Eagles extract revenge for an upset loss to the Dons four years ago
by Joe DiBlasi
Four years removed from spectacular loss to Loyola in the MIAA A Conference championship match, which denied McDonogh School an undefeated season and the nation’s No. 1 ranking, Eagle nation has extracted its revenge.
In the cold of the early evening, Sunday at Anne Arundel Community College, fourth-ranked and second-seeded McDonogh battled top-ranked and undefeated Loyola battled through 100 minutes of scoreless action, including two 10-minute overtime periods. The Eagles then spoiled the Dons’ bid for a perfect season by winning a penalty kick shootout, 7-6, to escape with their second straight MIAA A crown.
McDonogh’s senior goalkeeper Kieran Baskett was the hero for the Eagles.
In addition to stopping seven Loyola shots during regulation and the two overtime periods, the Canadian transfer saved three Loyola penalty kicks in the shootout. Moreover, after eight teammates had fired at Loyola keeper Pat Milmoe during the PK shootout, it was Baskett, who came out of the goal to strike what proved to be the winning penalty kick.
“Our guys did a great job and they fought to the end,” said Baskett. “I’m so proud; it’s the best way to win. Congratulations to Loyola they’re a good team and they had a great season.”
McDonogh coach Brandon Quaranta agreed.
“It was a fantastic game,” said Quaranta. “My first thoughts go to Loyola. I was in that situation (four) years ago when I had an undefeated season and beat a team twice during the year and then got knocked off in the championship. My heart goes out to his players. They had one of those special seasons in MIAA history despite tonight.”
What makes McDonogh’s title game performance even more impressive is how well they played after a late season slump which saw them lost four of five, including a 5-0 rout at the hands of the Dons last week.
Well, whatever ailed the Eagles has been cured.
McDonogh (13-4-1) had the better of play much of the night and pressed hard for the winning goal in regulation. Senior Andrew Privett, who is so strong on set pieces, had a brilliant direct kick punched over the cross-bar and he took a spinning left-footed shot which crashed off the left post.
Loyola coach Lee Tschantret expressed the disappoint his kids are experiencing.
“I’m heartbroken for the boys for the work they put in, and for the group that they are,” said Tscantret. “We played well and kept a majority of the possessions and they were dangerous on set-pieces, and well-organized defensively. It came down to penalty kicks. I’m really proud of the soccer we played this year.”
Loyola concluded its season at 19-1.
MIAA A CONFERENCE SOCCER CHAMPIONSHIP
(at Anne Arundel Community College)
NO. 4 MCDONOGH 0, NO. 1 LOYOLA (MCD PK’s, 7-6)
MCD 0 0 – 0 0 – (7) — 1
LOY 0 0 – 0 0 – (6) — 0
SAVES: MCD-Baskett 7; LOY-Milmore 6.