I'm going to start where I left off last week, or at least with the same high school, Harford Christian. In the last edition I wrote about Harford Christian field hockey team's amazing run of 1-0, overtime wins, and it has since added relatively pedestrian scores of 2-0 and 6-0 to the win column, so I've still go my eye on that squad, but the group I'm largely focusing on this week is the Harford Christian boys soccer team, which is putting together a pretty phenomenal streak of its own.
First off though, some of my thoughts. I've felt at times that Harford Christian athletic teams have gotten the short shrift in terms of coverage (which is completely on my shoulders, I know), and a lot of that has to do with scheduling. When you're not in lock step with the UCBAC schedule, unless you're playing the day before my deadline, you're going to get pushed down to the bottom of the article in favor of the latest scores. This happens to both Harford Christian and John Carroll teams a bunch, because they're off playing in the MIAA and MACSAC, respectively, which has nothing to do with the UCBAC, which is my bread and butter because, regardless of the sport, it contains 10 of the 12 teams I'm tasked with covering. And, then you have the problem of a schedule mostly filled with non-Harford County opponents. When Harford Christian plays Tri-State Christian, unless something worthy of the national news happened during the game, it's going to take second billing to the Harford County vs. Harford County matchup, because, in addition to writing, my job is also to sell newspapers, and I have to think about my audience.
OK, now that I've assuaged my guilt somewhat, let me talk about the Harford Christian boys soccer team, which has been at the top of most of my stories for the past few weeks, because those guys have been absolutely murdering their opponents. After opening the season back on Aug. 29 with a 5-2 victory over Redeemer Classical Academy, the Eagles won their next last eight games without allowing a goal. That is eight straight shutout wins.
Now, shutouts in soccer and field hockey are not all that uncommon. I seem to remember a Fallston field hockey team from a few years back that went seven or eight games without allowing a goal, and I know other squads have had similar runs, but I'm lacking evidence at the moment (honestly, I wish every day that there were a high-school-sports-reference.com, like baseball-reference.com, so I could just whip out all the egghead statistics I need to prove how brilliant I am, but, sadly, we're not to the point of recording the minutia of every high school sporting even just yet). That said, I do not remember a team before this year's Harford Christian boys soccer side that was doing so well on both sides of the ball. The defense, obviously, is working well, but the Eagles' offense has been a machine, outscoring the opposition 52-0 over the course of those eight shutouts (and 57-2 including the season opener, which still isn't so bad). Just so you think these guys haven't been thumping on tiny private-school teams this whole time, during their run of shutouts the Eagles have defeated four UCBAC teams, Aberdeen, Elkton, Harford Tech and Bo Manor, by a combined score of 21-0.
I don't care what conference you're playing in, starting the season 9-0 with eight shutouts and a goal differential of 28.5:1 is impressive, easily one of the best starts to a season I've witnessed during my time at The Aegis. The only question that I can think of, and it comes from the deep dark center of my cynical sportswriter brain, is, could the Harford Christian boys play and win in the UCBAC's Chesapeake (upper) Division? That usually seems to be the litmus test for deciding whether a team is "a good private school squad" or just plain good. The Eagles have stomped all over the Susquehanna (lower) Division teams they've played, so I think they absolutely could survive were they thrown into the upper division. Speculation aside, Harford Christian does have an upcoming game with the Havre de Grace, a Chesapeake Division team that, as of this writing, is undefeated. That one is scheduled for Oct. 1, and I'm very much looking forward to it.Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun