No drama in McDonogh boys soccer's 5-0 win over Calvert Hall

Smith scores twice as No. 1 Eagles handle No. 3 Cardinals

September 24, 2014|By Glenn Graham | The Baltimore Sun

The No. 1 McDonogh boys soccer team is showing the same form as last season.

That doesn't bode well for the rest of the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Assoication A Conference.

The defending league champions visited Calvert Hall on Wednesday and earned an easy 5-0 win over the No. 3 Cardinals. After going 21-0-1 last season, the Eagles are 8-0 this year and 6-0 in conference play. In the eight wins, they've scored 36 goals and yielded two.

All-Metro senior midfielder Connor Smith (2 goals, 1 assist) was once again the offensive catalyst, scoring eight minutes into the game. Junior center back Michael DeShields (1 goal, 2 assists) was instrumental in making sure the Eagles had the ball most of the 80 minutes.

"I think over the last week things have started clicking for us," McDonogh coach Brandon Quaranta said. "Offensively, we've been scoring goals all season. But our build-up play, our possession has been better the last week and defensively we raised the level a bit. So you're just starting to see us hitting our stride. Obviously, there's still some areas we can improve and we're trying to do that every day, especially coming into a big contest at Loyola [Blakefield] on Saturday."

The Eagles held possession for much of the game and pressured successfully on the rare times they didn't. They also finished scoring chances.

Smith, as he has done all season, got things started. He nimbly dribbled past two defenders before neatly placing a shot from eight yards away for the goal that helped the Eagles settle in. He was quick to praise the unified team effort.

"I think this is one of our best efforts," he said. "The key to our success is our defensive pressure. If we can turn the ball over in their half of the field, then we can go at teams. Today was a very good effort."

The Eagles scored twice in a two-minute stretch midway through the first half to go up 3-0 and essentially put the game away. From midfield, DeShields provided a precise through ball to Tunde Akinlosotu, who was just as accurate with a shot from 12 yards that just found the far post.

Smith scored his second goal on a penalty kick with 20:24 to play and the Eagles made it 4-0 when DeShields finished a chance with less than a minute left in the half.

"All we try to do is get the ball, have the ball the whole time and that's what the defensive pressure does," DeShields said. "So as soon as we get the ball, we keep it and that's how we wear down teams."

The Cardinals (5-1-1, 3-1-1) were the latest.

"[McDonogh is] a great team with a lot of good individual players. You definitely need to be on top of your game to compete with them this season and it has to be for all 80 minutes," Calvert Hall coach Rich Zinkand said. "I thought we had some sequences where we did OK, but not nearly enough to compete for 80 minutes with that team.

"We're still in good position and we can't let this one game define our season, so hopefully we can have short memories and just [get] right back at it tomorrow."

The Cardinals got 10 saves from junior goalie Sam Loeffler.

No. 1 McDonogh 5, No. 3 Calvert Hall 0

Goals: M – Smith 2, Akinlosotu, DeShields, Momoh

Assists: M – DeShields 2, Smith

Saves: M – Black 3; CH – Loeffler 10

Half: M, 4-0

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