Calvert Hall defeated Howard, 3-0, yesterday, and Cardinals coach Bill Karpovich knew that a victory over the Lions was only a matter of time.
Two years ago, a sophomore-laden Cardinals squad was
TC trounced, 8-3, by an experienced Howard team. Last season, Howard won, 2-1.
But when the teams met yesterday, it was Calvert Hall (2-0) that featured nine returning starters, including six who have started the last two years, compared with two starters from last year for Howard (1-1).
"Bill's team has matured," Howard coach Rudy Storch said. "You have to give them credit. They're a good team, and they're old."
Said Karpovich: "We're just a better team [than Howard]. We've got better people."
For Calvert Hall, ranked second in The Baltimore Sun's high school soccer top 20, the victory was the second of the week over a team from Howard County. The Cardinals defeated Oakland Mills, 2-0, on Wednesday.
Three-year starter Bryan Bugarin, who scored the Cardinals' first goal with a header off a pass from Jeremy Baker in the game's 35th minute, said the seniors remember the beating from two years ago.
"I just wanted to beat them to get revenge," he said.
The unity that had developed between the Calvert Hall players became evident after Bugarin's goal and early in the second half.
Fifteen minutes into the second half, senior J. J. Kremer lofted a 35-yard shot just over the outstretched arms of Howard goalkeeper James Morrow.
Rather than sitting on their lead, the Cardinals turned up the pressure. But that should come as no surprise to anyone who knows Karpovich, who brags about his team's up-tempo play, even in adversity.
"When we were sophomores and they [Howard] beat us bad, we still kept playing our game," Karpovich said. "That's just the way we play."
The pressure finally turned into the game's third goal. Kremer, an All-Metro midfielder, added his second goal of the game when he scored off a pass from Bugarin with 7:41 to play.
Then came submission in the form of a wave of substitutes off the Lions bench.
"We're younger and they were able to play with more intensity than us," Storch said. "Look at how many seniors they have, and that explains it.
"If they were able to do that to us with a team of sophomores, then I'd be worried."
Centennial 3, Mount St. Joe 1
Top-ranked Centennial opened the season by beating host and No. 11 Mount St. Joseph, as Tod Downen, Josh Baer and Rehan Gill each scored a goal and Eric Tisher added two assists.