xml:space="preserve">
xml:space="preserve">
Advertisement
Advertisement

Loyola soccer advances to to MIAA final vs. McDonogh

The area's top-ranked boys soccer teams will meet in Sunday's Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference championship game.

No. 2 Loyola Blakefield made sure of that with a solid 2-0 win over No. 4 Archbishop Curley in Friday's semifinal. The Dons (15-4-3) will take on No. 1 McDonogh — a 2-0 winner over No. 10 Calvert Hall in the other semifinal on Thursday — at 5:30 p.m. Sunday at Stevenson University in Owings Mills.

Advertisement

The Dons started fast and aggressive against the visiting Friars, getting first-half goals from Shane McWilliams and Ryan Conrad to take control. Shortly after Friday's win, the talk at Loyola turned toward Sunday's game against McDonogh, which will enter the game with a perfect 19-0 mark, including two wins over the Dons.

"It should be a good game. We had two good games against them in the regular season and I don't think much will change," Loyola coach Lee Tschantret said. "We may tweak a little bit here and there, but the mental and physical makeup of our team is to attack, so we're going to try to go at them. We're not going to sit back."

Advertisement
Advertisement

On Friday, the Dons took a 1-0 lead in the 10th minute when Avionne Flanagan won the left side and sent a low ball in front for Shane McWilliams to tap in. Midway through the half, Flanagan hit a heavy shot that Curley goalie Colin Brown couldn't hold on to, leaving it in front for Conrad to finish.

The Dons limited the Friars' chances the rest of the way.

"Once we got the two goals we were a lot more comfortable, especially in a semifinal game," said senior defensive midfielder Gavin Barger. "The game going scoreless for a long time can make it hard, so it's good we got the two goals because we were able to settle in and play our game."

Coming off of a 3-2 double overtime win against St. Paul's in the quarterfinals, Curley coach Barry Stitz felt the key would be keeping the Dons in check for the first 15 minutes.

Advertisement

The Friars (11-12) had their best scoring chance of the game when Tre Pulliam, who scored the game-winner against St. Paul's earlier in the week, found space down the right side and unleashed a shot from 14 yards away that went just wide of the far post. The chance came just two minutes before the Dons got their first goal.

"We knew we were going to take a little pressure today and our key was not to fall behind as early as we did," Stitz said. "We wanted to keep it scoreless as long as we could. But at the end of the day, I'm proud of our guys, they exceeded my expectations. They battled hard to the end, we were down, 2-0, at the half and the game could have easily got away and we did a decent job today."

Recommended on Baltimore Sun

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement