On Friday afternoon at McDonogh School, Perry Hall freshman goalkeeper Austin Kroll made a dozen saves as the ninth-ranked Gators edged No. 11 Archbishop Curley, 3-2, in the Adidas Classic.
Saturday afternoon on the same Owings Mills pitch, Kroll and the staunch Perry Hall defense made it two in a row against MIAA A Conference competition, as coach Danny Skelton’s squad shutout No. 2 McDonogh,1-0, in regulation.
Kroll had 11 saves on Saturday, the last three of which bordered on spectacular against McDonogh’s powerful offense lead by Michael Gamble and Julian Griggs.
Kroll gave credit to defenders Nick Libertro, Mike Black, Mitchell Long and Timmy Brooks.
“They were great back there,” said the freshman keeper. “I knew that they [McDonogh] were a nationally ranked team, and I knew I had to step up today.”
Liberto said that McDonogh kept pushing their best players forward at the end.
“We had to pack it in and play with intensity, and we did,” said the senior captain.
Mitchell said that the Gators had to win every tackle.
“We knew if we kept playing our game that good things would happen,” Mitchell said.
Joe Glos put the Gators on top 11 minutes into the game on what turned out to be the only score of the day.
“Nick Liberto played a great through ball, and I got in and finished it,” said Glos.
Glos, Vinnie Magliano and Tyler Russell all had goals against Curley on Friday.
Skelton said that anytime you play a team like McDonogh you know it’s going to be a tough game.
“After our loss to Reservoir [on Tuesday] we started to lose a little confidence, and I reminded them that they can compete at this level with any team that steps on the field,” said Skelton. “We knew that we had to be strong defensively against Curley, and we had to play with intensity against McDonogh.”
Perry Hall improved to 2-1 with the win. The Gators will host No. 12 and defending Class 1A state champ Loch Raven on Wednesday in what should be another battle royal for the Gators.
McDonogh will open the MIAA A Conference season against defending champion and No. 1 Mount Saint Joe on Tuesday in Irvington. The Mount kept the Eagles from winning their third straight A Conference crown in last season’s championship game, which the Gaels won on penalty kicks.
In Saturday’s other game, Curley tied Malvern Prep (PA), 1-1. Sophomore Brad Warencicz netted the game tying goal for Curley in the second half. The Friars (1-2-1) will host Calvert Hall College Tuesday in the renewal of their annual Alumni Cup battle.
Editor’s Note: An earlier version of this story listed Perry Hall’s record at 2-2, but it is actually 2-1, as a scrimmage was counted as a game. VSN regrets this mistake.
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No. 9 Perry Hall 1, No. 2 McDonogh 0
Saves: McD-Barth 3, Sanchez 3; PH-Kroll 11.
Half: Perry Hall, 1-0.