A league win used to mean a major accomplishment for McDonogh. Now it's just a means to an end.
Behind Greg Adams' four goals and Rob Scherr's 15 saves, the No. 7 Eagles powered past visiting No. 6 St. Mary's, 12-10, yesterday in a Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference game.
With the win, McDonogh jumped back into the race to earn its first A Conference playoff berth.
"This is such a big win," Eagles coach Jake Reed said. "We now control our own destiny. If we win our next couple of games, we should be in."
McDonogh (11-3), which matched its win total for each of the past two seasons, made its biggest stride for credibility with a win over St. Mary's, the defending MIAA A Conference champion. The Eagles didn't win a league game from 1992-94.
"We had to win," said Adams, one of two senior starters at McDonogh. "We're trying to bring this team to another level."
St. Mary's (2-6) continues to struggle through a frustrating season. The Saints have lost six in a row, including their last four by a combined five goals.
As the game ended, several of the St. Mary's players dropped to their knees in disgust. Saints coach Jim Moorhead refused to comment as he stormed off the field.
With the game tied at 7, St. Mary's coaches were penalized for questioning a check on one of their players. On the extra-man opportunity, Bob Benson knocked in a shot right on the crease off a pass from Ryan Floyd with 1: 48 left in the third quarter.
McDonogh extended its lead to 10-7 after three quarters when Owen Daly scored 52 seconds later and Adams tossed in a high bouncer on a man-up situation with eight seconds left in the period. The Eagles were 3-for-3 on extra-man opportunities and were flagged only once.
The fourth quarter belonged to Scherr. St. Mary's pressured the Eagles' defense with 15 shots that quarter, but Scherr recorded eight saves.
Although the Saints scored three times to close within 12-10, they failed to dent McDonogh's zone defense at full strength in the second half.
"We came out looking to play solid," Scherr said. "We just did not want to get beat in our zone defense."
St. Mary's jumped out quickly, converting on its first two shots. Jamison Mullen intercepted a McDonogh clearing pass and lofted the ball into the empty net to give the Saints a 2-0 lead three minutes into the game.
The Eagles came back in waves, scoring back-to-back goals in a minute to tie six minutes into the game. McDonogh took its first lead at 4-3 late in the first quarter with consecutive goals in 24 seconds.
After the Saints tied the game at 4, McDonogh went ahead by two goals when Dan Cassell and Adams scored in a 16-second span.
The Eagles avenged a season-opening, one-goal loss to St. Mary's on March 21.
"We needed to come out meaner," Reed said. "We're still improving. This is a big win because we beat one of those teams in the upper echelon."
Pub Date: 4/19/97