The view from first place couldn't be prettier for the No. 2-ranked Calvert Hall boys soccer team.
The host Cardinals made short work of No. 11 Mount St. Joseph yesterday with a 3-0 shutout to remain undefeated and perched alone atop the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference at 6-0 (8-0-2 overall).
The Gaels (5-4 overall, 2-4 MIAA A Conference) have vivid memories of what it's like to be in first place. They led from start to finish last year en route to the MIAA A title. Mount St. Joseph is now reeling with its third straight loss.
The Cardinals set the tone early. Senior Tom Crompton scored the first goal off an assist from Brett Pearman just 6:19 into the game.
"We wanted to come out today and get up on Mount St. Joe early," Crompton said. "I just came across and the ball was right there, so I flicked it over [the goalie]."
Calvert Hall, which is 3-0 on its home field, padded its lead in the final two minutes of the first half.
Senior fullback Will Bach brought the ball in off a corner kick from the far side of the field toward the box. Junior Ryan Callinan then headed the ball to teammate Nick Gill, who headed it into the net for a 2-0 lead at the break.
"It was definitely important for us to get not just one goal but both of them in the first half and to go into halftime with a pretty commanding lead," said Calvert Hall coach Andy Moore. "That was important for us because we haven't done that in the last few games."
Mount St. Joseph looked flat in the first half and had very few opportunities. The Gaels managed only two shots.
The second half began much like the first half ended as the Cardinals kept pressure on the Gaels' goal. Senior goalie Donnie Aro was kept busy throughout the afternoon as he made 14 saves, 10 in the second half. But the defense as a whole didn't have an answer for the Cardinals.
Calvert Hall outshot Mount St. Joseph 20-5 in the second half and 31-7 overall.
The Cardinals iced the game when Callinan scored his team-leading seventh goal of the season off an assist from senior midfielder Sid Blevins.
Callinan has equaled his goal total from last season in just 10 games this season.