When McDonogh and Gilman have played soccer against each other in recent years, scoring opportunities have been rare.
When the teams renewed their rivalry Saturday at Gilman, the trend continued. Tight marking and flawless play in goal were the highlights of the match as No. 1 McDonogh and No. 4 Gilman played to a 0-0 overtime draw.
Gilman junior goalkeeper Chase Wittich made eight saves — coming up particularly big in the two 10-minute overtime sessions — as the Greyhounds' record moves to 9-2-1, including 4-1-1 in the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference. McDonogh, which got seven saves from senior goalkeeper Matt Sanchez, is now 7-0-1 overall and 4-0-1 in league play.
The home team was happier with the draw, playing on even terms with the Eagles for most of the game, and holding their own for the last 35 minutes while playing a man down after senior midfielder Riley DeSmit was issued a second yellow card with 15 minutes left in regulation.
Since the 2010 season, the teams have played four 1-0 games, a 2-1 game and two 0-0 ties. Gilman captured the 2010 MIAA championship with a 1-0 win before McDonogh avenged the loss with a 1-0 overtime win in last year's title game.
"This is the third year where we've been playing these classic battles," McDongh coach Steve Nichols said. "They're always very organized defensively and they make it very difficult. We'll take the tie, but to be a man up for 35 minutes, we have to get the three points and not just the one."
The best chances for both teams came in the extra time.
With 1:40 to play in the first 10-minute period, Gilman's Sean O'Donnell unleashed a shot from 20 yards that was aimed at the lower left corner, but Sanchez, fully extended, made a diving save.
In the closing seconds of the first overtime, McDonogh freshman Aquinas Akinlosotu ran on to a long ball sent in from the right side and fired a shot from eight yards that Wittich turned away.
In the second overtime, Wittich also had the angles covered on shots by McDonogh's George Campbell and Akinlosotu to secure the tie.
"We held together pretty well for the most part and got the job done — a tie is better than a loss," Wittich said. "I was just trying to come out and make myself as big as possible, cut down the angles and it worked out in my favor."
Campbell had a strong game in the middle for the Eagles, while the Greyhounds got fine efforts from Chris Walsch and Sam Wancowicz in the back.
1 McDonogh 0, 4 Gilman 0 (2 OT)
Saves: M – Sanchez 7; G – Wittich 8.
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