The highly anticipated girls soccer showdown featuring No. 2 Archbishop Spalding at No. 1 McDonogh met expectations Wednesday, despite lacking one thing — an offensive hero in overtime.
The Baltimore-area’s top teams played 100 minutes, with the visiting Cavaliers getting the better of the play early and the Eagles rebounding late to finish in a 2-2 draw.
Both teams are 10-0-2 overall with defending Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference champion McDonogh 6-0-1 in league play and the Cavaliers 5-0-1.
McDonogh senior Julia Dorsey headed home the tying goal off a corner kick sent in by Lily McCarthy with 8:08 to play in regulation.
Chances came for both sides in overtime, but both defenses stayed firm as Spalding senior goalie Jillian Savageau made a reaction save on Baylee DeSmit’s point-blank shot from 10 yards and Dorsey cleared Cortney Corcoran’s dangerous corner kick off the goal line.
“Historically, they’ve always been our biggest rival way before I was here, and they were also the only undefeated team besides us, so we knew it was our toughest game of the season,” Dorsey said.
“The first half, we really let them set the pace of the game and it showed by the score … The second half, we came out with a lot more intensity and a lot more grit and we weren’t going to let them get the win on our home field.”
Early on, it appeared the Cavaliers were poised to get the big road win.
They mostly got to the ball first and showed more hunger in scoring the game’s first goal.
Earning a free kick from 40 yards, central defender Abby Jeanneault sent a ball to the far post that forward Fifi Iluyomade headed off the crossbar, and it landed in front of midfielder Jenna Snead, who scored for a 1-0 lead in the game’s second minute.
After Iluyomade made it 2-0 ten minutes into the second half, finishing a cross sent in by Lauren Korsnick, the Eagles responded with a significant push.
The home team had a 10-2 advantage on corner kicks and were able to capitalize on two of their last three in the second half, with Olivia Ozbolt one-timing a shot from just inside the penalty area with 20:34 to play before Dorsey’s tying header.
“It’s always such a professional and, needless to say, intense game,” Savageau said. “It really shows the character from each player for them and us.”
While Savageau finished with 11 saves for the Cavaliers, the Eagles got fine play in goal late from reserve Maddie Lowney. The freshman came into the game and made two saves after starter Abby Van Metre was injured when she collided with Ilyumade that resulted in the Cavaliers’s second goal.
Over the past 10 seasons, McDonogh has won six league championships with Spalding capturing the other four. If Wednesday’s performances are any indication, the teams appear primed to meet to see who can claim this year’s championship.
Goals: S — Snead, Iluyomade; M – Ozbolt, Dorsey. Assists: S — Iluyomade, Korsnick; M — McCarthy. Saves: S — Savageau 11; M — Van Metre 2, Lowney 2. Half: S, 1-0