The two best boys soccer teams in the Baltimore area squared off in Owings Mills on Tuesday afternoon and, despite a strong challenge from No. 2 Gilman, top-ranked McDonogh pulled out a 1-0 victory to take complete control of the MIAA A Conference.

McDonogh’s Kyle DeVinney netted the winner in the game’s 60th minute, as he redirected a perfect
feed from Juilian Griggs, who crossed the ball from the left side.

The Eagles are now 13-1 overall and they improved to 8-0 in the A Conference where they opened a sizable lead.  The Eagles have 24 points, while Gilman (9-1-3, 5-1-2) remains the closest pursuer with 17 points.

The Greyhounds fought hard all day, and actually had the tying goal nullified when a push was called in the box with five minutes left in regulation.

“Gilman is the one team in the league that gives us problems and can stop us with their defensive personnel,” said Eagle coach Steve Nichols.

Nichols singled out Gilman’s Joey Cahalan, Christian Wulff, Tanner Vosvick and goalkeeper Andrew Harris.

“Joey (Cahalan) did a great job on Mike Gamble,” said Nichols.  “They protect Andrew (Harris) well, and he is a phenomenal keeper.”

Nichols said that Matt Shinsky, in the back, was the MVP for the Eagles.

“When they come in on a counter set, he keeps them penned in,” said the Eagle leader.

Gilman coach Jon Seal was gracious in defeat.

“I told my kids in the post game huddle that my talk would have been the same had we won,” said Seal.  “It was a great effort, and I’m proud of their performance. This was a typical 1 vs. 2 match-up, and I was very happy with the way we stayed in the game.”

DeVinney said that the game was one of McDonogh’s toughest all year.

“We know that teams are going to come out and defend in large numbers,” said Griggs.  “I pushed the ball by a couple of guys and crossed it to the end line and got it in, and Kyle got his big foot on the ball.”

“Julian drew a bunch of people and he dribbled down the sideline; my position on the team is to get an open spot and tap the ball in,” said DeVinney.

“That’s a very good soccer team, and we’re going to have fits when we have to play them at their place,” said Nichols.

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No. 1 McDonogh 1, No. 2 Gilman 0
GIL-Harris 8; McD-Sanchez 6.
Half: 0-0.