McDonogh repels No. 1 Calvert Hall No. 2 Eagles weather 33 shots in 2-0 victory

October 28, 1997|By Lem Satterfield | Lem Satterfield,SUN STAFF

McDonogh coach Steve Nichols wore a Cheshire cat grin, as if he had gotten away with something. And at No. 1 Calvert Hall yesterday, his No. 2 Eagles indeed did just that.

Calvert Hall outshot McDonogh, 33-6, only to lose, 2-0, and fall into a tie for first place in the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association's A Conference.

The win was especially sweet for the 28-year-old Nichols, who played on Calvert Hall coach Bill Karpovich's 1985 championship team and simply had too many heroes to name.

"Call it luck, I guess," said Nichols, who later credited keeper Cam Thompson for making 13 of his 18 saves in the second half. "But after losing to them last time at our place [3-1], we talked about being responsible on defense and they really took that to heart."

And the Eagles (17-2, 10-2) showed a lot of heart, getting their 12th shutout against heavy pressure from Calvert Hall's top scorers Cam Letke (15 goals, four assists), Brett Wagner (nine, six), Brian Powell (nine, six), P. J. Wakefield (10, seven) and Matt Joseph (three, nine).

Cap Poklemba scored the first goal in the first half, and later deflected a point-blank shot. Junior midfielder Rob Callinan also turned away a dead-on shot, and later assisted on McDonogh's second goal by freshman Kaiser Chowdhry.

Defenders Chris Zuk (twice) and Alex Yi also kicked away goal-bound shots by the Cardinals, who also have 12 shutouts.

"They were putting it to us. Once, I was totally out of position on this three-on-one and Powell put the ball behind me," Thompson said. "But Chris Zuk kept it from going in and fed it back to me perfectly."

In addition to banging shots off McDonogh defenders, the Cardinals also banged a couple off the goal itself. Once, on successive shots, Steve Adams hit the post and Ryan Tolson nicked the crossbar before Thompson recovered to smother the ball.

"I know I had a couple of shots that should have gone in. That's been our story all year," Calvert Hall's Wagner said. "But their defense was great -- no doubt about it."

McDonogh created both goals off balls that appeared to be going out of bounds.

Poklemba's 12-yarder came from the left of keeper Tom Paparounis (two saves). After advancing the ball past two defenders, Poklemba let fly with only his third touch, slipping the ball inside the near post with 20: 01 left in the first half.

"The ball was going out, but I slid and brought it back in," said Poklemba, who has seven goals and six assists. "[Tim] Gober was their first guy on me, then their sweeper [Mike Duley], but I got by both of them. Their keeper thought I was going to cross it, so I banged it inside the near post."

After dribbling into the box, Wagner was winding up for the finish when McDonogh's Vinnie Ciarpella stepped forward, clearing the ball toward the sideline. Callinan managed to send it upfield. The volley bounced right to Chowdhry, who touched it once with a defender fast approaching before firing it into the opposite corner over Paparounis.

"That kid, what's he a freshman? Yet, he hits an unbelievable ball and scores," Karpovich said. "We don't score though, because my seniors want the pretty shots."

Chowdhry's effort hurt the Cardinals more than they knew at the time. After the game, Karpovich let his players know the damage "the kid" had done.

With one game left, McDonogh has a one-goal advantage (seven to Calvert Hall's eight) in goals allowed against league opponents -- the third of five tie-breaking criteria used to decide the top seed for the postseason tournament.

The teams are tied over the first two criteria, head-to-head competition and goal-differential (each having scored three times against the other).

Tomorrow McDonogh plays host to No. 4 Spalding, a team it defeated earlier, 3-1, and Calvert Hall has Loyola, a team it edged, 3-2, in overtime on a penalty kick.

Pub Date: 10/28/97

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