Calvert Hall wins season long battle for soccer supremacy with No. 1 McDonogh with double-overtime victory for MIAA A title (VIDEO HERE!)


2021 MIAA A CONFERENCE SOCCER CHAMPIONS

CALVERT HALL COLLEGE CARDINALS


by Gary Adornato

Two nationally-ranked teams who battled all season for the top spot in the local rankings and the MIAA A Conference standings met for a third and final time, Sunday evening at Anne Arundel Community College, in the 2021 MIAA A Conference soccer championship game.

It was everything you could wish for from such an epic match-up, as the two titans battled into double-overtime before Calvert Hall junior striker Rich Monath scored his second goal of the night, lifting the Cardinals to a 2-1 victory and the championship.

Junior Rich Monath scored both Calvert Hall goals, including the Golden Goal in double overtime that lifted the Cardinals to a 2-1 win over McDonogh in the MIAA A Conference championship game.

After seeing top-ranked McDonogh dominate the last 20 minutes of regulation, repeatedly creating dangerous scoring situations, Calvert Hall (22-2-1 overall) flipped the switch in overtime and had the Eagles (21-3) under constant pressure in the first overtime and at the start of the second. It paid off when David Peters started a quick moving counter with a run up the left side. He pushed the ball forward to Monath who carried it a few more strides before crushing a blast in front of Eagle keeper Will Anderson and inside the far post.

“We were on the counter right away,” said Monath of how the winning score developed. “I just made a run down the line and David played me a great pass to finish it.

“It’s a great competition against them every time. The first time was only 1-0, the second time overtime, third time overtime again. They’ve won three championships in a row. They are great team. It was great to beat them.”

Another key for the Cardinals was defending McDonogh senior superstar Jacob Murrell who finished the year with 41 goals and 20 assists. Murrell did score McDonogh’s goal, on a penalty kick following a hand ball call in the box, with 21:30 left in the second half, but the Cardinals otherwise did a good job of containing him.

“He is one of the best players in this league,” said Calvert Hall senior defender Will Andrus of Murrell. “Our center-backs stayed on him for a while and whoever was near him, marked him tight and we shut him down. That’s what we hoped to do.”

Both teams had stretches of momentum, but high quality scoring chances were few and far between in the first half. The Cardinals created one, however, 13 minutes into the contest when Cody Angelini found some space and fired a hard shot that was blocked. The rebound came to Monath and he buried it with authority.

This was Calvert Hall’s sixth MIAA A Conference championship and their first since 2016. According to head coach Rich Zinkand, it took a great performance against a great opponent.

“Overall, just a great high school soccer game,” summarized Zinkand. “I don’t think it gets any better than that. The two best teams in the state, maybe beyond that, battling tonight into overtime. It was back-and-forth. They certainly had some opportunities. We had some opportunities. Thank the good Lord we got that final opportunity.”

McDonogh coach Brandon Quaranta agreed.

“I thought it was a fitting final for a great season,” said Quaranta. “Hats off to Calvert Hall. They are a fantastic team, one of the better teams in the country for sure, well coached, great roster. I think we both had historic regular seasons. I think the best two teams met in the final and I think the game was representative of what you want to see in the MIAA.”

Calvert Hall opened the 2021 campaign as preseason No. 1 in the VSN Boys Soccer Top 20 and defeated the Eagles, 1-0, in the first week of the season. The teams met again at McDonogh on Oct. 1 and the Eagles prevailed, 2-1 in overtime.

Two weeks later, Calvert Hall was upset, on the road at Gilman School, allowing McDonogh, which entered Sunday’s championship game on a 15-game winning streak, to move into first place and top spot in the VSN rankings – a spot the Cardinals will now reclaim.

MIAA A CONFERENCE SOCCER CHAMPIONSHIP

at Anne Arundel Community College

NO. 2 CALVERT HALL COLLEGE 2, NO. 1 MCDONOGH SCHOOL 1 (2 OT)

CH 1 0 – 0 1 — 2
MCD 0 1 – 0 0 — 1

GOALS: CH-Rich Monath 2; MCD-Murrell.
ASSISTS: CH-David Peters.
SAVES: CH-Nate Jones 5; MCD-Will Anderson 4.