Celenza, Curley cruise to 3-0 win

September 21, 1994|By Lem Satterfield | Lem Satterfield,Sun Staff Writer

Curley's 5-foot-6, 135-pound sophomore Giuliano Celenza is shouldering some lofty expectations while playing for the third-ranked Friars.

Two years ago, his older brother, Anthony, helped the Friars to a runner-up finish to then 16-time champ Calvert Hall in the Maryland Scholastic Association's A Conference.

As a freshman last year, Celenza did what his brother couldn't, scoring the first goal in a 3-2 championship game victory over Calvert Hall to help Curley put the finishing touches on a 16-0-1 season.

Against No. 14 Gilman yesterday, the diminutive striker picked up where he left off, scoring a hat trick in a 3-0 Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference decision.

His effort came while battling a back injury and two larger defenders in Greyhounds Eric Holloway and Jason Mersey.

"I was afraid that I was going to hurt my back worse because they were grabbing my shirt and pushing me around," said Celenza, who has five goals and two assists.

"I just decided to stay tough and try to put the ball in the back of the net."

The victory improved the Friars to 4-0 on the year and 25-0 at home since losing to Mount St. Joseph, 2-1, on Oct. 23, 1991. Curley also has an overall 21-game unbeaten streak dating back to last year's 1-1 tie with Gibbons. Coach Pep Perrella improved to 86-28-7 over eight seasons.

Gilman and Curley each had beaten McDonogh and John Carroll, with the Friars winning by a combined 11-3 compared to 4-2 for the Greyhounds. Though the teams had seven shots each in the first half, Curley's skill gave it an 11-5 second-half edge.

Shawn Pasko, with help from sweeper Greg Loftus, collared Gilman's All-City/County player Corey Popham.

"They did a good job of shutting us down, even after I switched from forward to halfback to get room," said Popham, who had two shots on goal. "Curley just stays in your face and doesn't give you much."

The Friars' attack began in the midfield, with All-Metro Mike Bailey and Ryan Hax spraying passes forward to Celenza, a second-team All-City/County pick, on the left and sophomore Roberto Angelini on the right.

Celenza and Angelini, also a sophomore, then angled crosses toward center striker Steve Ball.

"We almost got into a kick-and-run game at times," said Perrella. "But when we started knocking the ball around, creating opportunities, we wore them down."

Celenza's first goal, 11:10 into the game, came after he beat Holloway to a pass from Angelini in the box, shook Holloway and skipped a 10-yarder into the net's lower corner to the right of keeper Noah Gallico (seven saves).

Celenza's second score, a left-footed shot 10:52 into the second half, came from 12 yards out after Holloway misplayed a cross from Ball directly to Celenza's feet.

For his third goal, Celenza settled a Ryan Hax pass and beat three defensemen -- the last being Mersey -- and placed a low shot to Gallico's right side.

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