O'Connell showed why it is the top-ranked girls' soccer team in the Washington area yesterday as the Knights traveled to National Cathedral and dismantled the ninth-ranked Eagles, 8-0.

The Knights were led by midfielder Mick Imgram's two goals and three assists, while forwards LB Puglisi and Liz Carroll added two goals each.

O'Connell, which is ranked first in the nation by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America, struck first 10 minutes into the game, when Carroll floated a bouncing ball over the head of the charging National Cathedral goalkeeper. The Eagles kept it close for a while, but O'Connell (11-0) scored three times in the final 10 minutes of the first half to put the match out of reach.

"We have been playing well," O'Connell Coach Alberto Starace said. "It was just a matter of time. We had to get used to the field. They high-pressured everything and the field shrinks with that. I thought we adjusted to that pretty well."

National Cathedral fell to 6-1.

St. John's Edges Ireton

St. John's survived three corner kicks in the final 30 seconds to secure a 2-1 victory over Washington Catholic Athletic Conference rival Bishop Ireton in Alexandria. It was the first time St. John's had defeated Bishop Ireton in school history. . . .

Down two goals at home, senior forward Cordell Hodnett scored three times to help propel the Gwynn Park boys' soccer team to a 4-3 comeback victory over visiting DuVal. Hodnett has nine goals and five assists on the season. Yesterday was his second three-goal game this season.

-- Charlie Moss

and Charles Cummins