In soccer, a 3-1 lead among top caliber teams is usually insurmountable.

When visiting Loyola held that advantage at Calvert Hall, at halftime of Tuesday’s MIAA A Conference quarterfinal playoff game at Paul Angelo Russo Stadium, there was certainly still reason for nervousness among Loyola supporters.  Afterall, No. 10 Calvert Hall had burned the 12th-ranked Dons earlier in year when Loyola raced out to quick 3-0 lead, only to fall, 4-3, in overtime.  And later, the Cardinals traveled to Blakefield and pinned a 3-1 loss on the Dons to complete the regular season sweep.

However, this time things turned out differently.  Loyola, behind a pair of clutch goals from senior Jamie Dubyoski, closed out the third-seeded Cardinals, 4-2, to advance to Thursday’s semifinals where they will meet top-seeded Gilman.

Just as they did in their first trip to Hall, Loyola opened with an offensive flurry on Thursday.  Joe Taylor opened the scoring at the 13 minute mark and Dubyoski footed one in five minutes later.

“Elliott (Andelman) served a real good near-post ball, and I was able to get my head on it, and I guess I caught the keeper out of position,” said Taylor of the opening goal.  ‘We came out hard and played with great intensity.”

Calvert Hall cut its deficit in half, at the 30 minute mark, when Evan Connell and the Hall faithful sensed another comeback.  With just 40 seconds to go in the first half, Dubyoski landed a dagger that sent the Dons to intermission with a 3-1 advantage.

Instead of riding a high into the half, as they did in their previous comeback, the Cardinals needed the half to regoup.  Calvert Hall continued to battle and Zach Wenger brought the Cardinals back within one, with a goal midway through the second half, but Loyola got the insurance goal it needed when Andelman booted home a penalty kick with a little over ten minutes to go in regulation.

“We came in here with momentum from the McDonogh game (the Dons beat the Eagles last Thursday in their regular season finale) and that helped us,” said Andelman.

“We got the Hall at the Hall under the lights,” said an elated Dubyoski.  “It was a big game for us after losing two times to them during the season.”

Duybiski credited midfielder Kevin Carter with assiting on his pivotal first goal.

“Kevin recognized that the back was out of position, and he played a great ball through, and I just took a touch on it.”

Loyola coach Lee Tschantret praised Duyboski.

“He works 100%, day in and day out, and he really battles hard,” said Tschantret.  “He’s a prolific goal scorer.

“We played well tonight.  It was a great high school game; Calvert Hall played well, and we played well.”

Calvert Hall coach Andy Moore was extremely gracious in defeat.

“When we got our first goal I think we were taking it to them at the end of the half, and we fought back in the second half and got it to 3-2,” said Moore.  “It’s disappointing, especially for our seniors.” 

Third-seeded McDonogh defeated Archbishop Curley, 1-0, in Tuesday’s other A Conference semifinal.  The Eages will play second-seeded and defending conference champion Mount Saint Joseph, Thursday in Irvington.  The semifinal winners will play for the 2010 championship at Archbishop Spalding on Sunday at 4:30 p.m.

To view videos, click on the Related Videos link above.

No. 12 Loyola 4, No. 10 Calvert Hall 2
LOY-Dubyoski 2, Taylor, Andelman; CH-Connell, Wenger.
LOY-Hackett 11; CH-Dillon 11.