The top-ranked Archbishop Curley boys soccer team figured there was no need to mess with success in its second meeting against No. 2 Calvert Hall yesterday.
Taking a similar path as their home win two weeks ago, the Friars got an early lead, counterattacked throughout the game and closed things down defensively.
The result was a satisfying 2-1 win over the host Cardinals in a battle for first place in the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference. The Friars, who won the first game, 3-1, improved to 14-3 overall and 9-3 in the league. Calvert Hall (8-4-2) dropped to 7-2-2 in league play.
The rivalry game had special meaning to Curley standout striker B.J. Quigley. He dedicated the game to his grandmother, who died Sunday. Quigley scored both goals to lead the Friars.
"Basically, this game was for her. I lived with my grandmother for the last year and a half. I took care of her - she's a major part of my family," Quigley said. "The guys helped me through the process of grieving and they're part of my family. We came together as a team, and that's how it's going to stay for the rest of the season."
Stockpiled with talent last year, the Friars finished with a disappointing 13-11-1 record. A year older and wiser, they're not making the same mistake again.
What has been the difference?
"Team spirit," Quigley said. "Last year, we didn't always get along. This year, we've come together. "
It was apparent yesterday. Less than a minute after shooting wide on an open net, freshman striker Bash Kamara sent a perfect ball through to Quigley, who took two dribbles inside the penalty area before finishing off a shot from 8 yards out in the 10th minute.
Quigley added his second goal early in the second half, his 20th of the season, with a left-footed strike from 12 yards to give the Friars a 2-0 lead.
Curley's defensive unit of Vince Savarese, Dan Merryman, Aaron Ligon and Oumar Ballo disrupted any build-up from the Cardinals, who got a goal from Chris Williams with 9:21 remaining but didn't threaten the rest of the game.
"We played a very poor defensive game," Calvert Hall coach Andy Moore said.