Goalies make big stops, preserve tie
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.”