Good Counsel's Vicki Anagnostopoulos collected a pass just inside the penalty area and was quickly marked by one Bishop Ireton defender with another a few feet away. The senior forward leaned right and as soon as the closest defender swayed, she pulled the ball back, slid it to her left foot and bounced a shot into the lower-left hand corner of the goal.
Anagnostopoulos's deft move in the 21st minute -- one that she's used countless times during her high school career -- proved to be the difference in the top-ranked Falcons' 1-0 victory over sixth-ranked Bishop Ireton in a Washington Catholic Athletic Conference girls' soccer game last night in Wheaton.
"I've seen that move so much that I'm sick of it," said Good Counsel junior forward Megan Novak, who passed the ball to Anagnostopoulos on the play. "But when she does that move, she's unstoppable. As soon as I get the ball, I look for her and when she gets the ball, she looks for me. We have each other's back."
Anagnostopoulos's team-leading 13th goal of the year kept the Falcons (7-0-4, 4-0-3) undefeated. And as one the area's smallest players at 5 feet 4, she created big problems for the Cardinals (5-2-1, 4-2-1).
"Absolutely, Vicki is the difference in a game like this, just as she's been for four years," Good Counsel Coach Jim Bruno said. "She's the force you have to stop, and everyone knows it."
"We knew we had to watch her," Bishop Ireton Coach Chris Ryan said. "But she's got great speed and a great touch, and sometimes it's just hard to stop a player like that."
After Good Counsel squandered two breakaways by shooting the ball wide in the first half, Ireton had several chances in the second half to leave Good Counsel with at least a tie.
Ireton senior forward Gwen Holdgreiwe fired a shot just over the crossbar in the 61st minute and sophomore goalkeeper Amanda Carta made a diving save to stop a shot by senior midfielder Moe Finn a minute later
"Amanda always comes up with big saves for us," said Anagnostopoulos, who has also posted a team-high 13 assists. "But the biggest thing is that we're still undefeated."
It was also critical for the Falcons to prove they could win a close game, because five of their previous six victories were by more than two goals.
"We've had a lot of tough games lately," said Bruno, whose team played six games in the past 12 days, four finishing in ties. "It was nice to come out . . . and play well and come out with a win in a close game against a very good team like Bishop Ireton."