The John Carroll girls soccer team was content to give up some ground at times against No. 2 McDonogh yesterday.
As far as giving up goals, the No. 3 Patriots didn't budge.
Getting a goal from senior Jenna Quaranta 10 minutes into the game, the host Patriots maintained their lead with poised play on defense to win, 1-0, over the Eagles in an Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland A Conference game.
John Carroll coach Gary Lynch called it a "bend-but-don't-break" performance.
"We thought if we could keep the play in front of us most of the game it would be OK - just don't let them get behind us with the ball," Lynch said. "I thought everybody played as a unit instead of individuals and that was key. We just kept our shape all the way to the back and it worked out real well."
Quaranta scored when she got behind the McDonogh defense and placed a shot in the left corner past Eagles sophomore goalkeeper Megan Lerner from 16 yards out.
"Every game against McDonogh - we always know it's going to be a tough match," Quaranta said. "But this game, in particular, our senior class - Ally [Carey], Grace [Gaeng] and myself - we all really stepped up and took control. We knew coming out from the locker room, we had to step it up."
When the Eagles (2-3-2) had the better of the play at midfield, any balls sent into the final third of the field were systematically sent back by the Patriots (5-0).
With 11 minutes left in the game, McDonogh sophomore Margaret Smith tried to attack the goal from the left side, but junior defender Taylor Zimmerman was able to clear the ball away.
One minute later, Smith took a corner kick that went over John Carroll senior goalie Sarah Mosier but was headed away by defender Kayla Curry. Junior defender Jen Zoltoski, starting in place of senior Krista Fassio, also played well for the Patriots.
McDonogh coach Maurice Boylan was concerned with his team's lack of passion in its conference opener.
"I don't really think [John Carroll] did anything in particular - I just thought we played very unemotional to start the game," he said. "We didn't play with any passion. That's the type of team we are. They usually allow the game to come to them even though I think we have the ability to take it to other teams. They don't get going until the other team scores or puts pressure on us."