Dons get equalizer with 36 seconds to play then win in first overtime; Peterson has a hat-trick

John Peterson scored a hat-trick, including the golden goal in overtime to lift No. 1 Loyola to a 3-2 win over No. 2 McDonogh.

It was an MIAA A Conference soccer classic in Owings Mills on Tuesday afternoon, where an enthusiastic crowd got exactly what they expected, as the undefeated and top-ranked Loyola Dons came from behind to topple the previously unbeaten and second-ranked McDonogh Eagles, 3-2, in overtime.

Loyola’s John Peterson finished with a hat trick for coach Lee Tschantret, when he scored the golden goal at 5:28 in the first overtime.

“It was off a long throw-in, and Ben Gallagher had a great flick on it,” said Peterson for the game-winner. “I found myself open at the back of the post, and I was able to slide it past the keeper.”

The Dons were down 2-0 early in the game, but they battled back.

McDonogh’s always reliable Andrew Privett put the Eagles up 1-0 halfway through the first half, at 18:28, when he lofted a free kick over the head of Loyola keeper Pat Milmoe.

Two minutes later junior Mason Christian made it 2-0 on a perfect pass from Richie Nichols.

Peterson got the Dons on the board at 10:17 on a feed from Cole Hendricks, and after some outstanding saves on both ends of the field, by both keepers, the first half ended with the Eagles holding a 2-1 lead.

McDonogh and senior keeper Kieran Baskett turned back every Loyola thrust throughout the second half, including back-to-back attempts in front of the goal on the right side by Peterson, with a minute and a half to go in regulation.

But seconds later, Peterson found himself open again in front of the net and he drilled home his second goal of the day, to keep the Dons alive.

Peterson was the go-to-guy all day for the Dons.

After netting the winning goal in overtime, Peterson credited his teammates. “It was a great effort by the entire team.

“We we’re down by two goals, but we were playing great, so I wasn’t that worried. We showed a lot of heart in overtime and it was a great win.”

Dons’ coach Lee Tschantret said, “The comeback shows character and great fight by our guys.

“Both teams played hard and it was a great game. Even though we were a little sloppy on defense in the first half, we created a lot of opportunities on offense.”

On Peterson’s offensive display, Tschantret said, “John is very dangerous on offense. He’s becoming more of a complete player and other teams can double-team him anymore. He has found a way to get the ball to an open team-mate.”

McDonogh coach Brandon Quaranta gave credit to Loyola.

“They they came back and made some plays,” said Quaranta. “In the last 20 minutes of the game, we didn’t do enough offensively to keep the ball, and we didn’t attack. We didn’t defend the long throw with 40 seconds to go, and that is one of the things we work on every day.

“We need to get better and get ourselves in the right position for the playoffs.”

Peterson summed it up by saying, “We have a lot of seniors and we buy into what coach Lee tells us, and we were able to pull one out today. I am really proud of our team.”

The victory gives the Dons (10-0, 9-0 MIAA A) 27 points in the A Conference and five-point lead over the Eagles (7-1-1, 7-1-1) in the race for first place in the league.

After a home game with Calvert Hall on Thursday, McDonogh will get another shot at the Dons with a battle at Blakefield at noon on Saturday. In between the rematch, Loyola will host Archbishop Curley on Thursday.

Elsewhere in the league on Tuesday, Archbishop Curley blanked Archbishop Spalding, 6-0; Calvert Hall routed John Carroll, 7-0; and Mount St. Joseph edged St. Paul’s 2-1.

Gilman (6-2-1 MIAA A) was idle and holds a one-point lead over Curley (6-5 MIAA A) and Calvert Hall (6-5 MIAA) in the battle for third-place as those three can now put some pressure on McDonogh in the chase for a top two seed.

St. Joe evened its league record at 5-5-1 and, with 16 points, appears solidly in the playoffs as the Gaels currently sit in sixth place.

Pictured above: The Loyola players celebrate their overtime win at McDonogh.

LOY 1 1 – 1 — 3
MCD 2 0 – 0 — 2
Goals: LOY-Peterson 3; MCD-Privett, Christian.
Assists: LOY-Hendricks, Gallagher; MCD-Nichols.
Saves: LOY-Milmoe 9; MCD-Baskett 10.