It looked like there was a chance for an opponent to finally catch up with the streaking McDonogh boys soccer team Friday at Archbishop Curley.
The No. 8 Friars were on their home field and playing with added urgency after falling to Gilman on Wednesday. On top of that, the No. 1 Eagles were playing their fifth game in eight days and were missing standout midfielder Connor Smith, who was attending the U.S. under-18 men's national team camp in California this week.
None of that mattered.
Instead, McDonogh went about its usual business. The Eagles controlled the middle, finished off scoring chances and stayed tidy enough in the back to come away with a 3-1 win over Curley.
Tunde Akinlosotu, Moose Momoh and George Campbell scored for the Eagles, who improved to 10-0 overall and 7-0 in the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference. Curley, which got a late goal from Tre Pulliam, fell to 6-5 overall and 3-4 in league play.
With Smith away, the Eagles leaned on All-Metro first-team midfielder Campbell and got a strong performance from sophomore Keegan Kelly in the middle. Akinlosotu scored the opening goal midway through the first half after the Friars had misfired on two quality chances earlier, and Momoh gave the Eagles a 2-0 lead before the half.
"We've been running at teams now. In the beginning of the season, we didn't really run at them in the first half, but today we got two goals in the first half, and it put us in a good position to win," Akinlosotu said.
Playing their toughest stretch of the season to date, the Eagles had an impressive 3-0 road win against Gilman on Monday before winning, 2-1, against Calvert Hall on Wednesday. They had plenty saved for Friday, with Campbell making it 3-0 early in the second half to erase any doubts. It was Campbell's fourth goal of the week.
"I'm happy with our development. To be 10-0 and 7-0 at this point when you start six sophomores and play seven or eight — we have some talented players, but we're still really young and we just got to keep getting better because it's a long season and young players can hit a wall," McDonogh coach Steve Nichols said.
The Friars will regret missing their two early chances Friday. Ten minutes into the game, midfielder Kyle Mizell hit a shot from 12 yards right at McDonogh goalkeeper Calvin Livingston, and Pulliam had a left-footed shot from 14 yards go wide of the far post soon after.
"I just told the guys we played hard enough to win, but we didn't play well enough to win," Curley coach Barry Stitz said. "When you're playing against a team like McDonogh and get the two … best chances either team had in the game to score and you don't finish either chance, you're not going to win. We just got to play better and have our best players better. We've got to make plays when they are given, and that's been our problem."