Conference soccer preview

MIAA A

  • McDonogh's Connor Smith (10) celebrates a goal last season.
McDonogh's Connor Smith (10) celebrates a goal last season. (Karl Merton Ferron / Baltimore…)
September 04, 2014|By Glenn Graham | The Baltimore Sun

This week, Varsity Letters will take an in-depth look at the boys and girls soccer outlooks in various counties and leagues in the Baltimore area. On Thursday, the Interscholastic Athletic Association of Maryland and Maryland interscholastic Athletic Association A Conferences will be featured.

Here's a closer look at the MIAA A Conference: Coming off an unbeaten season and another league crown, No. 1 McDonogh is the clear front-runner in the league. But the No. 1 Eagles have plenty of company.

Six other MIAA A Conference teams are in The Baltimore Sun’s Top 15 preseason poll, with Loyola Blakefield coming in at No. 3, followed by league runner-up St. Paul at No. 4.

Gilman, Calvert Hall and Archbishop Curley are 7 through 9, respectively, with Mount St. Joseph at No. 11 and John Carroll the last of the deep field at No. 14.

Despite losing last year’s All-Metro Player of the Year, George Campbell, who is now playing at Maryland, and longtime coach Steve Nichols, now coaching at Loyola Maryland, the Eagles still have senior midfielder Connor Smith, who brings exceptional skills to control the middle with Tunde Akinlosotu and Eremuse Momoh providing the offensive firepower.

Last season, St. Paul’s came from the B Conference and surprised many with its impressive run to the title game – playing touch for touch with McDonogh until a late goal gave the Eagles the title.

The Crusaders will lean on senior forward/midfielder Nate Hall to carry much the load.

Loyola Blakefield has the makeup for a strong run led by seniors Gavin Barger and Ryan Conrad.

Calvert Hall looks to return to the playoffs with a senior laden squad, Curley features Tre Pulliam and a strong supporting cast and Mount St. Joseph should improve on the go with its young talent.

glenn.graham@baltsun.com

twitter.com/GlennGrahamSun

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