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No.1 McDonogh boys soccer handles No. 2 Loyola in 3-0 win

The No. 1 McDonogh boys soccer team is only six games into its season, but that's enough time to already set an impressively high bar that has put opponents on notice.

The No. 1 McDonogh boys soccer team is only six games into its season, but that's enough time to already set an impressively high bar that has put opponents on notice.

More proof came on Friday, when the Eagles wore down defending Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference champion and No. 2 Loyola with a dominating second half that resulted in a 3-0 win in Owings Mills.

Junior Connor Smith got the all-important first goal with 22:45 to play and sophomore Tunde Akinlosotu added two goals in the final 10 minutes to lead the Eagles.

In starting 6-0, McDonogh has scored 14 times and has yet to allow a goal.

After withstanding a strong push from the visiting Dons (5-3) in the first 25 minutes, the Eagles were able to settle in late in the first half and then take charge in the second half with their strong possession game. The Eagles pressed consistently and finally broke through when Smith beat a defender on the left side and slotted a left-footed shot from 14 yards to the far post for the 1-0 advantage.

"Those first 20 minutes [of the second half] we were just pushing and pushing and then to get that first goal was like an ice breaker for us," Smith said. "I think it calmed us down a little bit and we started playing good soccer after that, and it opened things up for a couple more goals."

The Dons pressured the Eagles defense and created a number of scoring chances in the first 20-plus minutes – Ryan Conrad, Grant Robinson and Gavin Barger the catalysts – but were unable to break through.

"That's the first team that really tested us – they pressed and didn't sit back. But once we got our possession game going, I think we were able to wear them down," McDonogh coach Steve Nichols said. "We played good soccer today and we scored three goals against a good team. To their credit, they were playing their third game this week and it was only our second, and that showed."

In addition to the offense from Akinlosotu and Smith, who also go an assist on the second goal, the Eagles got fine two-way play from George Campbell and Eramuse Momoh and defender Scatt MacDonald provided a steadying influence in back.

Falling for the second straight time after a 2-1 upset loss to St. Paul's on Wednesday, the Dons will look to regroup Monday when they take on Mount St. Joseph.

"I thought the first 25 minutes we had them on their heels a little bit and we weren't able to capitalize, which is something you have to do on the road," Loyola coach Lee Tschantret said. "Credit to them, they moved the ball around really well, and I think our guys got a little flustered and we wore down"

glenn.graham@baltsun.com

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Boys soccer

1 McDonogh 3, 2 Loyola 0

Goals: M – Akinlosotu 2, Smith

Assists: M – Smith, Campbell

Saves: L – Girken 6; M – Livingston 3.

Half: 0-0

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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