A quality goal scorer can go a long way in soccer, helping cover up team mistakes while consistently exploiting opponents' miscues.
At McDonogh this season, the No. 1 Eagles boys soccer team has two: junior Mike Gamble and senior Julian Griggs.
With the home team being outplayed by No. 6 Loyola in the first 10 minutes and surrendering an early goal on Tuesday, Gamble and Griggs took over to lift the Eagles to a stunningly comfortable 6-1 win in Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association AConference play in Owings Mills.
Gamble needed just 20 seconds to answer Joe Taylor's opening goal and went on to add two more goals and two assists. Griggs followed up with the eventual game-winner in the 19th minute as the Eagles scored five first-half goals.
"They started off all over at us at first, but after we got our first goal, second and third we started calming down a bit and going at them," Gamble said. "When we start connecting, everything is just working for everybody — we're all feeling good and working together and we're getting the chemistry down and that's the important thing for us right now."
The Eagles (12-1) improve to 6-0 in the MIAA, outscoring their league foes by a combined 24-2 in the six wins. The Dons (4-4) fall to 3-3 in league play.
No. 2 Gilman 5, Archbishop Spalding 1: Cotter Brown scored three goals to lift the host Greyhounds (8-0-3) over the Cavaliers (4-7-2).
No. 3 River Hill 1, Atholton 0: Ryan Noonan scored his first goal of the season in the first half as the Hawks (8-0-1) topped the host Raiders.
No. 10 Mount St. Joseph 2, No. 12 Calvert Hall 1: Joey Isaja scored two second-half goals to help the host Gaels (7-2-1) past the Cardinals (5-3-1).
No. 13 Glenelg 1, No. 9 Marriotts Ridge 0: Rachel McCarriher's first-half goal defeated the host Mustangs (6-1-1).
Roland Park 4, No. 8 Archbishop Spalding 0: Senior forward Caroline Seats scored three goals in the host Reds' victory over the Cavaliers (7-4-1).
No. 4 Towson d. Sparrows Point, 3-0: Emily Lansinger led the host Generals (8-0) with six kills while Sarah Kennedy provided five in the victory over the Pointers. Hannah Wohltman added seven aces.
Baltimore Sun reporters contributed to this article.