Cam Letke's team-high 17th goal of the year off a cross from P.J. Wakefield 10 minutes into the second half lifted Calvert Hall to a 1-0 MIAA A Conference semifinal victory over visiting No. 8 Curley yesterday.
Defenders Tim Gober, Mike Duley, Jason Swem and Chuck Paparounis anchored the 14th shutout for the No. 3 Cardinals (18-3), who go for 31-year coach Bill Karpovich's 19th league crown against No. 4 Spalding (14-4-1) Saturday at UMBC.
"It's always an intense game with Curley, but we were able to come out on top," said Letke, whose team split victories with Spalding, a 7-0 winner over No. 2 McDonogh (17-3-1) yesterday. Letke scored the game-winner in last year's 1-0 title game win bTC over Curley and had both goals in an earlier 2-0 shutout of Curley. Yesterday, he overcame the excellent marking of Matt Perzynski.
Curley (11-6-2) "had better intensity than the last two times we played Calvert Hall," said Friars coach Pep Perrella, who starts nine underclassmen. "But we didn't cash in on our chances in the first half."
Jason Muffoletto (18 saves) stopped four of the Cardinals' first six shots, after which top scorer Steve Novak (six misses) and Ryan Tetteris nearly gave the Friars a one-goal lead.
But Tetteris whiffed on a bouncing ball from 2 yards -- a sure goal. And a header by Novak, the Friars' top scorer with nine goals and three assists, was wide to the left of keeper Tom Paparounis (five saves).
Then came Letke's standing header from the far post, which he directed down and into the net's opposite corner.
"I was following the cross," said Muffoletto, whose team was out-shot, 16-6 in the second half (25-12 for the game). "It was muddy, so I slipped a little. I had no chance."
With Wakefield, Gober, Frank Scarfield and Matt Joseph generating the offense, Letke, Wagner and Brain Powell missed numerous other chances.
In one sequence, Powell hit the crossbar, and Wagner's follow-up bounced off Muffolletto's leg before the keeper smothered it.
"It's hard getting up for a team you've beaten twice," said Duley, whose team lost, 1-0, to Spalding with a minute left in the second overtime period. "That won't be a problem with Spalding."
St. Paul's 1, St. Mary's 0: Senior Brett Shaver scored an unassisted goal to lead the visiting Crusaders (16-8) over the Saints (11-6-3) in an MIAA B semifinal game. For St. Paul's, the victory avenged a loss to St. Mary's in last year's conference semifinal.
Severn 1, Park 0: Senior Matt Wright scored with 11: 20 left to lift the Admirals (14-0-4) to a home victory over the Bruins (10-6-1) in an MIAA B Conference semifinal. The win marked the first time since 1987 that the Admirals have made the conference finals.
Pub Date: 11/05/97