McDonogh coach Bill Seals spent the previous 21 years thinking how great it would be to beat Calvert Hall just once in a season.
What about twice? "Never in my wildest dreams would I think of sweeping them," he said.
The No. 5 Eagles did just that yesterday at McDonogh, scoring early and holding off constant Calvert Hall pressure in the second half to come away with their second 1-0 win of the season against the No. 6 Cardinals.
McDonogh (8-9-1 and out of the playoffs a year ago) improved to 11-2 overall and remained on top of the MIAA A Conference with a 10-2 mark. The No. 6 Cardinals dropped to 10-4-1 overall and 7-4-1 in league play.
Sophomore midfielder Joe Cherneski scored his first goal of the season 15 minutes into the game, one-timing a failed Calvert Hall clear from 18 yards out to find the near post.
"The ball just bounced out there and I took a shot. I've been waiting for this all season," Cherneski said.
The Eagles' mission the rest of the afternoon was to turn back a Calvert Hall attack that came at them in waves.
In the first meeting on Sept. 27, the Eagles broke a scoreless tie in the final seven minutes to beat Calvert Hall for the first time ever. With the goal coming early yesterday, the Eagles found themselves back on their heels a lot with the Cardinals pushing to get even.
Seal thought going into this game it would take two goals to win. His defense, with sweeper Pablo Webster taking control and keeper Michael Barr coming up big when needed, had other ideas.
"They put a lot of pressure on us the last game and did it again today," he said. "They play an up-tempo game and we fully got what we expected."
Calvert Hall coach Bill Karpovich was frustrated with his team's inability to finish on scoring chances.
"The pressure was there, but you have to stick your nose in there, anticipate and shoot the ball," he said.