Late first half goal ignites Haverford (PA) to a 3-1 victory
by Joe DiBlasi
Philadelphia based boys soccer power Haverford School traveled to Baltimore this week for what was schedule to be back-to-back battles with MIAA stalwarts McDonogh and host Archbishop Curley. The extreme late summer heat wave, however, forced the cancellation of the Fords’ Wednesday showdown with No. 1 McDonogh and Thursday’s game with the Friars was rescheduled to an early morning encounter.
Haverford made the wait worthwhile as it dominated with a 3-1 win over the 8th-ranked Friars, on the turf in the Curley Bowl.
The first 39 minutes were scoreless, but Haverford senior Dan Calvelli scored on a feed from Griffin Wada with just 38 seconds left in the opening half to give the Fords the lead and they never relinquished it.
“Our centerfielder (Wada), a really good player, picked up the ball near mid-field and chipped it over, so I made a run about 30 yards as the ball went right over their center-back’s head,” said Calvelli of the feed on his opening tally. “I shouldered it down and tapped it in.”
Haverford made it 2-0 just three minutes into the second half when senior Will Micheletti tallied on a loft from Scott
“We knew Curley would come out firing after halftime, and we knew we had to come out with that same fire,” said Micheletti. “We had a throw-in, and I let it go by, because I knew it would come back to me. I ran to the back post and Scott got it back to me, and I was in the right place at the right time.”
Micheletti added, “Coach (Keefe) told us at half-time that our strikers needed to keep checking in to get the ball. He told us to stay connected, and we listened and came out firing to start the second half.”
The Friars fought back, and they cut the Fords lead in half when senior Anthony Dragisics scored on a cross from Kenny Clapp at the 18:11 mark of the second half.
Six minutes later, however, Haverford sophomore Trent Davis, who Ford’s coach Dan Keefe described as “a player who will be dynamic up top for us,” gave his team a comfortable two goal lead.
Davis, a sophomore, said, “The two goal lead gave us a cushion so that we wouldn’t have to be frantic in the back.”
On his first-ever goal for the Fords, Davis said, “I saw the ball coming from Will Springer, and I knew I had to stay up on the back line, because they were playing high, and that is where the space was, so when Will played the ball, I knew the Keeper was going to come out. It gave me a chance to put the ball over the Keeper’s head.”
“This was our first game of the season and the boys played well,” said Keefe. “We went through a lot of the early jitters, and then we started to work the ball and had lots of opportunities.
“It was an exciting game for us, because Curley is a very good team and they’re well-coached. Our first goal gave us a lot of confidence. When Griffin Wada got the ball over to Dan (Calvelli), who slotted it through, it gave us a spark going into the second half. We stayed confident even after they put one back to cut our lead to one.”
Keefe praised his keeper, Will Buyes who had six saves.
“Will, a junior, was fantastic in the nets. We’re excited to come out of here with a win.”
Curley coach Barry Stitz said, “Haverford is a very good team. I was a little disappointed that we didn’t make the adjustments necessary to win. I didn’t think our ‘compete’ was high enough, and that is inexcusable, whether it’s in the first game of the year or the playoffs and that has to improve.
“I thought we had the better of the play in the first half and a lot of chances, but we gave up that goal with just 38 seconds left in the first half. I give them a lot of credit. They were the better team in the second half, and even after we scored to make it 2-1, I just didn’t see that urgency or that push that you need when you are a goal behind, and that’s disappointing.”
Stitz concluded, “We will figure it out. We know where we need to improve.”
Pictured above: Curley’s Kenny Clapp (No. 5), who assisted on Curley’s only goal, dribbles against the Haverford defense in the Friars’ 3-1 season opening loss.
HAVERFORD (PA) 3, NO. 8 ARCHBISHOP CURLEY 1
HAV 1 2 — 3
AC 0 1 — 1
GOALS: HAV-Calvelli, Mucheletti, Davis; AC-Dragisics.
ASSISTS: HAV-Wada, Marshall, Springer; AC-Clapp.
SAVES: HAV-Boyes 6; AC-Caulkins 3.