It had been a perplexing 10 days for the second-ranked McDonogh soccer team, but the Eagles hope they righted the ship on Thursday with a 3-1 MIAA A Conference soccer victory over visiting John Carroll, in Owings Mills.

Ryan Kennedy broke a 1-1 tie with a score with 18 minutes to play and then provided an assist to Mike Gamble, who iced the victory minutes later.  Kennedy started a big afternoon with an assist on a first half goal by Julian Griggs, which gave McDonogh a 1-0 lead in the first half.

Before intermission, John Carroll battled back to tie with a goal from junior Danny Biel.

On Oct. 11 McDonogh (15-3-1, 9-2-1) was ranked No. 1 in the area, undefeated in the MIAA and steamrolling towards the top seed for the playoffs.  However, one day after the Gilman win, the Eagles lost to Archbishop Curley and followed with a tie against Archbishop Spalding and a loss to Calvert Hall.

With Thursday’s win, McDonogh maintains a two-point lead over Gilman in the battle for first place and can clinch the spot with a second win over the Greyhounds, or a tie, when the two meet on Tuesday in Roland Park.  McDonogh will also play at Loyola next Thursday to close its regular season.

For John Carroll (2-10-0, 2-9-0), the loss ends its playoff hopes for 2010.  The Patriots trail both Curley and Loyola for the final two playoff spots by nine points.  With three games to play, the best John Carroll can do is tie one of them, but they come up short in the tie-breakers against both teams.

No. 2 McDonogh 3, John Carroll 1
John Carroll
JC-Beil; McD-Griggs, Kennedy, Gamble.
McD-Kennedy 2, Callinan.
JC-Brown 7; McD-Barth 4.