No. 3 Loyola kept the pressure on a tired Calvert Hall squad, which played a man down the entire second half, and eventually found a way to win, knocking off the No. 4 Cardinals, 3-2, in overtime of their MIAA A Conference soccer match, Wednesday in Towson.
The Golden Goal came off the foot of a newcomer in this long-standing rivalry, as freshman Danique Parker, the smallest player on the pitch, came through with the game’s biggest play.
With the clocking winding down to four minutes to go in the first overtime, Parker extended himself, nearly sliding to the turf, as he toed a diagonal shot off a through ball from senior Tyler Lynton. The ball then made an agonizingly slow path to the goal, just inside the near post, bringing the contest to a sudden end.
“Ty played me the ball through; I got a touch on it and moved it just enough to get it in the goal,” said Parker, who admitted he slid a bit as he tried to trigger the shot. “As a team, we showed heart. We practice for this, the runs, everything, we do it for this type of game. This shows who we are, Loyola.”
Loyola coach Lee Tschantret described the play.
“It’s one of those goals that forwards score. He was making a diagonal run near post and the ball was played through,” said Tschantret. “The keeper obviously has to come near post and he toe pokes it with the outside of his right foot. It was a slow rolling goal, but it went in. It was a great goal.”
It was another run by Parker that setup the Dons tying goal, in the 45th minute. Making another diagonal run, Parker was taken down in the box, leading to a yellow card for Calvert Hall’s Jeff Schaefer and a penalty kick for the Dons (3-1, 3-0). The PK honor went to senior Sean Clark and, for the second time in the game, he converted a penalty shot to tie contest, at 2-2.
Both teams started on equal footing and played evenly over the first 20 minutes, but it was Calvert Hall (2-1-1, 2-1-1) which broke the ice in the 21st minute. On a free kick, junior Zach Urbanski struck a hard curving ball up the middle of the field, where senior Dominic Fullano met it with an outstretched leg, redirecting a shot inside the right post.
The lead lasted until the 32nd minute when Loyola’s Brandon Pryor was fouled in the box. Clark took the PK and hit a low bullet into the right side of the goal.
Fullano struck again with five-and-a-half minutes to go in the half, to push the Cardinals back on top. On the play, junior Ben Alexander did some nifty dribbling down around the right corner before crossing to Clark who struck his shot inside the left post.
The intensity of the game picked up from there and eventually Calvert Hall defender Matt Breidenstein was sent off with his second yellow card, with just 30-seconds to play in the half, leaving the Cardinals a man short the rest of the way.
“Any time you get any points in the MIAA, it’s fantastic. If you can get three points, it’s great,” said Tschantret, whose squad is the defending league champions. “The flow of the game was a little bit back-and-forth at times, but I thought we had good possession. I thought we were creating a lot of opportunities. We just kept knocking at the door, knocking at the door. That’s how we got both penalty kicks, making diagonal runs in the box, being taken down.”
Calvert Hall coach Rich Zinkand said his team was at a disadvantage, but battled to the end.
“We’re coming off 100 minutes against McDonogh and come back out today a little short-handed,” said Zinkand. “Going down a man kind of put our backs against the wall. I am proud of the way we continued to fight. We worked hard. Give Loyola a lot of credit. They did what they had to do. They kept pressing forward and they ended up breaking us down there in the end.”
The victory puts Loyola atop the MIAA A Conference with nine points, while Calvert Hall and top-ranked McDonogh are tied for second with seven points. The Cardinals will travel to Archbishop Curley to face the Friars in their annual Alumni Cup battle of Friday, while Loyola will host John Carroll on Friday.
NO. 3 LOYOLA 3, NO. 4 CALVERT HALL 2, OT
LOY 1 1 – 1 — 3
CH 2 0 – 0 — 2
GOALS: Loy-Clark 2, Parker 1; CH-Fullano 2.
ASSISTS: Loy-Lynton 1; CH-Urbanski 1; Alexander 1.
SAVES: Loy-Hunt 3; CH-Loeffler 5.