The Concordia Prep boys soccer team didn’t let some early bad luck get in its way of bringing home the program’s first Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association B Conference championship Sunday.
The Saints were persistent in pressuring defending champion Friends, but had nothing to show for it as the final minute of the first half arrived.
Their breakthrough came when Ryan Flury scored from 15 yards after an alert pass from Taylor Calheira. The goal came with nine seconds left before the break, and the Saints were quick to add on, getting a goal from Justin Draper early in the second half to send them on their way to a 3-0 win over the Quakers at Anne Arundel Community College.
After capturing the C Conference crown in 2016 and reaching the B Conference final last season, Concordia Prep (15-5-1) took another step forward with its first B Conference crown.
“It was a great game altogether. The defense had a clean sheet and we made a good final run,” said Calheira, who finished with a goal and assist. “In the first half, it was tough because we had a lot of chances … and we couldn’t finish. But once we got that [first] goal, it started flowing, and we were comfortable after we got the second goal, and it was just a great team effort.”
Both teams played their best in the postseason, with each earning shutout victories in the opening two rounds.
Sunday was clearly the Saints’ day. After Draper’s finish, coming off a feed from Angelo Poblete, Concordia Prep continued to push forward.
The Quakers’ best chance came with 19:15 left, when Alexander Shine took a free kick that was flicked in front of the net before goalie Noah Gregory grabbed it.
To be playing on the final day of the season was especially rewarding for the Quakers, who dedicated their season to former teammate Stephen Bogusky, a 2018 graduate who died in a car accident this past summer. Last season, Bogusky was instrumental in Friends capturing its first league championship since 1999, scoring a goal in the semifinals and the title game.
After graduating 12 seniors from last year’s championship team, the Quakers’ early season goals were finishing .500 and making the playoffs. But they reached the conference title game and finished with a 12-5-2 mark.
“It could have been seen as a transitional building season, but it wasn’t. We made it all the way to the final, had a really good record and I think a lot of that had to do with everybody playing in Stephen’s memory,” Friends coach Phil Greatwich said.
Goals: CP — Flury, Draper, Calheira Assists: CP — Calheira, Poblete, Arthur Saves: CP — Gregory 3; F — Cullen 5 Half: CP, 1-0