Celenza's scoring powers Curley past McDonogh, 2-0 Friars head for 5th straight MIAA championship game

Boys soccer HTC

November 06, 1996|By Jamison Hensley | Jamison Hensley,CONTRIBUTING WRITER

Guiliano Celenza 2, McDonogh 0.

In a battle of two evenly matched teams, Celenza proved to be the difference -- scoring both goals on tremendous individual efforts as No. 3 Curley (18-2) topped No. 11 and visiting McDonogh, 2-0, in an Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference tournament semifinal game yesterday.

"Great players step up in big games," Curley coach Pep Perrella said. "Nothing against the rest of the team, because we have a lot of good players, but he might be the difference for us against a lot of teams."

The Friars (18-2) will make their fifth straight trip to the championship game and their sixth in eight years. In the title game on Saturday, Curley faces No. 2 Calvert Hall, which has handed the Friars their only two losses of the year.

"We expect it, and other teams come here with our winning tradition in their heads," Perrella said. "Five straight times is difficult. When I look back, it has taken luck and a lot of great players. Fortunately, I've had both."

And fortunately, he has Celenza for one more game.

Celenza, a two-time All-Metro pick and last year's Baltimore City/County Player of the Year, added onto his storied high school career with two thrilling goals.

After several near misses, Celenza broke a scoreless tie at the 33rd minute with a direct kick just outside the right corner of the box. Attempting to cross the ball, Celenza inadvertently curled his shot into the upper left corner of the goal and just over the outstretched arms of McDonogh goalkeeper Bob Benson.

In the second half, McDonogh (10-6-1) matched Curley. The Eagles pressed the Friars' defense, taking five of the first eight shots after halftime along with three early corner kicks.

Enter Celenza.

After sitting out five minutes with a slight knee injury, Celenza came onto the field to rally the Friars once again with 4: 20 remaining.

After stealing the ball from Haroki Kawase just inside his team's penalty box, Celenza dribbled upfield. And dribbled. And dribbled.

Celenza outran nearly the entire McDonogh team, driving the length of the field with just one defender remaining. But with a simple pass fake to his right, Celenza had a clear path for a low-angled shot into the left corner.

"You just don't see that -- a player going coast-to-coast," Perrella said. "But that's Guiliano."

It was Curley's third win over McDonogh this season. The Friars swept the season series by scores of 4-0 and 3-2.

"We were very confident coming into this game," Seal said. "I didn't think any team could beat us three times in a row."

But the Eagles couldn't slow down Celenza.

Calvert Hall 1, Spalding 0: Brett Wagner's goal on an assist from Tim Gober at 25: 20 of the first half was enough to lift the host Cardinals (20-0-1) over the Cavaliers in an MIAA A Conference semifinal game.

Boys' Latin 2, Friends 0: Matt Thanner and David Ulrich each scored second-half goals to lead the Lakers (13-4-1) to victory in an MIAA B Conference semifinal.

St. Mary's 1, St. Paul's 0: Will Lahneman's ground ball goal off Adam Shiley's header just over a minute into the second half lifted host St. Mary's (12-5-1) over St. Paul's (10-7-1) in an MIAA B Conference semifinal. The Saints advance to Saturday's 2: 30 p.m. championship versus Boys Latin.

Pub Date: 11/06/96

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