Last season, the McDonogh girls soccer team had to fend off Mercy to claim three one-goal wins, including the Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland A Conference title game.
In Friday’s highly anticipated rematch, the defending champions impressively avoided any anxious moments.
The No. 1 Eagles were dynamic and persistent, getting three goals and an assist from junior midfielder Lilly McCarthy to beat the No. 11 Magic, 6-1, under the lights at Poly.
McDonogh (8-0-1) takes hold of first place in the IAAM A Conference with a 5-0 mark, but has plenty of company with No. 2 Spalding (8-0-1) and No. 8 Notre Dame Prep, who are each 4-0 in league play.
After surrendering the game’s first goal — Mercy All-Metro forward Ada Clare Tempert scored in the 11th minute — the Eagles provided steady pressure and broke through later in the half.
With nine minutes left before the break, Kalli Wethern, who scored the winning goal in the last minute of last year’s 1-0 title-game win, was there for her team again — finishing a chance from 16 yards off a feed from McCarthy.
McDonogh’s first lead came less than two minutes late. McCarthy scored from 14 yards after a pass across by All Metro midfielder Julia Dorsey, and the Eagles were well on their way.
Trailing 1-0 going into the later stage of the first half didn’t have the Eagles concerned.
“We have this mindset that we’re not going to lose, there’s no way we’re going to lose. So I don’t think anybody got down, and that’s great because then we scored one …[then] it was like one goal at a time. Then we got on a roll,” said McCarthy, who now has 13 goals this season.
The Eagles made sure to take complete hold of the game in the opening minute of the second half when sophomore Baylee DeSmit (two goals, one assist) made it 3-1. McCarthy scored minutes later and then had a highlight goal from 30-plus yards to complete the hat trick midway through the second half.
Using only 12 players on Poly’s wide artificial-turf field, the Magic (7-4, 3-2) worked hard, but simply couldn’t keep up with the Eagles once they started hitting on all cylinders.
“We battled for the first half basically playing 12 players and then they just wore us out,” Mercy coach Doug Pryor said. “When you got 11 kids out there that can fly, they’re going to find gaps, and I think four of their six goals were outstanding. They’re just dynamic at every position with speed.”
1 McDonogh 6, 11 Mercy 1
Goals: McD – Wethern, McCarthy 3, DeSmit 2; M -- Tempert. Assists: McD – McCarthy, Dorsey, Bilal, DeSmith, Wethern; M – Jordan. Saves: McD – VanMetre 1; M – McDermott 5. Half: McD, 2-1