No. 2 Curley is impressive in homecoming win over Loyola

by Joe DiBlasi

Prior to losing to Calvert Hall in the Rief Cup last Friday, Archbishop Curley had been nearly untouchable in MIAA A Conference soccer play. That loss gave Curley’s league rivals hope that the Friars were due to falter a bit.

Forget that.

The Friars bounced back with a 5-0 rout of No. 9 Hereford on Wednesday and then, on Saturday morning in front of huge homecoming crowd, Curley was even more impressive dispatching No. 6 Loyola, 3-1.

Dylan Sloan

Looking to solidify itself as the second seed in the Black Division of the MIAA A Conference, Loyola came out with more urgency and broke the ice with a goal by Dominic Caltabiano, 12 minutes into the game. The Friars, however, hardly gave the Dons time to enjoy the moment, answering just 50 seconds later on a goal from Bryce Woodward. They quickly added two more scores, five minutes later, in a impressive offensive outburst that turned out to be all the Friars would need, thanks to a very stingy defense from that point on.

Curley, (12-2 overall, 9-1 Black Division) and securely in first place, and with a bye in the first round of the A Conference playoffs, which begin on October 29th, kept the Don’s off the board after Caltabiano’s goal for the rest of the day.

The Friars’ Dylan Sloan, who had a goal and an assist for Coach Barry Stitz, said, “We started off really slow in the first half, and they had a lot of good opportunities. They scored on a well-deserved goal, and we bounced back. Tyler (Harry) dribbled down the side and played a great ball to Bryce Woodward to finish off, and that is what got us going. That is what we needed.”

Sloan put Curley up 2-1, at 21:47, on what proved to be the winning goal.

“Joey Ryan beat a few players down the line and cut in, and I hit a shot,” said Sloan. “The keeper ( Jordy Eckman) deflected it out a little bit, and I was lucky to be there to put it away.”

Sloan added that it was great to get a win on homecoming day and he praised the Dons.

“They possess the ball well and all of them are dangerous [on offense]. Our defense picked it up in the second half, after Coach told us at halftime that we were giving them too much time on the ball.”

Jalen Anderson scored Curley’s third goal of the day to give the Friars some insurance. The Friars tallied three times in a little over six minutes, with their second and third goals coming just 50 seconds apart.

Stitz was pleased with the win.

“Until they scored, we didn’t start playing and then we answered right away,” said Stitz. “That first goal was huge, and then we scored a couple of nice goals after that. We created enough chances, and we did our job defensively today as well. They are a good team/“

Loyola coach Lee Tschantret said, “They took advantage of their opportunities today and we did not. We had a lot of play in both halves, but they countered really well. You can’t make mistakes against a good team and they’re a good team. We’re still pushing for the playoffs”.

The Dons (8-3, 6-2-2) still hold second place in the Black Division, but they are just one point ahead of third place Calvert Hall. Loyola will travel to Calvert Hall on Monday to take on the Cardinals in a game with huge playoff consequences.

The top three teams in each division make the playoffs.

LOY 1 0 — 1
MCD 3 0 — 3
GOALS: LOY-Caltabiano; AC- Woodward, Sloan, Anderson.
ASSISTS: AC -Sloan, Harry
SAVES: LOY-Eckman 7; AC-Denholm 7.