McDonogh rolls to 'A' title

No. 1 Eagles dominate No. 5 Mt. St. Joe

Lutheran wins 'C' crown

Boys Soccer Miaa Finals

November 11, 2008|By Glenn Graham | Glenn Graham,glenn.graham@baltsun.com

At the start of the season, McDonogh boys soccer coach Steve Nichols predicted that next year's team could well become the best he has coached at the Owings Mills school.

It was saying a lot, considering the No. 1 Eagles have reached the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference championship game in 10 of the past 11 seasons and were coming off the program's fourth conference championship with a roster that included the National Player of the Year and a handful of other gifted graduated seniors.

One year away? Not so fast.

The 2008 Eagles, largely composed of talented underclassmen with those big shoes to fill, can make a strong claim to being the best after completing a 20-1 season with a dominating 6-1 win over No. 5 Mount St. Joseph in the title game at Johns Hopkins' Homewood Field last night.

The Eagles, who got a stellar two-goal, two-assist performance from junior midfielder Mamadou Kansaye, went 16-0 in league play during the regular season and posted 16 shutouts in winning consecutive championships for the first time.

"We've had some great teams here, and next year's team could be unbelievable, but when you go undefeated ... this team's special," said 12th-year coach Nichols, who started eight underclassmen last night.

Two strong finishes in the first half were enough offense for the Eagles. Junior midfielder Connor Rockefeller opened the scoring in the eighth minute with a blast from 20 yards that found the far post. Kansaye, who assisted on Rockefeller's goal, made it 2-0 when he bent a free kick through the Gaels' six-man wall just outside the penalty area with five minutes left in the half.

"Team performance - that was it. Everyone came out and gave 150 percent, and we knew we just couldn't let up. It feels great," Kansaye said. "The loss to Perry Hall at the beginning of the season was a wake-up call for us. We knew we were a better team than that. After that, we came together and bonded together and did what we had to do."

The Gaels, who played the second half without leading scorer David Arnold because of a red card late in the first half, closed out a fine season with a 15-7-1 mark as the second seed. They got a late goal from junior midfielder Geaton Caltabiano.

"We were a young team, which had to learn each other's styles, and I thought we really came on strong at the end. It took us a little while to mesh, and as the season went on, we had a good run at it," Mount St. Joseph coach Mike St. Martin said.

C Conference

Lutheran 2, Chapelgate 1:: Senior Jon Jenkins scored the game-winning goal in the second half to lead the fourth-seeded and defending champ Saints to the come-from-behind win over top-seeded Chapelgate at Calvert Hall. The Yellow Jackets, who were 11-0-1 in league play during the regular season, took a 1-0 lead into halftime when Alex McCurry converted a penalty kick in the 25th minute. The Saints answered when Jimmy Woods scored unassisted 10 minutes into the second half before Jenkins provided the winner off an assist by Mike Steppe.

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