The Mount St. Joseph boys soccer team sent a clear message to the rest of the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference in Wednesday's league-opening visit to Loyola: There's no quit in the No. 7 Gaels.
Trailing the No. 3 Dons by a goal on two separate occasions in the final nine minutes of regulation, Mount St. Joseph proved resilient in coming away with an improbable 3-3 double-overtime tie in a game that featured five goals in the final 13 minutes.
Senior Jalen Robinson tied the game for the final time with just under two minutes to play, slotting a cross sent in by Joey Isaja. The goal came two minutes after John Jlopeh's header in front gave the Dons a 3-2 advantage.
Loyola is now 1-0-1 overall and 0-0-1 in the MIAA, while the Gaels go to 2-2-1 and 0-0-1 in league play.
Both teams left with valuable lessons.
"They're a great team, on their field, first MIAA game, fans out here banging the drums and all that, so to get out of here with …. a point, it was a good point," Mount St. Joseph coach Mike St. Martin said. " Hopefully this is a great lesson and hopefully we can move forward and learn something from this."
The Dons controlled play for most of the first half only to see the Gaels get a goal from Isaja in the 31st minute to find themselves down, 1-0, at the half.
After Loyola's Jamie Dubyoski rattled a shot off the post and into the goal with 13 minutes left, tying the game at 1, the goal-scoring splurge followed.
Michael DeGraffenreidt headed home a chance just to the left of the goal to give the Dons their first lead at 2-1, only to see the Gaels come back twice for the tie. The game returned to normalcy in the two 20 minutes of overtime with both teams creating scoring chances that were turned away.
"To control a game like that and then to score goals in that manner and then to give up goals with mental lapses — it's a good early lesson for us," Loyola coach Lee Tschantret said. "I was happy how we played. We created a ton of opportunities and I always tell them that goals will come. It just something that they have to realize we have to take care of the little things and have to learn how to close games out."
No. 3 Loyola 3, No. 7 Mount St. Joseph 3 (2OT)
Goals: M – Isaja, Bezirdjian, Robinson; L – Dubyoski, M. DeGraffenreidt, Jlopeh.
Assists: M – Isaja; L -- J. DeGraffenreidt
Saves: M – Deboy 8; L – Hanke 5.
Half: M, 1-0.