Loyola gets through, but Eagles get win

Top-ranked McDonogh triumphs, 2-1, after Dons score game's first goal

Boys soccer

High Schools

September 24, 2004|By Rick Belz | Rick Belz,SUN STAFF

No. 1 McDonogh recorded eight shutouts and surrendered two goals in its first 10 games.

So when Loyola's Tim Dubyoski scored in the 30th minute to put his team ahead yesterday, it shook up the Eagles' defense.

"We were definitely upset, but we knew our offense would score," said Eagles central defender Justin Lichtfuss.

That offense finally produced two second-half goals and a 2-1 McDonogh victory on third-ranked Loyola's home field in a battle of unbeaten teams.

McDonogh, which outshot Loyola, 15-2, improved its record to 9-0-2 overall and 6-0 in the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference. Loyola fell to 7-1-1 and 5-1.

Following the Loyola goal, McDonogh coach Steve Nichols changed his lineup, pushing Maryland-bound midfielder Mike Marchiano forward to create more offense.

"The game changed dramatically after that," said Nichols. "John Lindsay had been winning a lot of head balls for Loyola, but Marchiano started winning those balls."

Marchiano's header to the back post off Nick Gault's service in the 55th minute tied the game 1-1.

Marchiano, still not fully recovered from a broken foot, then passed to Maryland-bound Matt Beckman at the 15-yard line, and the Eagles' leading scorer (14 goals, four assists) beat Loyola goalkeeper Akira Fitzgerald for the game-winning goal in the 68th minute.

"We got caught out of shape on the second [Beckman] goal, and Marchiano just slipped away for a few seconds on his goal," said Loyola coach Kyle Swords. "Pushing Marchiano forward definitely put us on our heels. He's good in the air. They have quality players and capitalized. But I thought we showed we could play with them at times. It's still early in the season."

Loyola had allowed only two goals, both to Gilman, before yesterday's game. The Dons have seven shutouts.

Marchiano praised the Dons' goalkeeper, Akira Fitzgerald, who made 10 saves.

"Akira is incredible," said Marchiano. "He keeps them in every game. He makes the saves he needs to, but obviously a goalkeeper can only do so much."

McDonogh goalkeeper Alex Horwath didn't have many shots to stop, but was flawless on two dangerous long throws, catching one and punching out the other one.

Dubyoski scored Loyola's lone goal off a long ball over the top of the midfield from central defender Matt Schroeder.

"I thought he was definitely offsides, but the ref didn't see it," said Lichtfuss, who teamed with Jeremy Sieverts and Nick Gault on McDonogh's three-man back line. "Marchiano put the team on his back in the second half, and that's a great sign for us."

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