Midfielder Austin Iliano picked the perfect time to score his first goal of the season, converting a perfect feed from fellow senior Jeremey DeGraffenreidt with 11:45 remaining to lead Loyola Blakefield (7-4, 4-1 MIAA A Conference) past archrival Calvert Hall on Friday night at Paul Angelo Russo Stadium in Towson.
Iliano is recovering from a knee injury, which limited his playing time.
"He's starting to get his rhythm back," Loyola coach Lee Tschantret said.
Iliano proved as much when he one-timed the pass from DeGraffenreidt into the left corner, well beyond the reach of Calvert Hall keeper Matt Brashears.
"Jeremy's the ultimate playmaker," Iliano said. "We feed him and he feeds us back. We do a lot of combinations with him."
Loyola scored first when Grant Robinson powered in a rebound of a shot by Max Weber that caromed off the post and settled near the goal line in the 12th minute.
The freshman was in the goal mouth when he rippled the net for a 1-0 lead.
And the Dons had the better of play for much of the period, although they were denied from building a bigger lead because Brashears made a couple of key saves.
His first significant save came in the opening minutes to deny Loyola early momentum. Brashears also turned away Ryan Hartman's long volley that the Cardinal junior tipped off the crossbar and out of harm's way with 13:40 remaining in the half.
Calvert Hall answered in the 46th minute when senior Jason Will's header off Zach Rutherford's assist rocketed past goalie Dante Raggio to deadlock the match.
Will just missed giving the hosts the lead when he skimmed a long indirect kick from senior Corey Reichert off the crossbar midway through the second half.
"I'm pleased with the improvement by the boys," first-year Calvert Hall coach Rick Zinkand said. "By the end of October, I hope we'll be right up there with the top teams in the conference."
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