After losing at home by three goals in its first regular-season meeting with Mount St. Joseph, Archbishop Spalding's boys soccer team used a late goal to tie the Gaels in a double-overtime rematch on the road.
The teams met for a third time yesterday, again going into double overtime.
But this time, in a Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference tournament first-round match, the fourth-seeded Cavaliers rallied from a two-goal deficit to post a 3-2 victory.
T.J. Nairn's game-winning second goal was assisted by Pat Cassilly with just under two minutes left in the second overtime period as the host Cavaliers (12-8-1) ousted the fifth-seeded defending MIAA champion Gaels (10-10-2) in a game played during a chilly drizzle.
"The last time they came here and beat us, we weren't ready to play," Nairn said. "We didn't play well early today, but coming back from being down 2-0, it feels really good to win."
The Cavaliers will play at No. 1 Calvert Hall (18-0-2 overall, 16-0 in the conference) in a semifinal game tomorrow at 3 p.m.
Mount St. Joseph had taken a 2-0 lead on a first-half goal by Joe Walker and another by Jake DaShiell in the game's 48th minute.
"We thought we had the game," DaShiell said. "But really in this league, a two-goal lead is nothing."
The Cavaliers proved as much by scoring twice in a three-minute span to tie the game.
Gaels keeper Donnie Aro (14 saves) got a hand on Nairn's 20-yard shot from the right side, but the momentum of the already goal-bound balls carried it to his left, where a defender helped it in during the 72nd minute.
In the 75th minute, Aro blocked an initial shot from junior Fred Cassilly, Pat's younger brother. The elder Cassilly was there to put back the rebound from 4 yards.
"We already had the momentum after we scored the first goal," Pat Cassilly said. "But after the second goal, we were really pumped."
According to athletic director Lee Dove, Spalding has qualified for its first A Conference semifinal since 1997, when then-goalkeeper Reb Beatty (Loyola College) earned All-Metro Player of the Year honors and the Cavaliers finished as MIAA A Conference runner-up to Calvert Hall.
Despite two wins over Spalding, Calvert Hall coach Andy Moore is wary of the Cavaliers' comeback tendencies.
"They never quit - that's one thing about Spalding," said Moore, who scouted last night's game. "They're a tough team."