Curley tops Loyola, 3-0, for regular-season title

Houseknecht scores two

St. Paul's nips McDonogh

Boys soccer

High Schools

October 30, 2003|By Rick Belz | Rick Belz,SUN STAFF

In his first full game back since suffering a broken wrist in a serious car accident, Archbishop Curley's Shawn Houseknecht picked up where he left off by scoring twice and leading the host Friars to a 3-0 victory over Loyola in a battle of unbeatens yesterday.

The top-ranked Friars (19-0-2 overall, 13-0-2 league) clinched first place in the Maryland Interscholastic Association A Conference for the first time since 1999.

They will have a first-round playoff bye and play host to a Nov. 8 semifinal game. Fourth-ranked Loyola (17-1-2, 13-1-2) will be seeded second and also gets a first-round bye and semifinal home game.

Houseknecht was driving with his father on Interstate 95 to watch a soccer game at UMBC on Oct. 18, when their sports utility vehicle swerved to avoid a blown tire from an 18-wheel truck and flipped over five times. He was in the Maryland Shock Trauma Center for 11 hours, and his father was hospitalized for three days.

Played on a Curley field that was swamp-like in some areas, yesterday's game hardly resembled the one played last month at Loyola, where the teams tied, 1-1.

Curley simply outplayed Loyola, especially in the second half.

"We played more direct [than last time] from the beginning of this game," said Friars coach Barry Stitz, adding that his team better contained Matt Curran, Loyola's leading scorer.

Houseknecht scored a controversial goal in the 19th minute after colliding with Loyola goalkeeper Akira Fitzgerald, who argued that he had possession and that the goal shouldn't have counted. "Someone kicked it out of my hands," he said.

Loyola coach Kyle Swords said: "That goal changed the game."

Curley goalkeeper Stephen King made a diving save in the 32nd minute and another 15 minutes into the second half as the Dons tried to rally.

But two minutes later, Houseknecht got a ball about 25 yards from goal, dribbled by two defenders and crossed to Trevor Spalt, who headed to Matt Liska's feet 12 yards away. Liska's 15th goal this season hit a post and rolled in.

Houseknecht scored Curley's third goal off a through ball from Matt Ward in the 62nd minute. Houseknecht's 18-yard, left-footed shot bounced over a diving Fitzgerald.

St. Paul's 2, No. 5 McDonogh 1: Ben Topolski scored the game-winner three minutes into the second overtime on a pass by David Corak as the host Crusaders (5-10-2) upset the Eagles (13-5-2).

With St. Paul's leading 1-0 and 20 minutes left in regulation, McDonogh's John Ports sent the game into overtime with a 20-yard shot. Andrew Pierson gave St. Paul's a 1-0 lead 10 minutes into the game.

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