McDonogh midfielder Rory Sanborn grinned sheepishly, talking about the shot he took yesterday that ended top-ranked Calvert Hall's eight-game winning streak.
Juggling teammate Skyler Hopkins' pass from behind the goal, Sanborn got off a bounce shot that trickled off goalie Jeremy Blevins' stick with 1:19 left, giving No. 7 McDonogh a 6-5 victory in a Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference showdown in Towson.
Sanborn, who had smoothly split two defenders in front to reach Hopkins' pass, said afterward: "I was lucky. It wasn't the perfect play."
But it was a perfect ending to a game in which McDonogh (10-0, 2-0) rallied from a 4-2 halftime deficit for its second conference road victory this week. The Eagles beat No. 5 Boys' Latin, 9-6, on Tuesday.
Calvert Hall (4-1, 1-1) hadn't lost since last year, when it captured the MIAA A Conference crown.
"Anytime you can get two road wins in this league, it's like getting two road wins in the ACC," McDonogh coach Jake Reed said. "Defense was [the key], and defense is all about heart and hustle, and we got a lot of that today."
His Eagles clamped down especially on Kevin Huntley, who had 23 goals and 11 assists in Calvert Hall's first four games.
Senior defenseman Nick Marshall all but shut out the Johns Hopkins-bound Huntley, limiting him to two assists. Marshall worked hard at not letting the left-handed Huntley go to his left. Eagles teammates double-teamed Huntley when he moved right.
"That was my job; he was my focus the whole day," Marshall said. "I didn't want him to go left, because when he goes left, he's unstoppable."
Brennan Kelly and Josh Kahn both helped clamp down on the Calvert Hall attackmen, especially in the second half. Marshall, Kelly and Kahn helped force the Cardinals to pass more than they wanted.
McDonogh goalie Joe Pike made 18 saves and robbed Calvert Hall several times, especially in the second half. The Cardinals put four goals past Pike in the first 16:06, but he settled down to give up just one the rest of the way.
Blevins played just as well, also making 18 saves and repeatedly making one-on-one stops. Matt Buschman (three goals) and Kevin Buchanan (two goals, one assist) carried most of the Calvert Hall offensive load.
Buschman scored all three of his goals in the first half to help Calvert Hall, which held possession for long stretches, take a 4-2 halftime lead.
But Reed pushed his team at halftime to start the second half strongly.
The Eagles listened as Collins Carey put back a rebound with 9:04 left in the third quarter, and Kyle O'Brien (two goals) tied it only 36 seconds later. O'Brien gave McDonogh a 5-4 lead with 5:11 left in the period.