Loyola, Mount St. Joe prevail to reach final

Boys soccer

High Schools


The strength of the top-ranked Loyola boys soccer team is a confident and sturdy defense. And there's no question where it all starts: goalkeeper Akira Fitzgerald.

The senior All-Metro standout anchored a defense that kept a powerful McDonogh attack scoreless for 100 minutes and then took over in the deciding penalty-kicks shootout yesterday, sending the Dons to their first Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference championship game since 1990.

Loyola (15-2-5) won on penalty kicks by a 4-2 count with Fitzgerald diving on one save and then capping the victory by scoring on the Dons' last kick. Defending league champ McDonogh (15-6-1) ends a streak of seven consecutive championship game appearances.

For Fitzgerald and the senior-laden Dons, their chance at a league crown will come on Saturday when they meet No. 5 Mount St. Joseph - a 2-0 upset winner over No. 2 Calvert Hall in yesterday's other semifinal. Game time is set for 3 p.m. at UMBC Stadium.

"Oh my gosh, it's just unbelievable. Our defense played with a lot of heart - everybody did - and as a captain I'm just so proud of everybody," said Fitzgerald, who had nine saves.

The third-ranked Eagles will look back on a first half when they controlled play and created chances, but were unable to finish. Freshman forward Chris Agorsor had the game's best chance in the second minute, but his shot from 6 yards went off the near post.

Mount St. Joseph 2, Calvert Hall 0 -- Stafford Chipungu had a goal and an assist, and Patrick Curley scored as the visiting Gaels (19-4-3) beat the Cardinals (17-3-3) for the second time this season. Chipungu scored 10 minutes into the second half, getting a pass from Tyrone Hall - who had flicked the ball on with his head - and beating the keeper with a shot from 35 yards out. It was 2-0 after Chipungu brought the ball across midfield and played it to Curley, who scored on a left-footed, 24-yard shot. Goalkeeper Ryan McDonogh (seven saves) and defenders Donald Gibson, Chris Robinson and Steve Bogusz anchored the Gaels' 10th shutout.



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