Calvert Hall scores A repeat 1-0 win over Spalding Cardinals defend title as midfielder Wakefield nets second-half goal

November 09, 1997|By Glenn P. Graham | Glenn P. Graham,SUN STAFF

There was certainly plenty of improvising in the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association's A Conference throughout the season-but as things turned out the ending came from the original script.

Senior midfielder P.J. Wakefield scored a second-half goal, providing No. 3-ranked Calvert Hall with a 1-0 win over fourthranked Archbishop Spalding in the conference championship last night at UMBC Stadium.

The defending champion Cardinals, clear favorites at the start of the season, once again were the last team standing in the metro area's most competitive conference, giving veteran coach Bill Karpovich his l9th league title in 31 years.

The Cardinals closed out their season at 19-3, while Spalding finished with a 14-5-2 mark.

The game's only goal on the rain-soaked artificial turf at UMBC came off an indirect kick from above the left corner of the penalty box in the 52nd minute.

Senior midfielder Matt Joseph pushed the ball a few feet to Wakefield, who fired to the low post on the same side.

Spalding senior goalie Reb Beatty, brilliant throughout with nine saves despite slick conditions, was able to get his hands on the ball, but couldn't turn it aside. It was Wakefield's 12th goal of the season to go along with eight assists.

"We like to use P.J. in those situations," Karpovich said. "Matt touched it over to him and bang! Before you know it, it was in the back of the goal. "

Spalding, competing in its firstever A Conference championship, had some of its best chances shortly after the Wakefield goal, but the Cavaliers couldn't get anything past Calvert Hall senior keeper Tom Paparounis.

Three minutes after the Cardinals took the lead, Spalding junior forward Brian Medej chipped a through ball to senior Justin Muller, who one-timed a shot from 18 yards. Paparounis, halfway out was able to deflect it wide.

The Cavaliers-who went from 1-16-1 in 1995 to 10-8 last season to 14-5-2 and conference finalists this season-were most responsible for stirring the conference pot this season.

It started midway through the season when they handed then No. 1 Calvert Hall its first loss since the end of the 1995 season. Then in the conference semifinals the Cavaliers came away with a 7-0 win over McDonogh just after the two teams played to a 0-0 tie in the regular season's final week.

"It was an unfortunate end to a great season, but we fought as hard as we could and I'm proud of our guys," Beatty said. "Congratulations to Calvert Hall. They played a great game and that's what they needed to beat us."

Joseph, a major contributor in helping the Cardinals control the midfield for most of the game, said it was everything a conference championship should be.

"There was a little revenge in this one with them beating us when we were still undefeated," he said. "It was real intense. After we put one away, we were fighting to keep it out of our net. This is a 0 great feeling."

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