Potomac School Coach Bobby Johnston wanted his team to play a more challenging schedule this fall in an effort to put Panthers girls soccer "on the map."
St. Mary's-Annapolis made the trip to the McLean school yesterday and, after a 4-2 loss in a nonleague contest, the Saints now know the second-ranked Panthers are among the area's elite.
Sophomore striker Jenna Linden led Potomac School (4-0) with two goals, giving her six goals and five assists this season. The Panthers finished 16-1-2 last season--Johnston's first year as coach--and won the Independent School League tournament.
"We want to make the girls rise to the occasion," Johnston said. "It's early in the season, but we want to challenge the girls here."
St. Mary's-Annapolis (4-2-1), a perennial power, advanced to the Baltimore Catholic League tournament final last fall, losing 2-0 to McDonogh of Baltimore. The Saints' only previous defeat this season was a 1-0 loss to top-ranked River Hill in the Pioneer Shootout championship Sept. 18.
"We did not have the level of intensity we needed to play a Potomac School," Saints Coach Jerry Tobin said. "[The Panthers] got a couple of good shots, a couple of fortuitous bounces . . . but they wanted it more."
Potomac School scored on its first shot of the game in the fifth minute.
Linden took the ball on the left wing, about 30 yards out, fought off a defender and fired a shot past Saints goalkeeper Lauren Bonnanni.
The Saints got the equalizer a minute later when striker Kerie Sample collected the ball outside the penalty box and sent a blast into the upper-right corner for her seventh goal of the season.
It remained tied at halftime, but Potomac School started the second half strong. Two minutes in, senior midfielder Courtney Fischer's right-footed volley from 20 yards away gave the Panthers the lead for good.
Katherine Twomey scored her first goal of the season 23 minutes later and Linden added her second of the game with five minutes to go.
"[The tough teams] get us more excited and looking forward to the next game," Linden said. "Now we know what we can do."
Note: St. Mary's freshman stopper Sarah Sample did not play yesterday because of a sprained right ankle but could return Friday against John Carroll.