It was a rematch of last season’s MIAA A Conference championship final, not to mention a meeting of two nationally ranked soccer squads, Tuesday in Irvington, when McDonogh paid a visit on Mount St. Joseph in the 2010 league opener for both teams.
McDonogh, ranked No. 3 locally by VSN, was at the top of its form in this one, as the Eagles started fast and rolled to a 3-0 win over the Gaels, who came in holding the area’s top ranking.
Kyle DeVinney sparked McDonogh by heading home a goal in the game’s seventh minute and then added the Eagles’ second goal, at 38:55 of the second half. Less than two minutes later, the Eagles benefitted from an own goal to take a commanding lead, while McDinogh’s sophomore keeper Matt Sanchez was authoring a shutout.
“On the first goal, we ran a set piece; Malcolm (Harris) kicked it in, and I found it on my head,” said DeVinney. “On the second one, Ryan Kennedy dribbled down the sideline past a few guys, and he crossed it.”.
Eagle coach Steve Nichols praised Kennedy’s work on the play.
“Ryan Kennedy created a phenomenal goal,” said Nichols. “It was a good performance today.”
When we come out and play hard, we’re going to be tough to beat, ” added Nichols. “(Julian) Griggs and (Mike) Gamble are probably the best 1-2 combination in high school soccer, and when Malcolm Harris and Matt Shinsky play hard on defense as well, those four set a standard for us.”
Shinsky said, “Coach told us that we weren’t communicating well in the preseason, so we worked on that. The loss to Perry Hall on Saturday gave us a little spark, but coming out against St. Joe, who we lost to in the finals last year, everyone was excited and we came out flying today.”
“Coach told us at half time to come out on fire, and we got two goals in rapid succession,” said Griggs. “Mount St. Joe has a lot of great players; it’s a rivalry game now for us when we play them.”
They (McDonogh) came out in the first 15 minutes, got a free kick, and swung it into the box,” said St. Joe coach Mike St. Martin. “I’m disappointed, of course,. We came together at the end of the first half, but we didn’t come out in the second half like we needed to.”
McDonogh 3, Mount St. Joseph 0
Goals: McD-DeVinney 2; own goal.
Assists: McD-Harris, Kennedy.
Saves: McD-Sanchez 3; MSJ- Ramsland 3.
Half: McDonogh, 1-0.