A win over St. Mary's.

They took care of that at home yesterday, getting a goal from sophomore midfielder Caitlyn McFadden in the first 10-minute period of sudden-death overtime to come away with a further-validating 2-1 win over the No. 7 Saints, who have won the past three Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland A Conference crowns.

"Even though we're ranked No. 1, this is amazing. We've never beaten St. Mary's in my four years," said Notre Dame Prep senior midfielder Zoey Bouchelle, who gave the Blazers a 1-0 lead in the game's third minute.

Notre Dame Prep (6-0) improved to 3-0 in league play; St. Mary's (6-2-1, 0-2-1) is still looking for its first league win.

Yesterday's game was a rematch of last year's league championship game - a 2-1 overtime win by the Saints. And while less was at stake, it was two quality sides playing at a high level with a step here or there once again being the difference.

McFadden had that step, running on to a centering pass from senior Kayce Blandford to get to the ball just before St. Mary's goalkeeper Marie Oben to score from 15 yards. It was McFadden's first goal of the season, and it was a big one.

"Kayce sent a great cross to me and I just hit it. It's awesome - I just can't believe it," McFadden said.

Both teams played to their strengths, with St. Mary's possessing the ball more and Notre Dame Prep effectively countering in transition.

Bouchelle didn't give St. Mary's a chance to settle in any, finding time and space at the top of the penalty area and finishing promptly for the early 1-0 lead.

The Saints got the goal back in the 31st minute when freshman wing Megan Fitzgerald beat a defender cutting to the middle and finishing neatly in the right corner from 16 yards.

That was all the oomph the Saints could muster in their offensive third despite getting consistent buildup with strong play in the middle from Jennifer Naylor and Erin Spaniel.

"We did everything well except score, but we're working on that," said St. Mary's coach Jerry Tobin. "Notre Dame Prep was good on counterattacks all day and was very dangerous."

Said Notre Dame Prep coach Chris Lopez: "We circled this game on the schedule early - it was one we really wanted. I couldn't have drawn up the goal any better. It's exactly what you look for: Kayce played a beautiful ball across the field and [McFadden] was able to get to it right before the goalie."

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