In a game where both teams created some quality chances, No. 6 Calvert Hall got the finishes and, as a result, the victory, defeating No. 9 St. Paul’s, 2-0, Wednesday in Towson, in an MIAA A Conference soccer match.
Senior Camillo Sanchez got the Cardinals (2-0, 2-0) on the board with a long shot from the left sideline, in the 19th minute, and junior Ruego Nnadozie scored with a spectacular athletic effort in the 44th minute.
St. Paul’s (2-1, 1-1) had its opportunities as the Crusaders had eight corner kicks to just one for Calvert Hall, but the Cardinal defenders did everything that was necessary to limit quality shots to help goalkeeper Sam Loeffler keep the sheet clean.
The Sanchez score seemed to come out of no where, as he created a little space near the sideline some 30 yards out and another 30 yards wide of the cage. Perhaps not anticipating a shot from that location, St. Paul’s keeper Conor Brown drifted a little too far from the goal. Alertly, Sanchez cut loose on a high arching blast that cleared Brown and bent its way into the opposite side netting.
“It was down the left side,” said Sanchez. “I got a quick cut and I saw the open goal so I took a shot at it and found the upper 90.”
Early in the second half, the Cardinals were able to apply some sustained pressure, leading to Nnadozie’s goal. Junior Chris Carroll triggered the play, lofting an arching pass from the right corner into the box. Nandozie let the ball travel across his body as he leaned back and exploded into a bicycle kick, ripping the ball into the top shelf.
Nnadozie visualized the play before it happened.
“I saw the left mid coming down, so I just had to get in the box and get ready and time it,” said Nnadoizie.
The Cardinals threatened to add two more goals, but Jeff Schaeffer was denied by Brown on a penalty kick and another Cardinal score was disallowed by a late offsides call.
Calvert Hall coach Rich Zinkand was pleased with the result.
“It was a good early goal from senior Camillo Sanchez. He got his head up, saw a little space on the far post and played one to the side netting. That got us going,” said Zinkand. “We had a couple of other chances but didn’t quite click, but we were persistent and I thought we played well, collectively, defensively.”
The game began in scorching heat and both halves were halted for water breaks. Over the final five minutes, however, the temperature dropped and a heavy downpour pelted the turf at Calvert Hall’s Paul Angelo Russo Stadium. But, as the game concluded, the rain subsided and a rainbow graced the skies above.
It was a silver lining St. Paul’s coach Majid Mirza was willing to take with him.
“We played well. I was pleased with our performance,” said St. Mirza. “We had about had eight or nine corners. We had a few shots. The goalie made terrific saves. We came up short; we just didn’t finish, but it’s a young team and we’re rebuilding.”
NO. 6 CALVERT HALL 2, NO. 9 ST. PAUL’S 0
SP 0 0 — 0
CH 1 1 — 2
GOALS: CH-Sanchez, Nnadozie.
SAVES: SP-Brown 5; CH-Loeffler 4.