When St. Paul’s dropped from the MIAA A Conference to the MIAA B Conference for soccer, prior to the 2009 season, the Crusaders were expected to dominate in the lower level – and they did.

When it came to the B Conference championship game, however, St. Paul’s ran into a brilliant defensive effort by Annapolis Area Christian and, after a scoreless double overtime draw, AACS captured the championship by prevailing on penalty kicks.

Fast forward to 2010.  The Crusaders had another strong season in the B Conference, but this time they capped it off as they would hope, with a 1-0 win over Boys’ Latin in the league championship game, Sunday afternoon at Archbishop Spalding.

The day’s only goal came off the foot of Sam Tana, from 20 yards, in the 60th minute.

“I didn’t even look at the goal.  I just let it go,” said Tana of his championship goal.  “Zac (Davis) is a great keeper.  He kept them in this game.  I knew if I just got one good shot off against him, and I got lucky, I could get it past him.”

Tana also said the Crusaders came in ready to step up.

“You can’t any bigger than this – championship game, lots of fans here.   We have a great keeper in Kevin DelMonte.  He came up huge in this game.  He came up huge in the playoffs.  We really came into our own in the playoffs.”

St. Paul’s coach Greg Schreiner expected a tough, close game.

“The intensity was there.  Anytime you play BL you know you are going to be in for a match.  Not only are they physically capable, but mentally they are incredibly tough,” said Schreiner.  “This game went back and forth all day long.  We were able to possess the ball a little bit and create some pressure off of that.

Schreiner all praised the effort of his defense and the goal scoring ability of Tana.

“Our back four really held up strong against a lot of pressure.  They were able to take care of that and feed the ball up to our midfield.  Sam Tana, a captain for us, a junior, an incredible shot and goal put us ahead and we were just lucky enough and strong enough to hold on to victory.”

Boys’ Latin head coach Don Rickles came up short in his bid to win his sixth title with the Lakers, but he was happy with his team’s effort.

“I am very pleased.  I am very pleased with the entire season, very pleased with the boys,” said Rickles.  “It was a well fought game.  That wind was a factor all day.  Whoever had the wind to their backs got the majority of the play.  The first half they had the wind and we were just trying to survive.  In the second half we had a good portion of the play, but they had a really good finish that scored their goal.  Great shot, great finish.  Hats off to them.”

This was the fourth MIAA B Conference championship for St. Paul’s, but its first since 2000, shortly before the Crusaders made the jump to the A Conference.

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Editors Note: A previous version of this article stated that this was St. Paul’s third MIAA B Conference championship. In fact it was their fourth. We regret this error.