St. Paul's defense shuts down Cardinals No. 2 Crusaders frustrate Calvert Hall in 10-2 rout

March 23, 1996|By Jamison Hensley | Jamison Hensley,CONTRIBUTING WRITER

The talk surrounding St. Paul's entering this season centered on offense.

The flashy midfielders. The sure-handed finishers.

But the pressure yesterday fell on the Crusaders' defense, which continually forced No. 11 Calvert Hall to take outside shots and powered No. 2 St. Paul's to a 10-2 victory over the visiting Cardinals.

"We definitely went out there looking for recognition," St. Paul's senior defenseman Rich Reid said. "The defense doesn't really get noticed because we don't score goals. We didn't go for any home runs out there, we just played within ourselves."

The containment strategy worked effectively, holding Calvert Hall scoreless for the first 22 minutes and the entire second half.

The close defense of Reid, Peter Belitsos and Bill Bond muscled Calvert Hall attackmen from the crease and made the Cardinals beat them from the perimeter. When Calvert Hall broke free around the crease, St. Paul's goalkeeper Rich Yost (18 saves) stepped forward to make the save.

The Cardinals (0-1) dominated possession throughout the game, especially in the first and fourth quarters. Calvert Hall had its best scoring chances early, but missed the net on four extra-man opportunities and two one-on-one situations with Yost in the first quarter.

"I was most frustrated offensively by our execution," Calvert Hall coach Bryan Kelly said. "We stood around and we couldn't throw the ball. We definitely didn't play as well as we're capable of."

Conversely, the Crusaders (1-0) took advantage of most openings the Cardinals gave them.

On an extra-man situation, Calvert Hall could not retain possession, heaving a pass that rolled to St. Paul's attack. As Cardinals goalkeeper Beret Dickson had to run 10 yards to get back into the goal, Buggs Combs easily tossed in the man-down transition goal to give the Crusaders a 2-0 lead with five minutes left in the first quarter.

Calvert Hall looked to build momentum after Corey Comen scored two minutes before halftime, cutting the lead to 4-1. But St. Paul's midfielder Chris Berrier won the ensuing faceoff, charged down the field and found an open Chris Kakel for the score.

The Crusaders broke open the game in the second half, scoring all five goals after halftime, including two by Combs. The defense shut Calvert Hall down for the final 25 minutes, killing off three extra-man opportunities in a span of six minutes during the fourth quarter.

"Our defense was outstanding and our goalkeeper Rich Yost thwarted some good shots," St. Paul's coach Rick Brocato said. "We wanted them to take long shots because we have enough confidence in our defense to handle them."

Yost was mainly tested by Calvert Hall with high shots, but he deflected several low, grounding shots with quick stick saves.

"He makes it easier to play defense," Reid said. "I didn't see a weakness in his game today."

Pub Date: 3/23/96

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