Loyola, Mt. St. Joseph garner split decision

Teams named co-champions in A Conference after scoreless tie

MIAA boys soccer

High schools


Top-ranked Loyola and No. 5 Mount St. Joseph play similar styles of soccer that depend on tough defense, solid goalkeeping and an opportunistic offense that catches the opposition on its heels with a long clear or quick set piece.

Yesterday, as dusk set on the field at UMBC Stadium and the unseasonably warm weather turned into a fall chill, the Dons and Gaels walked off the field as co-champions of the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference after a scoreless draw through two overtimes. Penalty kicks are not used to decide the championship. It was the third time this season the two teams played to a tie.

"I think both teams are strong in the back and obviously that shows," said Loyola coach Kyle Swords, whose team finished the season at 15-2-6 and captured its first crown in 21 years. "The goalkeepers are strong for both sides, so even when the defense does break down, the keeper is there to make a big save. That was the story for this game."

Loyola almost ended the game with 4:27 left in the sudden-death overtime after senior forward Tim Dubyoski took a long pass at midfield from defender Don Dokas. He then pushed the ball past a defender and appeared to have a breakaway. However, Gaels goalie Ryan McDonald charged off his line and leveled Dubyoski at midfield.

McDonald received a red card for the hard foul, while Dubyoski was helped from the field by two assistant coaches. Mount St. Joseph was then forced to go with 10 players for the remainder of the game.

Dubyoski was able to return to the field, but he couldn't help but feel the foul had changed the complexion of the game.

"I think I would have scored," Dubyoski said. "I saw [McDonald] coming and tried to get to the ball, touch it around him because I knew that if I get there soon enough I would be in the break or he would have to take me out and that is what he did. I wasn't going to let it keep me out of the game."

With seven minutes left in the second overtime, midfielder Zach Sell almost won the match for the Dons, but his point-blank shot from just 3 yards out was saved by Mount St. Joseph's reserve goalie Nick Smith.

"Both games in the regular season were just like this - hard, physical soccer," said Mount St. Joseph coach Mike St. Martin, whose Gaels finished at 15-2-6 and captured their second title since 2001.

B, C Conference -- In a match between the Division I and II regular-season champions, St. Mary's topped Friends, 1-0, in the B Conference. Senior midfielder Pete Bruce scored the game-winning goal with one minute left in the first half off a cross from Joel Bidnick. It was the first championship for the Saints (16-5) since 1997. Friends (14-2-1) won the championship in 1999. St. Mary's also beat Friends, 2-0, in the regular season. "In the second half we just worked very hard to hold them down," St. Mary's coach Myles Healy said. "It has been a great year." In the C Conference, Chapelgate beat Beth Tfiloh, 1-0.

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