The top-ranked McDonogh girls soccer team advanced to the Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland A Conference championship game with a 1-0 semifinal win over No. 11 Mercy yesterday, but it could prove a costly victory.
All-Metro senior midfielder Gigi Mangione, who provided the game-winner in the 45th minute, was issued a red card for what head referee Steve Cumby called "foul and abusive language" in the game's final minute - automatically suspending her from the title game Sunday. Mangione has 22 goals and 14 assists on the season.
McDonogh will take on No. 3 Archbishop Spalding - a 1-0 winner over John Carroll - on Sunday at Gerstell Academy in Finksburg. A time had not been determined.
McDonogh protested the suspension to the IAAM, while the referee sent in a game report that is customary after each game.
Said McDonogh coach Maurice Boylan Jr.: "Gigi turned around to [teammate Eboney Hutt] and said: 'What the heck?' She had her back turned and the referee was behind her, not even seeing her lips, not even looking at her face, and he said she said the 'f' word."
The high school rule states that abusive language on the field is an automatic red card.
Should the protest be denied, the Eagles will have the task of taking on the Cavaliers minus their captain and catalyst.
"Gigi is our engine in the middle of the field that controls the tempo of the game. She's just obviously a brilliant player and beyond her abilities as a player, she just has such great character as a young lady. ... We'll have to see how the protest goes," Boylan said.
IAAM 'A' semifinals
NO. 3 ARCHBISHOP SPALDING 1, NO. 8 JOHN CARROLL 0: : Sophomore forward Maggie Morrison scored on a header in front with 11 seconds left in regulation to send the Cavaliers (18-1-3) to the title game. Senior Erica Page served in a cross from the left side that deflected off the back of senior Caitlin Aversa and into the air, where Morrison headed it in. Led by defenders Danielle Beard, Michelle Boivan, Kirsten Frank and Oliva Tomoff, the Cavaliers limited the visiting Patriots (10-5-2) to two shots.
ST. PAUL'S 1, SEVERN 0: : Kate Evans scored the winner on a penalty kick with 20 minutes left as the host Gators (11-41) beat the Admirals (9-10-1) in the IAAM B Conference semifinals. St. Paul's faces the winner of the Friends-Catholic game in the final at 1 p.m. Sunday.
ANNAPOLIS AREA CHRISTIAN SCHOOL 1, ST. TIMOTHY'S 0: : Julia Furniss scored in the first half for the Eagles (18-0).
No. 5 RIVER HILL 2, MOUNT HEBRON 0: : Kathryn Rodgers and Brittany Yancey each scored for the host Hawks (13-1-1).
NO. 4 SEVERNA PARK 2, BROADNECK 1 (penalty kicks): : The Anne Arundel County champion Falcons advanced to the regional final after Joe Henke scored the game-winner in the sixth round of penalty kicks against the county rival Bruins. Severna Park took a 1-0 lead on a goal from Matt Rogers in the 55th minute before Broadneck's Josh Schwartz tied it with 16 minutes left. The Falcons won the penalty-kick round, 4-3.
BOYS' LATIN 1, SEVERN 0, 2OT: : Denton Afdourian scored the game-winner with 1:57 in the second overtime to lift the Lakers over the Admirals in a Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association B Conference quarterfinal. Boys' Latin will play host Park in the semifinals at 3:15 p.m. Tuesday.
LEONARDTOWN 1, NO. 10 CHESAPEAKE-AA 0: : Brendan Powell scored the only goal three minutes into the second overtime for the visiting Raiders. The Cougars finished up 12-3-1.
LIBERTY 2, WALKERSVILLE 0: : Chad Fredritz and James Fencil scored for the host Lions (13-2-1).
Sun staff contributed to this story.