The season long battle for the top spots in the MIAA A Conference soccer standings is nearly settled. With one game to go for each team, the six playoff teams are known, although a couple of seeds could still change hands.
At the top of the conference, No. 1 Archbishop Curley and No. 2 Mount St. Joseph each registered shutout wins on Wednesday and have each secured first round byes in the playoffs. Entering Friday’s final day of league play, Curley (17-3-2, 12-2-1), which defeated St. Paul’s, 6-0 in Brooklandville, holds a two-point lead over St. Joe (13-2-2, 11-2-2), which blanked John Carroll, 2-0, for the top spot.
Curley can clinch the top seed with a win or tie in its final game at Gilman. Should the Friars falter, St. Joe could move into the top spot with a win at St. Paul’s in its finale.
In it’s victory, Wednesday, Curley got two goals each from Ben Stitz and Matt Brumett, while Logan Peterson and Kyle Cappucci scored once each, and Nick Balcer added a pair of assists. In the Gaels’ win, Ian Reger and Brett St. Martin did the scoring honors.
At Archbishop Spalding, No. 9 Gilman jumped on top 2-0 over the Cavaliers and held on for a 2-1 victory. Freshman Teddy Ndje scored the first goal on a penalty kick after Avery Merlo was fouled in the box. Merlo then added the second goal, off of a deflection. Also on Wednesday, McDonogh scored a 1-0 win to spoil Senior Day at Loyola Blakefield. Casey Settleman converted a toe poke during a scramble off of a long ball into the box.
Gilman (9-5-4, 7-5-3) is currently in fifth place, three points behind the fourth-ranked Eagles (13-6, 9-6). The Greyhounds and Eagles, which split during the regular season, will face each other in the quarterfinal round of the playoffs. Although the Eagles and Greyhounds could end up tied after Friday’s matches, McDonogh would own the tie-breaker, based upon a better performance against the top two teams in the conference, 2-2 for the Eagles vs. 1-2-1 for Gilman, should it defeat Curley on Friday.
Calvert Hall (12-4-2, 10-4-1), which was idle Wednesday, is locked in as the third seed and will host sixth-seeded Loyola (6-10, 6-10) in the quarterfinals.
Editor’s Note: An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated that Gilman held a tie-break advantage over McDonogh should the teams tie for fourth-place. This is incorrect. VSN regrets this error.