Cardinals' Lachowicz set to save day

September 27, 1994|By Lem Satterfield | Lem Satterfield,Sun Staff Writer

Calvert Hall's title-game loss to Archbishop Curley last year has left stopper Ryan Lachowicz feeling he has some unfinished business to attend to.

The Cardinals trailed 3-0 before Lachowicz pounded home their first goal with 19:51 left in the game. Four minutes later, the Cardinals scored again. But a final shot sailed inches wide of the goal with seven seconds left, securing Curley's 16-0-1 season.

Lachowicz earned All-Metro honors for scoring eight goals with two assists and anchoring Calvert Hall's defense to 10 shutouts. But the accolades weren't enough to wipe away the bitter taste of defeat.

"We should have played the entire game like we did in the second half," said Lachowicz, 17.

Lachowicz wasn't used to losing, having been a role player on the Cardinals' 1992 team which defeated Curley, 3-0, for the Cardinals' school-record 15th shutout.

"Ryan saw some spot duty on that team, but he's really blossomed since then," said Cardinals coach Bill Karpovich. "We had a lot of new people last year, but he stepped up and did the right things."

And it appears the 5-foot-10, 185-pound Lachowicz won't be satisfied unless Calvert Hall dethrones Curley as Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association champs.

"People know who I am now, so when I move up for corners and set plays, they'll grab me and do anything to get in my way," said Lachowicz. "Whatever they do, I know I've always got to be playing hard."

Lachowicz has only a goal and three assists this year. But he's anchored the No. 3 Cardinals (7-0-1) to three shutouts while limiting opponents to a goal per game. His powerful somersault throw-in has aided an offense, which has outscored opponents by 30-8.

"He's the guy we count on to settle and distribute the ball. He moves up on re-starts and he's got that somersault throw-in," Karpovich said. "He starts things for us and he's got to follow up and support the plays."

Lachowicz passed three tests in victories over No. 13 C. Milton Wright, 4-2, and in 3-2 decisions over No. 5 Severna Park and No. 15 Loyola.

"He was exhausted against Loyola, which had a lot of big horses and they put the ball in the air," Karpovich said. "But he's great in the air, so he's the first guy we want to the ball against teams like that."

Lachowicz's responsibilities only get tougher this week, beginning with today's matchup at Mount St. Joseph, a team which earlier battled then-No. 1 Centennial to a scoreless tie.

Thursday's game against No. 2 Curley will be a rematch of the last two Maryland Scholastic Association (now the MIAA) A Conference championship games.

Since losing 1992's title game, Curley (4-1) has lost only to St. Benedict's (N.J.). The Friars (16-0-1 last year) have an overall 21-game unbeaten streak against Maryland opponents, including 16 straight wins since last year's 1-1 tie against Cardinal Gibbons.

"Last year, I think we lacked the leadership to win the title," Lachowicz said. "But as a senior, I feel it's up to me to be more of a leader. I never saw myself as a key player until now."

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