No. 3 Curley tops No. 12 St. Joe, 2-1 Boys soccer

September 18, 1993|By Rich Scherr | Rich Scherr,Contributing Writer

Nobody had to remind Archbishop Curley's Chris Shanahan about the scoring abilities of All-Metro forward Steve Matcuk before yesterday's game at rainy Mount St. Joseph.

It was Shanahan who two years ago drew the assignment to guard the 6-foot-2 scoring machine in the Maryland Scholastic Association A Conference semifinals. Then, Matcuk beat the sophomore badly, scoring twice to give Mount St. Joe a victory.

Yesterday, however, Matcuk was a marked man.

Thanks largely to Shanahan's close marking, Matcuk, the 1992 All-City Player of the Year, rarely touched the ball, and visiting and No. 3 Curley (3-0, 2-0) dominated most of the way in a 2-1 win over the No. 12 Gaels (1-4, 1-2).

"I stayed in contact with him the whole time and just tried to deny him," said Shanahan, now a senior. "He really got me my sophomore year. In my mind, though, I know it's all mental. I know I can beat him."

The back's effort was part of a dominating performance for Curley, which could have won going away if not for several missed scoring chances. The Friars outshot the Gaels, 18-5, and took 12 of the game's first 14 shots.

"[St. Joe] played hard, and they're real tough to beat on their home field, but I thought we did a heck of a job today," said Curley coach Pep Perrella. "We missed a lot of opportunities, especially in the first half.

"But I knew we'd get our chances [to score]. I thought the real key was Shanahan marking Matcuk. He's such a big part of their offense."

The Friars controlled the ball for most of the game, especially in the first half. The 1-1 halftime score didn't reflect Curley's domination.

The Friars had several chances to score early, but shots by Ryan Hax, Steve Ball and Giuliano Celenza all were met with acrobatic saves by Gaels goalie Greg Suekoff.

Curley finally broke on top 26:30 into the game, when Celenza's shot bounced off Suekoff and rolled to the side, and teammate Mike Hemelt fired a shot to the goalie's right to give his team a 1-0 lead.

But Mount St. Joe came back, evening the score on their first shot of the game -- 5:10 before halftime.

Halfback Jeremy Murray picked up the ball near midfield, raced toward the goal, beat a defender to his left and shot over the sliding Dennis Merryman in goal.

But it didn't take long for Curley to regain control in the second half.

Just 3:24 after the break, Hax beat his defender, then sent a pass in front to Steve Ball, who put it in for a 2-1 lead.

The Gaels' best chance to tie came with under five minutes to play, when Matcuk's diving bid to head in a low crossing pass fell inches short, and Merryman caught the ball on the fly.

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