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Mount Saint Joseph soccer continues season-long roll with 7-0 win over Curley

With its undefeated record in this season’s six-team Catholic League, the Mount Saint Joseph soccer team has been hitting on all cylinders just past the midway point of a condensed regular season.

On Monday at Archbishop Curley, the Gaels found an even higher level.

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Behind a sensational three-goal, one-assist performance from senior Van Danielson, Mount Saint Joseph dominated at both ends in coming away with a shockingly comfortable 7-0 win over the Friars.

In improving to 6-0 in the league, the Gaels have outscored their opponents 22-7. They completed a two-game sweep of Curley, which fell to 3-3.

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On Monday, Danielson made the biggest difference.

After taking a pass from Hunter Murphy, he scored on the game’s first quality chance with a left-footed finish from 16 yards just past the midway point of the first half. Less than five minutes later, he won the right side, reached the goal line with controlled pace and sent a short pass across to Tyquan Stroud, who made it 2-0.

Danielson scored his second goal of the game with 3:48 to play in the half and completed his hat trick early in the second half as the Gaels rolled to victory.

“I’ve had a few [hat tricks], but it’s been awhile," he said. “It’s definitely a special thing and something you don’t forget. [I’m] really proud to be able to do that for my school, for the team, and get the win.”

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The Friars were coming off a 3-2 win Saturday over Loyola Blakefield, but weren’t able to build on the momentum. The deep and experienced Gaels simply wouldn’t allow it. All season, they’ve shown a knack for connecting passes and finishing chances, and their confidence level continues to climb.

In addition to Danielson’s production, seven other players recorded a goal or assist, with junior Brian St. Martin finishing with one goal and one assist. Goalies Joel Fenstermacher and Dominic Jones, who each played one half, only had to make one save each to secure the Gaels' second straight shutout.

“We have 26 guys and we know all 26 guys have the quality to play, so we’re very confident with our team right now,” Danielson said. “We think that we’re the best team, we think nobody can really stay with us when we play our game the way we can.”

The Friars, who had two starters out and lost senior center back and captain Brandon Holy to an ankle injury in the first half, hope to get healthy and bounce back as they fight for a playoff spot. Originally scheduled to play John Carroll on Wednesday, that game is currently suspended with the Bel Air school choosing not to play any sports amid the worsening pandemic. Curley’s next game would be against Archbishop Spalding on Nov. 15.

“The goal is tomorrow to come out and get better, scratch and claw our way to get into the playoffs and see what happens,” Curley assistant coach Mike Griffith said.

The rest of the league has four regular-season games left to try to solve the Gaels. Calvert Hall, which lost, 3-2, in the teams' first meeting Nov. 4, gets another chance Wednesday at Mount Saint Joseph.

“That was a tough game and I know they’ve been on a bit of a roll … it’s always a dogfight against them,” Gaels coach Mike St. Martin said.

Goals: MSJ – Danielson 3, Stroud, St. Martin, Sloop, Lam Assists: MSJ – Danielson, Murphy, St. Martin, Onate, Isreal Saves: MSJ – Jones 1, Fenstermacher 1; Caulkins 11, Denholm 1 Half: MSJ, 3-0

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