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Goretti wastes 3-0 lead

September 30, 1998

Goretti vs. Bishop WalshBy RON SOMERS / Sports Editor

St. Maria Goretti's girls soccer team had it good, maybe too good, in the first 50 minutes of its game against Bishop Walsh on Tuesday.

The fifth-ranked Gaels built a cushy 3-0 lead, outshooting the Spartans 18-1 in the first half. That, combined with the fact that Goretti had already beaten Bishop Walsh, a first-year program, earlier this season seemingly set the stage for an easy victory.

--cont. from sports page--

But Bishop Walsh didn't want to make the drive back to Cumberland, Md., a somber one, so it rallied for three goals in the final 30 minutes and pullled out a 3-3 tie.

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"We should have won,'' said Goretti's Allison Palank, who scored two goals. "We let down.''

Palank put the Gaels (7-3-1) up 1-0 in the 15th minute with a short-range shot from off the left post.

Three minutes into the second half, Palank boomed in a 25-yarder that handcuffed Spartan goalkeeper Tiffini Wagner. It short-hopped her, and she couldn't handle it.

Five minutes later, Erin Costello crossed the ball to Erin Ryan, who was questionable before the game because of a bad back. But Ryan, showing no overt effects from her injury, knocked it in, and the Gaels were cruising.

But Goretti coach Mike Bowers had cautioned before the game that the Spartans (6-2-1) would provide a defensive test for his team. Indeed, they did.

The Gaels were without sweeper Erin Boyst, who left school early Tuesday feeling ill. Then first-half keeper Janet McCullough didn't want to play in the second half, Bowers said, and was replaced by Lauren Costello.

"Having Erin Boyst out hurt a lot," Bowers said. "That made a monstrous difference.''

And Bishop Walsh started applying offensive pressure. The Spartans finally scored 18 minutes into the second half when Lauren Dapf sent a long shot to the upper right corner of the net.

Moments later, Caitlin Sweeney knocked in a rebound to make it 3-2.

With nine minutes left, Spartans coach Shelly Sweeney sent in Desiree Long. A moment later, she too scored on a rebound, and the score was tied.

"When we fold, we fold big," Bowers said. "They (the Spartans) hustled to every ball. We stood and watched."

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