Soccer: Loyola Blakefield earns tie with Malvern Prep

Loyola Blakefield junior defender Michael DeGeraffenreidt rocketed a 25-yard shot past Malvern Prep sophomore goalie Connor McNeill in the 62nd minute to help the Dons (6-2-2) garner a 1-1 tie in the interstate, non-league match in sunny Towson on Saturday afternoon.

Loyola dominated the match, outshooting the Friars (7-1-2) by a whopping 17-5, yet had some difficulty drawing even against a club that, according to Malvern Prep coach Leighton Walters, was missing five starters.

Loyola created a bunch of promising opportunities that went for naught before DeGraffenreidt's blast trickled through McNeill's hands and into the net to notch the equalizer.

On back-to-back sequences in the first half, De Graffenreidt and classmate Austin Illiano were denied by Kevin Duva, whose sprawling save on Illiano was a textbook example of how a keeper facing a one-vs.-one challenge should react.

The senior held his ground and then smothered Illiano's shot, which came shortly after sophomore Tripp Traynor's back-kick on a feed from senior Matt Narzikul staked the Philadephians to a 1-0 advantage midway through the first half.

"That was Tripp's first goal for Malvern," Walters said. "We were missing five starters, so I was very happy with the result today."

The teams decided not to play overtime periods.

The Dons travel to Irvington to take on Mount St. Joseph when Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference play returns on Oct. 12 at 4 p.m. and will host St. Benedict's of New Jersey on Oct. 16 at a site still to be determined, according to Loyola coach Lee Tschantret.

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