St. Mary's turns away St. Paul's to win title, 1-0 Corradini's first-half goal ends Crusaders' repeat bid

MIAA B soccer

November 08, 1998|By Glenn P. Graham | Glenn P. Graham,SUN STAFF

A strong second-half team all season, St. Mary's took a gamble in yesterday's MIAA B Conference championship game against St. Paul's, opting to start the game against the wind at Johns Hopkins University.

Saints coach Jamie McNealey figured if his group could get through the first 40 minutes tied or even down a goal, they would be in good position for the second half.

The No. 13-ranked Saints did better, getting a goal from senior standout Kevin Corradini midway through the first half and making it stand up to knock off defending champion St. Paul's, 1-0.

St. Mary's closed out its finest season ever at 21-2, finishing 16-0 in the conference to claim its first outright championship.

With only one starter gone from last year's 11-6-3 team, McNealey wasn't surprised by his team's success.

"We knew we had a very good team and when they came into the season with the right mental attitude, it let us establish what we wanted to," said McNealey.

Corradini, a four-year starter, established himself as a thorn in the side of the Crusaders (16-6-1) all season. He scored a goal and added an assist in a 2-0 win the first time the teams met and then got the overtime goal in a 1-0 win the second time around.

So when St. Paul's junior keeper Mike Ciattei was issued a yellow card for handling the ball outside the penalty area, temporarily sending in Crusaders' backup keeper J. P. McAfee and awarding the Saints a direct kick from 25 yards out, Corradini took the free kick. He made no mistake, finding the left corner to give the Saints the 1-0 lead.

"I knew the keeper was cold and that's a shot I practice all the time in my backyard. I just struck it well," he said.

The loss doesn't tarnish a fine season for the Crusaders, who lost 10 seniors from last year's championship team.

"Getting back to the championship game is a credit to the boys," said coach Howard Schindler. "We have nothing to be ashamed of."

Pub Date: 11/08/98

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