Mud caked the front of Ben Pardew's uniform. Heavy mud. The Calvert Hall senior forward also had mud on his face. And his hands. He looked like he had bathed in it.
Through the mud, however, his smile beamed - irrepressible.
It told the story of the first meeting of the season between two Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Division soccer powers, No. 3 Calvert Hall and No. 2 McDonogh.
Calvert Hall won, 2-1, as Pardew scored both goals in a four-minute stretch of the first half.
Pardew also scored the game-winning goal last season against McDonogh. And the final score was identical.
"I just play hard, win balls and don't slow down," Pardew said. "Our team played hard and well and brought home the 'W' today."
Calvert Hall coach Andy Moore said: "Ben always gets his uniform dirtier than any other player on the team. It was nice to get a halftime lead. We played good, physical soccer and knocked it around well in the first half. McDonogh pressured us and we didn't play as well in the second half."
Right halfback Brett Pearman, who played effectively throughout for the Cardinals (6-0-1), made the cross in the 21st minute that allowed Pardew to head in the first goal from 9 yards. He was standing in the center of the goal area and headed it to the far post.
Ryan Callinan sent a through ball down the left side to Pardew in the 25th minute. Pardew touched it twice, looked up, then kicked the ball off the inside of his right foot to the far post. He was oblivious to hard-charging goalie Alex Horwathe.
"I'm not afraid of getting hit by a goalkeeper," Pardew said.
Calvert Hall's whole team brought that same tough-guy attitude to yesterday's game. And it paid off.
"I think they hit us hard a couple of times and we seemed to back off," Eagles coach Steve Nichols said. "We didn't match their intensity and got beat off the ball all over the field. They worked hard off the ball and deserved to win today."
He also criticized his Eagles (6-2) for not tackling well and for diving in defensively.
"It's tough to play on the road. The field here is narrow and bumpy and you have to play uglier," he said. "We have to learn to play on these fields. I didn't recognize this as the team I've been coaching for seven weeks. Our big players didn't step up. They were nonexistent."
Calvert Hall's Nick Gill marked McDonogh forward Brian Yi and contained him well.
"Gill and Will Bach are our captains and they set the tone in games," Moore said.
Bach earned a double yellow card ejection in the second half for putting a shoulder into Michael Marchiano. But the Cardinals did not have to play a man down, and Bach can play the next game.
Kyle McHugh scored McDonogh's only goal in the 61st minute by kicking in an attempted clear.
No. 13 Loyola 4, No. 4 Mount St. Joseph 1: Kevin Mezzedra and Justin Dillon each scored two goals as the host Dons (4-2) upset the Gaels (5-2).
Dillon broke open the game, tied 1-1 at the half, with a pair of goals - courtesy of two Mezzedra assists.