Alexander halts Eagles rally, scores winning goal in overtime
Every soccer coach from the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference will say nothing comes easy in the area’s deepest league. Calvert Hall can attest.
At home and seemingly in control with a late two-goal lead against defending champion McDonogh, the No. 1 Cardinals ended up needing an overtime goal from senior forward Ben Alexander to escape with a thrilling 3-2 win over the No. 4 Eagles.
Jacob Steinberg and Aidan Welsh scored three minutes apart for the Eagles, the tying goal coming with 5:15 left in regulation. The Cardinals regrouped before overtime, and Alexander one-timed a feed from Chris Carroll with 6:23 left in the first overtime period to pull out the victory. Alexander had two goals, with Carroll assisting on both.
Calvert Hall improved to 4-0 overall and 3-0 in the MIAA. McDonogh, with a cast largely different from that of last year’s title team, fell to 2-2, 1-2.
“I like the way we responded in overtime. We talked about facing adversity, and this was the first time we had to,” Calvert Hall coach Rich Zinkand said. Alexander and Carroll “have a nice connection.”
The Cardinals controlled play for most of the first half. After they were unable to finish on a couple of opportunities early, they scored the game’s first goal midway through the period, with junior forward James Rosa providing the finish. Senior Brady O’Connor made a strong run down the left side before finding Rosa, who hit a heavy shot from 18 yards that McDonogh goalie William Little got his hands on but couldn’t keep out.
The Cardinals appeared to take hold of the game when Alexander scored his first goal with 13:30 to play. But McDonogh kept working and got a goal back on Steinberg’s tally before Welsh followed up on Patrick Brundidge’s shot with five-plus minutes left.
“The second half, we came out and looked like a different team,” McDonogh coach Brandon Quaranta said. “Even though they got the second goal, I thought we were playing well, and then we showed good fight in the last eight minutes to equalize against a team that could have easily put us away.”
Calvert Hall’s Chris Carroll, left, and Jared Moses of McDonogh battle for the ball in the first half. Carroll had two assists, including one on the game-winner in overtime.