One team is pursuing history. The other seeks a place in Baltimore high school boys soccer immortality.

Calvert Hall and John Carroll, the area’s top two programs, will play for the MIAA A Conference soccer championship after winning semifinal decisions Thursday evening.

The host and No. 1 Cardinals defeated -ranked Archbishop Curley, 5-0, while in Bel Air, the Patriots eliminated third-ranked Loyola Blakefield, 1-0.

Calvert Hall and John Carroll meet Sunday evening at UMBC Stadium for the MIAA A championship.

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The Patriots (18-2-2 overall) are in the penultimate game, thanks to Josh Petty, whose first half tally was the difference. Petty collected a flick pass from CJ Rugle inside of 18 yards and put the ball into the far corner.

Loyola (16-5-1) increased the pressure and had a good run of play to close out the first half and just narrowly missed out on tying the game when Danny Kline’s long range shot from was pushed onto the crossbar and recovered quickly by Amir Smith (four saves).

Both teams generated opportunities in the second half. The Patriots’ backline stayed resolute, beating Loyola for the second time, along with a tie, this season.

John Carroll coach Josh Fendryk said the match “could’ve went either way.”

“Loyola was fantastic for big stretches in the second half. Our guys defended well and gave everything they had and put in a gritty 40 minutes to keep a clean sheet,” said Fendryk. “Loyola put us under some intense pressure in the later stages of both halves and our back line did what they have done for us all season.”

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All season, Calvert Hall has carried the weight of high expectations. The senior-laden Cardinals have handled it to near perfection. Thursday, Calvert Hall (23-0-1) overwhelmed Curley to remain unbeaten.

Senior Ben Ramsey tallied twice, and Ben Madore added a goal and three assists for Calvert Hall, ranked No. 2 in the country by and

“The expectations have been there from the beginning of the year and these kids have just responded week in and week out and it’s a tough haul,” Calvert Hall coach Rich Zinkand said. “We’re 24 games into it and it’s great to watch and fun to see and all the credit goes to them.”

In a dazzling opening 20 minutes, Calvert Hall was on its way to a 20th consecutive victory. Madore put the ball into the left corner off a pass from Cody Angelini in the ninth minute, Ramsey headed the ball into the net off a corner kick and converted off of another corner kick.

It was 5-0 at halftime. Juniors Ryan Belal and Mason Wakefield scored for Calvert Hall.

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It was the worst-case scenario for Curley coach Barry Stitz, whose young team struggled all year defensively. He did find solace in his team’s second half effort, keeping Calvert Hall off the board.

“Surely, this isn’t the way you want to go out — the game was pretty much over at halftime. But I was proud of the effort in the second half, nobody quit or rolled over and we competed to the end,” said Stitz, whose team finished 14-9-1, and reached an eighth straight A Conference semifinal.

Stitz, the longest tenure coach in the MIAA A, said Calvert Hall has the intangibles to go down as one of the best in recent years.

“They’re a very dynamic, dangerous team,” said Stitz. “They’re as good as I’ve seen in a long time on the counter…they didn’t give us a chance to breathe tonight.”

It’s down to one game for Calvert Hall, looking to complete a MIAA A championship repeat and stake a claim as the nation’s best team. The last obstacle is John Carroll, which produced the Cardinals’ only “blemish,” in a 3-3 tie in early October.

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The last MIAA A team to go unbeaten in a season was McDonogh in 2013 (21-0-1). The Eagles finished No. 1 in the nation.

“I think we’re definitely the best team in the nation,” said Ramsey. “If we win,, that’s 24-0-1, an undefeated season, that’s what we’re going to try to achieve. We’re ready to make history.”



Curley 0 0 - 0

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Calvert Hall 5 0 - 5

Goals: Calvert Hall - Ben Ramsey 2, Madore, Belal, Wakefield

Assists: Calvert Hall - Madore 3, Angelini 2

Saves: Curley - Griffith 3; Calvert Hall - Jones 1


Loyola 0 0 - 0

John Carroll 1 0 - 0

Goal: John Carroll - Josh Petty

Assist: John Carroll - CJ Rugel

Saves: Loyola - Jordy Eckman 6; John Carroll - Amir Smith 4