In each of the first six years of the annual Good Counsel girls soccer tournament, the Falcons have either beaten or tied Mercy of Baltimore. The hosts weren't as fortunate yesterday in their seventh meeting.
Senior midfielder Kristi Korrow took a perfect pass and turned it into a goal with 21 minutes 6 seconds remaining for the game's lone score, handing No. 1 Good Counsel its second loss of the season, 1-0. The two-day tournament continues today in Wheaton.
In the first game yesterday, No. 10 Paul VI Catholic won its season-opener by defeating Catholic, 3-1, for the first time in three tries at the tournament. The Panthers received goals from junior midfielder Jocelyn Hospital, junior defender Sue Altenburger and sophomore midfielder Leslie McDermott.
Good Counsel, which lost to No. 3 Severna Park, 1-0, on Sept. 2, fell to 3-2 for the first time since 1995. The Falcons lost the All-Met duo of Valerie Lawrence and Kelley Schneider to graduation, leaving an extremely talented but inexperienced team with only three senior starters after a 22-0-3 season.
"We created a few opportunities but just did not finish," Good Counsel Coach Jim Bruno said. "I felt we decided the play the last 20 minutes but we got beat in the midfield and that will be the [big] question all year."
Mercy's senior-led midfield, anchored by Kaitlin Schuyler and Korrow, changed the flow of the game midway through the second half.
Junior striker Becca Hojnowski collected a free kick from Schuyler off the far post and sent a low line drive cross across the mouth of the goal to Korrow, who collected it, then slammed it through for her first goal of the season.
The Falcons' best opportunity at the equalizer came on sophomore forward Meggie Curran's 40-yard sprint down the left side. Curran arched a shot that glanced off the crossbar and was cleared away from danger by Mercy.
"It feels good to finally go home a winner," Mercy Coach Geoff Daras said. "We run four [players] in the midfield and we felt we had to play through [Schuyler and Korrow] and let them dictate play."
In the earlier game, Paul VI took over in the second half. Altenburger's goal was decisive, snapping a 1-1 tie. Altenburger took a pass at the right corner of the penalty box from senior midfielder Erin Hutnick and redirected it for the go-ahead goal.
"The ball was in the air, so I tapped it once to the side and . . . took a shot," said Altenburger, who also plays on the under-17 Chantilly Electric team.
Notes: The Good Counsel tournament continues today with Paul VI (1-0) playing Mercy (2-0) at 2:30 p.m. The Falcons will play Catholic (0-1) at 5:30 p.m. The tournament matches two of the Washington Catholic Athletic Conference's top teams against two of Baltimore's Catholic teams.