The Archbishop Curley soccer team started slowly in 2015, but the Friars surged down the stretch and went all the way to the MIAA A Conference finals where they grabbed an early lead before eventually falling to top-ranked McDonogh. The Friars hope to take that final step in 2016.
Curley does return an experience and talented roster with one big question. How do the Friars replace the 29 goals scored by VSN Co-Player of the Year Tre Pulliam, who now is a freshman at UMBC.
Head coach Barry Stitz, who has won 217 games in 16 seasons, believes he has the players to do it, but it will be a shared duty.
“We return 9 starters from last season’s squad and a lot of other players,” said Stitz. We need guys to step up and score goals to help replace the 29 that Tre scored.”
The Friars’ head coach does not have to look much further than his own household to figure out where some of those goals will come from. His son, junior Ben Stitz, is the team’s top returning scorer after netting 8 goals and providing 13 assists last year.
Senior midfielder Brenden Hollingsworth, a 4-year player and 3-year starter, will be counted on to expand his scoring, after delivering 2 goals and 5 assists last year. The same is true of senior center midfielder Alejandro Arbelaez, a 3-year starter who has 3 goals and 8 assists as a junior.
Perhaps Curley’s best player is junior Nick Richardson, a 3-yar starter and a two-time All-MIAA pick at center back. Richardson, who was named All-State last fall, has 4 goals and 2 assists in 2015. Senior Dylan Holly was also an All-MIAA pick last year. Holly, a 3-year starter, scored 3 goals and had 2 assists as junior. One other senior stalwart is defender Dylan Poetzel, a 3-year starter who has already committed to play D1 soccer at UMBC.
2016 Archbishop Curley Friars
Head Coach: Barry Stitz
Nick Richardson, Jr., Center Back
Dylan Holly, Sr., Midfielder/Back
Alejandro Arbelaez, Sr., Center Midfielder
Brendan Hollingsworth, Sr., Midfielder
Ben Stitz, Jr., Forward
Dylan Poetzel, Sr., Defender