Everything appeared to have fallen into place for No. 10 Calvert Hall in its Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference soccer semifinal Thursday night against No. 3 Mount St. Joseph.
The Cardinals were playing under the lights on their campus for the first time in 164 years and had the lead in the game's final minute. Just as the student body was about to storm the field, the Gaels' Jalen Robinson scored with 15 seconds left to send the game to overtime.
After neither team scored, Mount St. Joseph won the penalty-kick shootout, 3-2, to advance to the championship against top-ranked McDonogh on Monday at Johns Hopkins. Gaels forward Dave Arnold moved to goalie for the shootout and made three consecutive saves.
"Coach just threw me in there, and I just wanted to have some fun with it," Arnold said. "It was basically all luck. Calvert Hall had a great season. They played a great game."
Calvert Hall (10-6) and Mount St. Joseph (12-3-3) split their regular-season series, with each team winning by a goal.
The Cardinals' Pete Caringi opened the scoring in the 34th minute when he collected a loose ball in the corner of the penalty area, beat his defender and slid a shot inside the far post. The Gaels were undeterred and answered in the 38th minute when Joey Isaja slid in a cross from Zachary Modly.
"What a comeback," Mount St. Joseph coach Mike St. Martin said. "We've only lost one game in regulation, and that was to Calvert Hall. It was nice to be on the other end of that."
Caringi struck again on a cross from Nicholas Mangione in the 61st minute to give the Cardinals a 2-1 lead. Even though Calvert Hall dropped an extra player back to protect the lead, the Cardinals still managed several effective attacks to keep Mount St. Joseph from relentlessly attacking.
The Gaels still pushed forward in an attempt to extend their season, and Robinson scored when all appeared to be lost.
"We gave up a goal in the final minute of the first half, and we gave up a goal in the final 30 seconds of the second half," Calvert Hall coach Andy Moore said. "That was the difference. Two breakdowns in the waning seconds puts you in this position."
Goals: M-Isaja, Robinson; C-Caringi 2. Assists: M-Modly; C-N. Mangione. Saves: M-Ruggiero 7; C-Krach 6. Half: 1-1.