Before Saturday’s matchup with Archbishop Curley, Perry Hall boys’ soccer coach Pete Eibner told him his team, despite playing late Friday afternoon, to embrace the challenge.
Then the game started. The second-ranked Friars defeated the No. 6 Gators, 7-1, in the opening match of the Bruin Mixer at UMBC Stadium.
The second game between No. 13 and event host Broadneck and fourth-ranked McDonogh School was cancelled because of lightning.
Lightning brought an end to the opening match in the 34th minute. Curley ran off five unanswered tallies in the second half to improve to 5-0.
After beating 10th-ranked C. Milton Wright in a matchup of public powerhouses Friday, Perry Hall had few answers against perennial Baltimore City private stronghold Curley, which reached the MIAA A Conference final last fall.
“We don’t have a ton of experience and it showed. I don’t think some of them are use to playing a team of Curley’s talent and ability,” said Gators coach Pete Eibner, whose team won the Class 4A state championship last year. “I think it was a very rude awakening. It shows the importance of competing on every play and that’s what we didn’t do.”
The Friars applied pressure early, putting several shots on goal. Perry Hall junior goalie Hazem Ahmed was able to keep Curley at bay, stopping three shots.
But the Friars broke through as Logan Peterson took a chip pass from Alejandro Arbelaez and right-footed a shot into the corner in the 28th minute. Six minutes later, sophomore Thunlywn Garcia scored, putting Curley up 2-0.
“We had really good chances to score, we had five or six in the first 12 minutes so we have to do a better job, but we’re pleased with the way we moved the ball,” said Curley coach Barry Stitz.
Perry Hall (2-2) had momentum early in the second half as sophomore Bido El Masry put a shot in the far corner in the 11th minute, bringing the Baltimore County power to within a goal. The Friars reasserted themselves, starting with Tommy Sidleck’s header in the 17th minute.
Dylan Holy scored a pair of goals and added an assist. Peterson scored for the second time, Arbelaez and senior Brent Sutton each tallied.
“The second half we came out kind of flat, they got a quick goal and I think that woke us up,” said Holy, a senior midfielder.
Eibner, a 1987 Curley grad who played and coached with Stitz under the late Pep Perella, knew the Friars would respond.
“Barry always has his team technically sound and tactically aware. That discipline helped them immensely,” said Eibner. “We looked a little lost.”
Eibner and Stitz agreed Saturday will help their respective teams moving forward.
“This might silly being 6-0 and we scored a lot of goals today, but I don’t think we’re playing consistent enough,” said Stitz, whose team plays No. 3 Mount St. Joseph and top-ranked Calvert Hall College in the coming week. “That’s not game-to-game, but in the game. It’s got to be better.”
No. 2 Archbishop Curley 7, No. 6 Perry Hall 1
Goals: Curley – Peterson 2, Holy 2, Sutton, Arbaelez, Sidleck; Perry Hall – El Masry
Assists: Curley – Burton, Holy, Arbelaez
Saves: Curley – Wdzieczkowski, Gentry 2; Perry Hall – Ahmed 5, Crew 2
Curley 2 5 – 7
Perry Hall 0 1 – 1