Spalding, Pallotti match skill in tie

The Baltimore Sun

The top-ranked Archbishop Spalding girls soccer team took its highly gifted skills and nine straight shutout wins into yesterday's game at No. 6 St. Vincent Pallotti.

The Panthers countered with a tireless work rate and an unbeaten record of their own.

After 100 minutes of soccer, the teams' respective strengths - Spalding's creativity against Pallotti's desire to get to the ball first - countered each other in a 1-1 double-overtime tie in a rematch of last year's Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland A Conference championship.

Defending league champ Spalding goes to 9-0-1 and 3-0-1 in the IAAM, while the Panthers go to 5-0-2 and 3-0-1 in league play.

All the game's scoring came on second-half penalty kicks.

Pallotti sophomore Jackie Henehan gave the Panthers a 1-0 lead when she scored just off the fingertips of Spalding senior goalkeeper Karen Blocker, ending a string of 769 straight shutout minutes by the Cavaliers to start the season.

Spalding responded 12 minutes later when senior Christine Nairn scored her 16th goal of the season.

"Pallotti was inspired and really up for the game. It was a good match. The league games are always tough. That's why I think this is the best league in the state," said Spalding coach Bob Dieterle, whose Cavaliers were coming off a 5-0 road win over Potomac (Va.) on Monday.

Junior Jazzmine Russell more than held her own at midfield, and senior goalkeeper Amanda Carta got her hands on a blistering long-range shot from Nairn to keep the game tied late in regulation.

"Nobody is ever satisfied with a tie, but we came out and gave it our best shot," said Carta, who finished with eight saves. "I've played against [Nairn] before, [and] know she can hit it from 40 yards, so I was ready. Shots like that - I love that stuff, and these are the games you live for."

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