Curley gains berth in semifinals, 3-1 Boys soccer

November 04, 1993|By Kent Baker | Kent Baker,Staff Writer

Pep Perrella couldn't decide whether to howl or to scowl.

"I couldn't make up my mind if I should pat them on the back for the first half or chew them out for the second half," said the Archbishop Curley soccer coach.

His third-ranked team had pulled a Jekyll-and-Hyde act yesterday in a Maryland Scholastic Association A Conference Tournament quarterfinal, but fortunately for Curley, the good side outweighed the bad.

The Friars played crisp, team-oriented soccer to roll to a 3-0 lead, then spent the second half in a survival mode before securing a 3-1 victory at Curley.

"I guess when you get up by three goals, there is a natural tendency to think the rest is going to be just as easy," said Perrella. "We deserved what we got in both halves."

Loyola, the fourth-seeded team from Division I, pressed the issue after intermission and was poised for a big comeback after Ashton Valente beat Friars goalie Dennis Merryman, who said he was screened, with 15 minutes remaining.

But the Friars (14-0-1) fended off the Dons (7-7-2) with the skill of sweeper Mike Libber and a host of talented midfielders and advanced to the semifinals against Gilman tomorrow at 3:15 at Curley.

The only blemish on the Friars' record is a 1-1 tie with Gibbons.

"We had some chances," said Loyola coach Jim Claborn. "But we had dug ourselves a pretty big hole."

Claborn didn't think his team was awed by the Friars' reputation after meeting such formidable teams as Calvert Hall, Oakland Mills and Fallston during the regular season.

"I doubt that was a factor with the kind of schedule we play," he said. "Curley plays the ball well, looks for each other and finishes. Their midfield controlled the flow quickly."

Curley scored only 2:21 into the game when freshman Giuliano Celenza tapped in a shot attempt by midfielder Mike Bailey, who assistedon all three goals.

Virtually the entire first half was played in the Loyola end, and the Friars built the lead on goals by Shawn Pasko (shortly after he had been shaken up in a collision) and Greg Loftus, the team stopper.

"I'm not complaining," said Perrella. "So many times you outplay a team and go into the half leading by a goal. So we had a nice cushion. When you get three, it makes everything easy."

* Gilman 2, Gibbons 1: Steven Burlingame scored the go-ahead goal at the 29-minute mark of the second half to lift host Gilman (9-4-1) over Gibbons (8-5-1) in an MSA A Conference Tournament quarterfinal.

Corey Popham stopped the Crusaders' top scorer, Steve Wojciechowski, with tight defense and the Greyhounds, who racked up 29 shots, held the Crusaders to seven.

* Friends 4, John Carroll 1: No. 13 Friends (13-4) advanced to the MSA A Conference Tournament semifinals, beating visiting John Carroll (7-6). Justin Ries scored twice for the Quakers, who will visit Calvert Hall tomorrow at 3:15.

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