C. Milton Wright’s Ryan Miller named the event’s top goalkeeper
Baltimore Celtic 2000, led by Archbishop Curley head coach Barry Stitz and filled with a roster of local high school soccer stars, won the U17 National Championship at the US Youth Soccer National Championships, held last week in Frisco, Texas.
Celtic 2000, which qualified for the event by winning the Maryland State Cup earlier this summer, went 3-0 in pool play, winning their matches by a combined score of 10-2, to reach the semifinals. In the semifinal round, the Baltimore squad defeated California’s Santa Clara Sporting 00 Green, 4-1, before edging FC Dallas 00 Premier of Texas, 2-1 in the championship game on Sunday, July 30.
DeMatha’s Justin Gielen scored six goals for Celtic in the tournament to lead all scorers and received the Golden Ball as the tournament’s top player. He was named to the event’s Best 11, while Ben Stitz, Barry’s son and a rising senior at Curley scored three times. In addition, goalkeeper Ryan Miller of C. Milton Wright was awarded the Golden Glove, as the tournament’s top goalkeeper, and he was also named to the Best 11.
In addition to the younger Stitz, Curley, which has finished as the runner-up in the MIAA A Conference the last two years, was represented by Brandon Knapp, Anthony Dragisics and 2017 VSN Defensive Player of the Year Nick Richardson.
Cameron Haislip, Anant Johnson, Tyler Collins and Jordan Ehart represented Mount St. Joseph on the team, which also included McDonogh players Ian MacDonald, Sean Nolan, Brian Lenzer, Luke Davis and Andrew Privett. Also contributing to the national title were Drew Holt of Eastern Tech, David Owens of Catonsville, Herson Morales of North County and Bido Elmasry of Perry Hall.
Baltimore Celtic nearly came home with two national championships, as its 18U team fell in the semifinals of its tournament to eventual national champion BRYC 99 Elite, from Virginia.
That team included Mount St. Joe’s Diego Guerrero, Brett St. Martin, Jacob Mazzei and Ian Reger; Curley’s Alejandro Arbelaez and Dylan Poetzel; McDonogh’s Aidan Welsh and Jacob Steinberg; and Franco Caltabiano of John Carroll and Sam Solomon of Meade.