One way or the other, No. 5 Maryvale was bound to have a watershed moment against archrival Notre Dame Prep on Wednesday afternoon at Meadowood Park in Lutherville.
The Lions (9-3, 6-3 Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland A Conference) were either going to continue to be frustrated by the No. 7 Blazers or were going to break new ground against their longtime nemesis.
Maryvale chose the latter path, defeating NDP, 12-11, behind the play of backup goalie Maggie Fuggi, who had eight saves subbing for starter Caroline Federico, who left in the first half with a knee injury.
Fuggi was superb late , stopping close-in shots by juniors Hannah Jablonski and Anne Federico, Caroline's twin. Anne Federico had an otherwise strong performance with a career-high four goals in the Blazers' first loss to Maryvale in recent memory.
"It was a real tribute to them that they lose a fantastic goalie and then bring in someone else who gets the job done," Notre Dame Prep coach Mary Bartel said. "That would be a back-breaker for most teams."
Not surprisingly, senior Carly Ross and Sam Darcangelo, who both have committed to play at the University of Florida, led the way for the Lions, combining for seven goals and an assist.
NDP (9-7, 6-3 league) took an early 3-1 advantage, snapping a 1-1 tie on goals by Jablonski and sophomore midfielder Elizabeth Haus. After Darcangelo darted inside to convert a feed from junior Amanda Bochniak, the Blazers restored their lead on the first goal by Anne Federico.
Goals by senior Taylor Oliver and Darcangelo knotted the score briefly before NDP inched ahead again, 5-4, on a Haus free position.
After Darcangelo and Bochniak combined for the tying goal just before halftime, Maryvale began to surge, taking their first lead with 23 minutes, 25 seconds to go on a free position by freshman Miranda Ibello.
That margin eventually grew to 11-7 with 11:27 to go before a furious 3-0 run by the Blazers made it a one-goal game with 3:26 remaining.
That's when Fuggi made her final two clutch saves.
"I didn't have much time to think about it," Fuggi said . "Things just went my way [Wednesday]."
Maryvale coach Jessica Vitrano Randisi said her team was "tight" in the early going.
"They are our rivals, and their was a lot riding on the game," she said. "We are lucky to have Maggie. She'd be a starter on almost any other team. And it says a lot about Caroline, too. She didn't want to come out of the game. It took a lot for her to tell us she was injured."
Goals: NDP – Hartman 2, Siefert 1, Jablonski 2, A. Federico 4, Haus 2; M – Ibello 2, Ross 4, Darcangelo 3, Aiello 2, Bochniak 1.