Competitive Spalding boys reverse form


November 06, 1996|By Pat O'Malley | Pat O'Malley,SUN STAFF

What a turnaround!

Archbishop Spalding's boys soccer team, 1-16-1 a year ago, took a 10-7 record into yesterday's Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference semifinal at No. 2 Calvert Hall.

The Cavaliers gave the top-seeded Cardinals a tough match, too, before being eliminated by 1-0.

The match meant that six of Spalding's losses have been to Calvert Hall (3) and No. 3-ranked, second-seeded Archbishop Curley (2) and 11th-ranked McDonogh (1), the tourney's third seed.

"This has always been a talented group that needed to learn how to play together," said fifth-year Cavalier coach Rick Carlson.

"We didn't react early in our league games (A Conference), but we've gotten a lot stronger mentally."

Spalding started off 2-5 in league play, including a humbling, season-opening loss to Calvert Hall by 7-0. But they have gone 5-2 the second half, taking the Hall into double overtime before bowing, 2-1, in regular season.

Juniors Brian Wright, Reb Beatty and Mark Cunningham, seniors Kevin Angelis and Kevin Burk, and sophomore Brian Madej have been the main contributors.

Wright leads the team in scoring with seven goals and nine assists and, Carlson said, "is as good as there is in the county."

Spalding went 2-4 with goalkeeper Beatty sidelined by a broken wrist, but upon the junior keeper's return, the Cavaliers have gone 8-3. The 6-foot-3 Beatty has posted three shutouts and five games settled by a goal.

"Reb gives our team a lot of confidence and is one of the best I've ever seen in our county," said Carlson, an All-Metro halfback at Severna Park in 1980. "He's a great athlete who keeps us in games."

Cunningham and Angelis are defensive standouts. Angelis' superb play at sweeper was expected, while Cunningham's was not.

"He marks the top scorer on the other team and has been a total surprise," Carlson said of Cunningham. "Mark was a projected 18th man on our team when the season started, but has been outstanding."

Cunningham managed to hold Curley's All-State senior forward Giuliano Celenza scoreless in one game and has been consistent.

Consistency and stability are what Burk has brought to the midfield, and sophomore Madej has developed fast to score seven goals and assist on four others.

Spalding's success can also be attributed to Carlson's perseverance. The coach has never used playing in what might be the toughest boys soccer league in the metro area as an excuse for his team's record. He's patiently built a program that can now compete in the A Conference.

Cream of the crop

Only two Anne Arundel County boys were named to the soccer All-State first team, but five girls were so honored. Midfielders Jimmy Traylor of Severna Park and Broadneck's Brad Limbacher were the boys on the Maryland Association of Coaches of Soccer 25-player first team.

The girls: forwards Erin Coppedge, St. Mary's, and Kelly Jordan, Arundel; backs Jill Harrison, Severna Park; and midfielders Melissa Murphy, St. Mary's, and Katie Rowles, Severna Park.

Norris to box here

Ballroom-boxing promoter Scott Wagner has landed a prize for his Nov. 14 pro boxing show at Michael's Eighth Avenue in Glen Burnie. Orlin Norris, the WBC's No. 2-ranked heavyweight and brother of Terry Norris, will fight the main event against Mike Dixon of Bristol, Tenn.

Norris, a Californian, is 46-4, with victories over the likes of Oliver McCall, Renaldo Snipes, Jesse Ferguson, Greg Page and Tony Tubbs. His opponent is a journeyman with a 16-19 record, 15 by KO.

"We've also got an NABO heavyweight title fight, with champ XTC Jerry Ballard on the same card," said Wagner. "It's our first heavyweight title bout."

Baltimore's Ballard (18-1-1, 18 KOs) is the current North American Boxing Organization champion and will duke it out with Vincent Boulware (29-9, 19 KOs) of Houston, Texas.

Ticket information: Michael's, (410) 768-7901.

Have something for Sidelines? Call Pat O'Malley's 24-hour Sportsline, 647-2499.

Pub Date: 11/06/96

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