Outplayed for a good portion of a scoreless first half against No. 7 Perry Hall yesterday afternoon, the No. 3 Archbishop Curley boys soccer team didn't see a need for any drastic adjustments going into the second 40 minutes of play.
Just some smarter play with more urgency and, first and foremost, making sure to get to the ball first.
The Friars made sure to do all that in the second 40 minutes and with it came goals from Aaron Beale and Chris Weaver to enjoy a 2-0 win over the Gators at the McDonogh Tournament in Owings Mills.
Beale converted on a free kick just outside the penalty area, going around a four-man wall and neatly placing a shot to the top right corner for the game-winner in the 47th minute.
After the Gators had a chance to tie midway through the half - Kevin Medrano's shot from 8 yards turned aside from Curley senior goalie John Connolly and Mike Pugaczewski's rebound header sailing high - the Friars put the game away with three minutes to play when Weaver scored into an open net after a nifty feed from Mikias Teketele.
"We had some better combinations. I think the midfielder and forwards were a little bit more on the same page where in the first half, we had too many guys trying to do it by themselves," said Curley coach Barry Stitz, whose Friars improve to 2-2 on the season. "Overall, it was a good win against a good team and I'm happy with that."
Perry Hall coach Danny Skelton, who got a strong performance from sophomore striker Joe Glos, saw plenty of positives come from his team's performance.
"Any time you play against these private school teams, they are good games. That's why I put them on the schedule, so we can get tested early and build that confidence," he said. "I'm very happy with the way we played. A couple different bounces here or there and we could have walked away with a tie or win. I think we can take some things from this game to help grow and make us a better team down the road."
No. 1 McDonogh 3, Patapsco 0:: Pressing the issues from the start, the Eagles didn't break through until the 64th minute when sophomore Julian Griggs finished off a feed from Jeremy Kirkwood at the McDonogh Tournament. Ethan Broner and Connor Rockefeller added goals in the win.
No. 4 Mount St. Joseph 3, Eastern Tech 0:: Zack Modly scored two first-half goals to power the Gaels (3-0) past the visiting Mavericks. Mount St. Joseph outshot Eastern Tech, 19-4. Geaton Caltabiano had two assists for the Gaels. Cody Neidermeier had two saves for Mount St. Joseph.
Atholton 2, No. 14 Centennial 0:: Anne Staggers had a goal and an assists as the host Raiders (3-0) scored the biggest win in the recent history of their program over the Eagles, who were state Class 3A semifinalists a year ago. "It's huge," Atholton coach Jim Brown said. "I've been involved with the program for seven years - as a parent, JV coach and varsity coach - and there are certain schools we just never beat and Centennial is one of them. This school has struggled with field hockey for so many years." Allie Durso scored the first goal nine minutes into the game and Staggers added an insurance goal to open the second half. Goalie Maddy Bottomley made 10 saves while Liz Snyder had 12 saves for the Eagles (1-1).
Baltimore Sun reporters contributed to this article.