Handling the offensive burden early and then leaning on its strong defense the rest of the way, the McDonogh boys soccer team came away with a 3-0 win over visiting Loyola Friday afternoon.
Senior midfielder Jake Weiner scored in the second minute and senior defender Neal Desai followed with a goal minutes later for the early advantage. The visiting Dons often pressed, but the home team's sturdy defense, led by seniors Joe Meyer and Marquez Fernandez, didn't budge.
The victory assures the No. 2 Eagles (17-2) the top seed in the coming Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference playoffs with an 11-2 mark going into today's game against Archbishop Curley. The No. 12 Dons are locked into fourth place with a 7-5-2 league mark.
Crisp passing from the start gave the Eagles an early corner kick, which resulted in the 1-0 lead when Weiner pounced on a weak clear, firing from 14 yards and finding the right corner.
"It's very helpful, it sets the tone for the game because it gives us confidence," Weiner said. "It feels great. It was a set piece, and the ball came back out to the top of the box. I've actually had a couple of those this year where I've hit the post and I finally had one go in for me."
The Dons attacked in steady spurts after falling behind - getting a number of free kicks and long throws - but were never able to break through.
"One just wouldn't go in for us today. I think we've got to be a little hungrier, but also McDonogh did well. They're back four is solid. We created some opportunities - we just have to get more on target," said Loyola coach Lee Tschantret.
No. 1 Arundel 60, Northeast 0: : Billy Cosh went 14-of-19 for 209 yards and four touchdowns to power the host Wildcats (7-0) past the Eagles. Arundel's previous shutout was 54-0 against Chesapeake-AA on Sept. 25.
The Wildcats led 53-0 at halftime. Ronnie Harris finished with five catches for 90 yards and two TDs. Arundel had 440 yards of total offense to Northeast's 65.
No. 8 Poly 32, Northwestern 0:: Quarterback Antoine Goodson carried 24 times for 211 yards and scored three touchdowns as the visiting Engineers (7-0) blanked the winless Wildcats (0-6).
"Our defense played well today, held them under 100 yards total offense," said head coach Roger Wrenn. "Linebacker Dylan Acab had a great game with 11 tackles and a sack."
No. 11 Calvert Hall 21, Largo 0: : Brandon Neverdon led the visiting Cardinals (7-2) with 88 yards rushing and a touchdown past the Lions.
Phil Castronova and Patrick Fitzgerald each ran for scores as well. Adrian Amos intercepted a pass as the defense recorded its fourth shutout of the year.
No. 12 Eastern Tech 43, Catonsville 12: : Zach Burkhardt and Emmanuel Gbor combined for six touchdowns, two two-point conversions and an extra point as the host Mavericks (7-1) beat the Comets.
Eastern Tech opened the first quarter scoring with a 4-yard touchdown run by Gbor and led 27-6 at the half.
No. 13 Dunbar 6, Edmondson 0: : Phillip Quarrie scored the game-winning touchdown, a 25-yard run in the fourth quarter to lift the Poets (7-1) over the Red Storm.
Goals: M-Weiner, Desai, Frederick. Assists: M-Weiner. Saves: L-Peitsch 5; M-Sanchez 3. Half: M, 2-0.