Calvert Hall fights past Curley Letke's late goal propels Cardinals to MIAA A title

November 10, 1996|By Lem Satterfield | Lem Satterfield,SUN STAFF

About 2,000 fans braved a chilly night at UMBC, as Curley dominated on all but a few instances against Calvert Hall's soccer team on a water-logged artificial turf field.

But it takes just an instant to win a soccer game, and the No. 2 Cardinals' Cam Letke capitalized on it for the game's only goal with 5: 18 to play.

With it, Calvert Hall (21-0-1) dethroned No. 3 Curley (18-3) by 1-0 in the sixth title game meeting between the two schools.

The win, marred by a brawl at the end of the game, earned 30th-year coach Bill Karpovich, 57, career win No. 403 and his 18th MIAA A title.

Calvert Hall, outshot 15-7 overall, got a break when keeper Jason Muffaletto (six saves) was beaten to a ball by Brett Wagner about 12 yards out on the right. Wagner slid a low pass into the box, where Letke one-timed it.

"I ran up, put my head down and buried it," said the 6-foot-2 Letke, who has 21 goals and 13 assists. "Curley pushed everyone up, but luckily, we defended. It's a bloodbath every time we play them."

With about one second left to play, a one-minute brawl ensued.

"A great game had to be spoiled by that nonsense," said Karpovich, who then hinted, jokingly, at retirement. "I take medicine for high blood pressure. I can only take about another year of this."

In the three previous years, Giuliano Celenza (28 goals and 10 assists this year), Curley's all-time scoring leader with 77 goals (29 assists), had lifted Curley to two tournament crowns and a runner-up finish. His overtime penalty kick in last year's semifinal kept Karpovich out of the title game for only the third time.

"It's always been us against Celenza. He's a superior ball player," said Karpovich. "Today, though, others stepped up to help him."

But the Cardinals shut out Celenza, a two-time All-Metro pick, for the third time this fall.

"Curley was hungry, but we played better defense today than all year," said defender Tom Tamberrino. "Mike Duley [sweeper,] Ryan Tolson and Tim Gober stayed home and did their jobs. [Keeper] Mike Svehla held onto some slippery balls." Midfielder Mike Schaeffer also shined defensively.

Coach Pep Perrella said this year's Friars (65 goals) were the most prolific of his 10 seasons. But from Mark Suliga's early miss on an unprotected net, it just wasn't to be.

Celenza missed five times in the first half, twice from close-in. Svehla thwarted two more chances, and a 20-yarder went over the goal. Curley's Steve Novak hit the post, and both Ryan Cuomo (11 goals, 11 assists) and Jamie Cruz (six, nine) were wide.

"We should have had three goals before halftime," Perrella said. "They're No. 7 in the country, but they were lucky tonight."

Arlington Baptist 1, Glenelg Country 1: Arlington Baptist (6-8-4) got a goal from Kevin Hamilton with 10: 39 left in the first half, but Glenelg Country (10-6-1) tied the game with 24: 12 left on a Dan Liparini goal from teammate Jason Casely-Hayford as the two teams played to a tie for the MIAA C Conference title at UMBC.

Pub Date: 11/10/96

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