Thursday, September 27, 2007

Girls' Soccer

Senior Forward Helps Maintain Spalding's 48-Game Streak
Spalding 1, Pallotti 1
By B.J. Koubaroulis
Special to The Washington Post
Thursday, September 27, 2007; Page AA15

The Spalding girls' soccer team huddled around All-Met senior forward Christine Nairn and sang for her on her birthday as she handed out cupcakes to teammates still panting from the double-overtime tie, 1-1, at Pallotti on Tuesday.

"I know she'll always be there," Spalding junior forward Erica Page said of Nairn.
Nairn is headed to Penn State; she also has played for the under-17 U.S. team. The goal in the 62nd minute was her 16th this season and 59th of her career.

The goal also helped keep intact what is known on the team as "the streak": Second-ranked Spalding (9-0-1 overall, 2-0-1 Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland) has not lost in 48 games.

Since losing to O'Connell, 2-0, in September 2005, the Cavaliers have posted a 43-0-5 record and have outscored opponents 145-13.

"I think [the streak] is in the back of our minds all the time," said Nairn, whose left-footed penalty kick tied the game late in the second half. "We are taking each game as it is and playing our hearts out, and if the streak stays alive, then good for us. But if it doesn't, oh well."

Spalding Coach Bob Dieterle is taking the same no-worries attitude toward the ongoing streak.
"We don't talk about it at all," Dieterle said. "I think they know the challenge for them is, when you are a highly ranked team, everyone comes at you and gives you their best game."

Spalding outshot Pallotti 20-9.

Yet the Panthers (5-0-1, 2-0-1) took the lead after a penalty kick by sophomore forward Jackie Henahan in the 53rd minute.

Pallotti, which fell to Spalding in last season's IAAM A final, was expectedly feisty.
"Supposedly, we are the highlight of everyone's season, but every game is our highlight," said Nairn. "We want to beat everybody and show everybody that we are the best."

Henahan's penalty kick was the first goal the Cavaliers have relinquished this season and one of few All-Met goalkeeper Karen Blocker has allowed in her career.

"You never forget the feeling of a goal. Especially" a penalty kick, said Blocker, who has recorded 360 saves and 49 shutouts in her career. Both are school records.

"I'm so proud of my team for rallying back and not putting their head down. It's always disappointing not to get the win, but we came back strong and got the tie."

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