Cardinals stop Quakers C. Hall to defend crown vs. Curley Boys soccer

November 09, 1993|By Lem Satterfield | Lem Satterfield,Staff Writer

Friends midfielder Myles Perkins lay on the Calvert Hall soccer field after colliding with opposing keeper Scott Simmons, who had beaten him to a loose ball with 15 minutes left in the game.

Simmons (eight saves) struck a triumphant pose, shifted the ball under his right arm and -- miming as if his left hand was a pistol -- shot Perkins.

With yesterday's 1-0 tournament semifinal victory over the No. 13 Quakers (13-5), the fourth-ranked Cardinals (15-1-1) had shot down another Maryland Scholastic Association A Conference opponent.

But if you ask Calvert Hall coach Bill Karpovich, his Cardinals are the ones who dodged a bullet.

"We played terrible today," said Karpovich, who was yellow-carded for disputing a referee's inaction when it appeared a Cardinal was tripped by a Quaker.

Calvert Hall next takes aim at its 17th MSA A tournament title tomorrow at Essex Community College against No. 3 Curley (15-0-1), yesterday's 1-0 winner over Gilman. The game will be a rematch of last year's championship, won, 3-0, by the Cardinals.

"If we don't get our act together in one day, we're going to get it handed to us," Karpovich said. "I don't understand the individual play all of a sudden among the seniors. From [midfielder] Eric Branham, to [striker] Mike Lance, to [sweeper] Danny Johnson -- they all played for themselves when they're supposed to hold this team together."

It was the second straight game in which Mike Lance (10 goals, 16 assists) was held without a point, but teammate Chad Piunti (12, five) has stepped up. Piunti had a goal and an assist in last week's 3-0 quarterfinal win over Mount St. Joseph, and yesterday assisted on the game-winner by Steve Rottman (six, five).

"We knocked it around in the second half and were like, 'See what happens?' " said Eric Branham. "Calvert Hall's been playing like that for 25 years, but for some reason the last couple of games, we've developed bad habits."

Calvert Hall made bad passes, mis-kicks and transient runs that often fizzled or went out of bounds, as Friends racked up 20 of its 25 throw-ins in the first half. And when the Cardinals did penetrate, they found 6-foot-2, 195-pound sweeper Brian Hamilton (seven, nine) or keeper Jamie Johnston (11 saves), who made six point-blank stops.

"We respected [Hamilton], maybe too much, because we knew what he could do," said Piunti. "We prepared well for him, but we weren't scared of him."

Friends trailed in shots on goal, 20-15, for the game, but outshot the Cardinals, 10-7, in the first half behind midfielders Perkins (seven goals, 13 assists), Rich Santos (nine, nine) and strikers Justin Ries (10, three) and Sean Armstrong (six, six).

"We dominated the first half and they saw some pressure they weren't used to," said Perkins. "But when they scored their goal in the first minute and a half, that kind of took the wind out of us."

Rottman's goal just 1:05 into the second half came after a 30-yard, somersault throw-in by Ryan Lachowicz (seven, two) landed near Piunti 10 yards from the goal and to the right of Johnston.

Piunti, standing even with the post with his back to the goal, flicked the ball backward past Johnston's left side, where Rottman slide-kicked it into an unprotected net.

The Cardinals took over from there, with Lance, Piunti and Branham having chances at another goal.

"They had problems playing around us in the first half, trying to work it in from the outside and cross it into the middle," said Hamilton. "But in the second half, they threw us off balance by switching the fields a lot."

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