1993 Boys Soccer

December 04, 1993|By Rick Belz

The first team at a glance

PLAYER OF THE YEAR

* Mike Libber, Curley, senior, fullback -- The sweeper scored one goal and added one assist in the Maryland Scholastic Association A Conference 3-2 championship victory over Calvert Hall and anchored a defense that had seven shutouts and allowed 11 goals during a 16-0-1 season. Curley's defense was under a lot of pressure in the title game when its starting goalkeeper broke his leg after 10 minutes. "His [Libber's] maturity held Calvert Hall off because they had their chances," Friars coach Pep Perrella said. Libber, 6 feet 2) controlled the air offensively and defensively for the Friars, and his involvement on all dead-ball plays led to him scoring five goals and getting four assists despite playing defense. In leading Curley to only its third unbeaten season, Libber displayed above-average speed and read the game well. Curley allowed two goals in just one game and never trailed. "Libber was rock-solid and the reason we won the big game," Perrella said.

COACH OF THE YEAR

* Tom "Pep" Perrella, Curley -- This season completed a cycle of sorts for Perrella as his team beat Calvert Hall for the MSA A Conference soccer championship. The last time Curley won an outright title (1968), Perrella, 41, played for the Friars. In between, Curley shared a title with Patterson in 1979. Only a tie with Gibbons marred an otherwise perfect season for the 16-0-1 Friars. It was the best record in school history. Curley, which never trailed this season, is 33-2-1 over the past two seasons. Perrella, who graduated from Curley in 1970, went on to play halfback at Loyola College where he was part of a 16-0 team his sophomore season. This is his seventh coaching season at Curley after two years at Towson Catholic. His Curley teams have made it as far as the A Conference semifinals four of those seasons, losing to Calvert Hall in the finals in 1992. "It was really special to win this season because it is the last for the MSA," Perrella said. He credits his assistant coaches, Dave Ball and Pete Eibner for much of the team's success.

ALL-METRO FIRST TEAM

* Mike Bailey, Curley, junior, halfback -- He scored seven goals and had 10 assists and was especially dangerous on set plays. He was also a factor defensively. "He has magical touches with the ball that are just instinctive," coach Perrella said.

* Eric Branham, Calvert Hall, senior, halfback -- Considered by many coaches one of the two best players in the MSA A Conference, the speedy Branham handled more of a defensive role this season than expected. He still scored four goals and had five assists. Several Atlantic Coast Conference schools are pursuing him. He also was first-team All-Metro last season.

* Dan Christine, Centennial, senior, goalkeeper -- He provided senior leadership for a young Eagles defense that allowed only nine goals and had 10 shutouts. "He gave us confidence and solidified our back," said coach Bill Stara. "He has decent hands, anticipates well, is smart and works hard." Christine is a two-time Baltimore Sun All-County pick. He had outstanding games in Centennial's only losses, both to Whitman.

* Chris Cosentino, North County, senior, halfback -- He scored 13 goals and had three assists and was The Baltimore Sun's Player of the Year in Anne Arundel County. Cosentino was a sound fundamental player with an outstanding free kick. "He was an intelligent player who knew what to say on the field to other players," said coach Steve Malone. He scored two goals in a regional championship loss to Severna Park.

* Mike Giuffrida, Fallston, junior, striker -- State champion Middletown ended his 18-game personal scoring streak in the state Class 2A finals, but he finished with 28 goals and 11 assists. His speed enables him to go to the ball well. He's tenacious on the ball and excellent in the air.

* Josh Gursky, Liberty, senior, goalkeeper -- The Baltimore Sun's Carroll County Player of the Year, Gursky possessed above-average athletic ability, sure hands and agility in the air. His greatest strength was his ability to derail one-on-one opportunities. Liberty (11-2-1) allowed 15 goals and had four shutouts. Gursky produced his best performance in a 1-0 regional playoff win against North Hagerstown.

* Ryan Lachowicz, Calvert Hall, junior, fullback -- The Cardinals' stopper moved up on dead-ball situations to produce eight goals and two assists. Strong in the air, he also took his team's long flip throw-ins. "He was our MVP and our target man," said coach Bill Karpovich.

* Steve Matcuk, Mount St. Joseph, senior, halfback -- The Gaels started 1-6 until Matcuk moved from forward back to midfield. Then they went 9-3 and Matcuk finished with 30 goals and four assists. "We weren't able to get him the ball at forward," coach Barry Fitzpatrick said. Matcuk scored three hat tricks and finished his career with 75 goals and 29 assists.

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