The McDonogh boys soccer team reminded Mount Hebron, and the rest of the soccer world, that it is the defending MIAA A Division champion with a 3-1 victory yesterday morning.
"This win gives us a lot of respect," said Eagles goalie Cam Thompson, who finished with eight saves. "We haven't played that well this season, but we stepped it up today. This proves to everyone that we can play with the best."
McDonogh forward Kaiser Chowhdry, who scored one goal and assisted on another, agreed.
"We've struggled this year, especially against some lesser teams, but we did well today against a good team," Chowhdry said. "We've gained some respect here because Mount Hebron is ranked No. 2."
The loss was the first of the season for the Vikings (3-1).
The sixth-ranked Eagles (6-2-2), took a 2-0 lead in the first half with an efficient offense and solid defense.
McDonogh's Sean Murphy scored 16 minutes into the first half off a pass from Jed Prosner. An unguarded Murphy directed the pass easily past Vikings goalie Greg Peters for the 1-0 lead.
Five minutes later, Mount Hebron's Christian Chacon broke away from the Eagles defense and was faced with a one-on-one with Thompson. Thompson came 20 yards out of his goal and jumped up to deflect the potential game-tying shot.
McDonogh scored again at the 15: 39 mark on a goal by Chowhdry. Chowhdry headed a shot that was saved by Peters, but the ball fell in front of the goal, where the hustling Chowhdry managed to put it in for the score.
"The goalie made a great save there," said Chowhdry. "I thought that was going in, but I got lucky and scored, anyway."
Mount Hebron failed to score on its early opportunities.
It outshot McDonogh 11-4 in the first half, 22-11 overall, but came up empty.
"We had early opportunities and didn't finish," said Vikings coach Jeff Doolan. "We had, like, 10 scoring opportunities and only got one. They had, like, four and scored three times. We didn't play to our potential."
The second half played out much the same as the first.
The Eagles' Seth Franz scored seven minutes into the second off a nice headed pass from Chowhdry.
Matt Guy gave the Vikings their goal with 26: 30 remaining off a corner kick.
McDonogh, with just three seniors, has seven returning starters from last year's championship team and expects to win every game.
"These kids expect to be No. 1," coach Stephen Nichols said. "We expect to beat teams like [Mount Hebron] and expect to play at this level."