Mount St. Joe's latest rally big one, 3-2

Gaels unseat McDonogh for A Conference crown

MIAA soccer

November 11, 2001|By Mike Frainie | Mike Frainie,Special to The Sun

Mount St. Joseph has shown a knack for come-from-behind wins. Why should a championship game be any different?

The No. 8 Gaels (18-5-1) spotted defending champion and No. 4 McDonogh (16-7-1) a one-goal lead, then scored three straight goals to earn a 3-2 victory and the MIAA A Conference soccer championship at Homewood Field yesterday.

The win gave Mount St. Joseph its first soccer title since 1978.

The Gaels advanced to the final by spotting Loyola a 1-0 lead en route to a 3-1 win. They also allowed other teams leads during the regular season before rallying to victory.

"They came out hard, and we knew what we had to do," said junior Jake Dashiell, who scored two of the Gaels' goals. "This happens to us every time. It seemed to wake us up. We knew we were better than the way we were playing."

After a scoreless first half, the Eagles got on the board first. Kyle McHugh's kick off a restart bounced off the artificial turf and over goalie Dave Semko's head untouched just six minutes into the period.

At that point, the Gaels began to get more aggressive.

They tied the game with 15:23 left. Michael Dougherty's corner kick found Darius Pilius, who headed the ball past Eagles goalie Alex Horwath. The ball then bounced off another McDonogh player, who, the referee ruled, was standing in the goal.

The Gaels took the lead just 2:09 later when Dashiell took a great feed from Kurt Wilson and scored on a partial breakaway.

"He found me on the run in the middle of the field," said Dashiell. "I hit it hard and it went in."

Dashiell increased the lead to two when he beat Horwath low from a sharp angle to the right with 9:02 remaining.

The Eagles scored again with 44 seconds remaining, but by then it was too late.

"I thought we had all kinds of chances [in the first half]," said Gaels coach Mike St. Martin, "but we weren't taking care of the opportunities we had. It took us a while to get going, but we came through."

McDonogh coach Steve Nichols said a five-minute span in the middle of the second half decided the game.

"When you play a zone and you're up a goal, you can't be tentative," he said. "I think that was key. We fought hard, but we just came up on the short end of the stick."

St. Martin said it has taken him five years to get the program to this point.

"We lose a great group of seniors this year, but we started some good underclassmen today," he said. "I think we're in good shape next year, and for a while to come."

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