Archbishop Spalding's Erica Page is a dazzling forward who is dangerous on any part of the soccer field.
She attacks defenders, makes deft passes to teammates and generally takes over a game. Her curling strike in the 38th minute proved to be the difference in No. 5 Spalding's 1-0 victory over No. 4 Eastern Tech yesterday at CCBC-Essex.
It was a marquee, late-season matchup between one of the area's top private schools and one of its best public schools. After withstanding Spalding's relentless attack for much of the opening half, the Mavericks (10-1-1) dictated play late in the game, but they could not find the equalizer.
"It was a pretty good game, and we came out hard," said Page, who will play at Maryland next season. "This type of game makes us play hard."
Spalding (15-1-3) spent most of the opening 40 minutes in the attacking third of the field and came close to scoring several times, including a nifty maneuver by Page, in which she beat the goalkeeper on a one-on-one but was knocked down before she could score. Page found the net when she took a pass from Courtney Hoyes just outside the penalty area, pushed the ball by a defender and hit a curling shot that found the top of the goal.
Page has a team-high 14 goals and 13 assists. Spalding has outscored its opponents 51-12.