Dons have eyes set on MIAA A Conference soccer crown
by Joe DiBlasi
Loyola Blakefield soccer coach Lee Tschantret, a member of three Baltimore Blast championship teams, starts his 11th year as the field leader of the Dons.
Tschantret played for Kansas City in the old
NPSL, the Albany Capitals in the APSL, and the Harrisburg Heat, a rival of the Blast, before he came to Baltimore, where he played for seven seasons.
Tschantret expects this year’s Blakefield team to contend for an MIAA A Conference championship. With experienced, competitive squad that is senior-laden and returns six starters, those expectations are well founded.
“We have some strong players returning, and some great young players,” said Tschantret, who has won two MIAA A Conference crowns while at Blakefield. “We will count on seniors Ben Gallagher, Matt Lala, Cole Hendricks, Luke Briggs and John Peterson.”
Loyola’s last championship came in 2014 when it spoiled McDonogh’s bid for an undefeated season with an upset in the MIAA title game, defeating an Eagles’ squad which was ranked No. 1 in the nation at the time.
“There are no bad teams in this league,” added Tschantret, who went 9-7 with the Dons last fall. “This team is excited about our chances.”
Tschantret expects big things from Gallagher and Hendricks.
“We will spend next week at a soccer training facility, and we’ll cone back ready to face tough competition in the conference.”
This season is already special for Tschantret. His son Massimo, a three-year performer for his dad is also a senior.
“Massi is role player. He fills in wherever we need him. It’s great to have him at my side.”
Pictured above: (From left) Ben Gallagher, Matt Lala, Cole Hendricks, Luke Briggs and John Peterson are among a core group of seniors that have the Dons primed to run at the crown in 2018.