Goalies make big stops, pre­serve tie

Baltimore Sun - - VARSITY - By Glenn Gra­ham glenn.gra­ham@balt­sun.com twit­ter.com/Glen­nGra­hamSun

The Gil­man soccer team has strong se­nior lead­er­ship in the back and a cou­ple of dy­namic play­ers who can quickly make a dif­fer­ence at the of­fen­sive end.

The No. 5 Grey­hounds also work hard for each other, stay or­ga­nized and believe.

Those traits showed up at No. 3 Mount Saint Joseph on Wed­nes­day. Out­played in a score­less first half and then sur­ren­der­ing an open­ing goal in the first minute of the sec­ond half, the Grey­hounds stayed on course to find the equal­izer and earn a 1-1 dou­bleover­time tie with the Gaels.

Mount Saint Joseph ju­nior Jake Mazzei gave the Gaels the lead and then Gil­man ju­nior Joe Me­lan­con tied the game with 15 min­utes left in reg­u­la­tion. Both teams had chances to get the win and three points in the Mary­land In­ter­scholas­tic Ath­letic As­so­ci­a­tion A Con­fer­ence game, but no more goals came in 20 min­utes of ex­tra time.

After start­ing the sea­son with a 2-3-2 mark, the Grey­hounds are un­beaten in their past eight — 6-0-2 in the stretch. They are 8-3-4 and 6-3-3 in the MIAA, good for fourth place with 21 points.

The Gaels, bat­tling with Calvert Hall and Arch­bishop Cur­ley for the two open­inground play­off byes, are 10-2-2 over­all and 9-2-2 for sec­ond place with 29 points. Calvert Hall, which fell to Arch­bishop Cur­ley, 3-1, on Wed­nes­day, is in first place (10-3-1 for 31 points) while the third-place Fri­ars (9-2-1, 28 points) were able to close the gap.

“We tied the game up, and I thought we had the bet­ter of the play after for a lit­tle bit and then it was a back-and-forth game,” Gil­man coach Jon Seal said. “St. Joe is a great team and we played them at their place head to toe and tied them. Both teams prob­a­bly de­served the point, and I think both coaches would have loved to have three points.”

Mount Saint Joseph coach Mike St. Martin was def­i­nitely think­ing win to get three points at home. The Gaels, who were com­ing off a 2-1 over­time loss at Arch­bishop Cur­ley on Satur­day in a game they led late in the sec­ond half, came out fast against the Grey­hounds on Wed­nes­day but were un­able to break through with the Grey­hounds lean­ing on their or­ga­nized de­fense.

But the home team even­tu­ally got the lead when Mazzei headed home a short ball sent in by Jor­dan Ehart in the first minute of the sec­ond half.

Trail­ing, the Grey­hounds started get­ting for­ward more fre­quently and found the equal­izer after earn­ing a sec­ond straight cor­ner kick. Luke Wulff kept the free kick low to the near post, where Me­lan­con was able to send it home.

Gil­man goalie John Philip­pou (eight saves) and the Gaels’ Nick DeShong (seven saves) made big stops in the 20 min­utes of ex­tra time.

“That was good to get that goal, but I was kind of dis­ap­pointed in the way we didn’t keep the ball as much as we could have,” St. Martin said. “Of course, they are down one at that point so they can’t sit back and they’re try­ing to press for­ward. But we had chances to put it away and we just didn’t.”

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