Up against a determined Loyola team that was able to stay with it step for step through 100 minutes, the No. 1 McDonogh boys soccer team needed penalty kicks to move ahead in the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference semifinals yesterday.
While Andrew Bulls, Mamadou Kansaye, Chris Agorsor and Joe Vidmar converted penalty kicks for McDonogh, goalkeeper Tom Caso made a diving save on Steve LeVine's attempt and Adam Parr had his chance go wide as the host Eagles advanced to the league championship with a 4-2 shootout win after the teams played to a 0-0 tie through two overtimes.
McDonogh (19-1-3) will take on defending champion No. 2 Archbishop Curley - a 4-1 winner over Mount St. Joseph in a rematch of last year's final. Game time is 2 p.m. Saturday at Calvert Hall.
"Considering the conditions - it was cold, real windy - we tried to put it together, but everything wasn't falling into place, so it came to penalty kicks," Bulls said. "What our job was today was to get a win and get to the final. ... I'm glad we pulled it out today, and we'll definitely be geared up for Saturday."
The game's best chance came off LeVine's free kick from 35 yards that caromed off the far post 14 minutes into the game. Defensively, the Dons (11-6-3) limited Agorsor's chances by continually surrounding him with defenders.
No. 2 Archbishop Curley 4, No. 5 Mount St. Joseph 1 -- Sophomore Bash Kamara scored two goals and Mikias Teketele added a goal and an assist, as the defending league champion Friars (20-4) advanced to Saturday's title game. Kamara scored on a penalty kick midway through the first half to give the Friars a 1-0 lead at the break. After Teketele scored unassisted from 16 yards for a 2-0 lead early in the second half, the Gaels (14-7) pulled within 2-1 when Jay Huffman converted a penalty kick. Kamara got the goal back with his second of the game before Steven Anderson closed out the scoring. With the win, the Friars avenged a 3-1 loss to the Gaels in their regular-season finale two weeks ago. Their next task will be getting by McDonogh, which defeated them twice during the regular season - including a late 2-0 win - in a rematch of last year's title game. "It's like a role reversal from last year in that we're kind of the underdog going in," Archbishop Curley coach Barry Stitz said. "We definitely have to go in and play better than we did the last time, but the fact we're here and it's one game - anything can happen, and we're going there to win."