Wet conditions make scoring difficult in 1-0 victory for the Friars
by Joe DiBlasi
No. 8 Archbishop Curley got a stellar performance from junior goalkeeper Anthony Grasso, as the Friars edged the St. Paul’s Crusaders, 1-0, in East Baltimore in an MIAA A conference soccer match-up on Saturday morning in the rain.
The game was scoreless for 67 minutes before Curley junior Tyler Harry scored on a corner kick from senior T. Garcia. It proved to be the winning goal.
“The conditions were slick and everyone was missing chances [through the first half],” said Harry. “We had a lot of chances and we were struggling to put the ball in the back of the net.
“When “T” got that corner, and got a good ball in, I was able to finish it.”
Garcia, who goes by T, which is short for Thunlwyn said it was all about opportunities
“We created a lot of free kick opportunities and set-pieces overall, and we had a lot of chances to put some good balls in,” said Garcia. “I crossed it into Ty,
and I knew it was a good ball, and I knew he had to finish it.”
After the rain stopped at halftime, the Friars (1-1, 1-0 MIAA A) seemed to step up their pace. “I think the rain disrupted our play in the first half,” added Garcia.
Curley coach Barry Stitz believes the conditions were tough on both teams.
“On a wet turf the ball is moving a lot faster and it’s skimming,” said Stitz. “Our play today was similar to our game against St. Joe the other night when we had trouble scoring. At some point it becomes a bit of a mental block when you don’t score. You start thinking and overthinking so it was good to get that goal in the second half.”
Stitz, who referenced Curley’s opener with Mount St. Joseph which was postponed by weather after the two teams played 47 minutes of scoreless soccer, also praised his keeper.
“Anthony really looked good in there,” said the veteran coach. “He got called on a couple of times and made those saves and that’s definitely a confidence builder.”
Stitz added, “Garcia served a good ball in, and Harry was in the right spot,and he banged it home. He made good contact on the ball.
“I think St. Paul’s played very hard and they kept themselves in the game, and they gave themselves a chance to win.”
Grasso credited his defenders.
“My defense helped me out a lot,” said Grasso. “We have really good defenders. Nothing got by Walt Wyatt, Brayden Wise, Kenny Clap and Brandon Holy.”
The Crusaders (0-2-1, 0-2-1 MIAA) came very close to tying the game with seven minutes to go when sophomore Griffin Polinsky had a great opportunity just a few feet away from Grasso, but the Curley keeper made an exceptional stop.
“I started to come out on that ball and I was hesitant,” said Grasso. “I was fortunate to make the save.”
First-year Crusader coach Erik Washington was proud of his team. “We have a great group of athletes at St. Paul’s and we’re trying to put together a competitive soccer team. It is a building process this year for us, and our slogan this season is ‘trust the process.’
“We’re progressing with every game and we’re making a commitment to playing defense and simply being soccer players out there on the field.”
Washington said he will be counting on senior Brendan Knott, Marquette bound senior Mason Woodward, junior Jalon Thomas in the back, along with senior Joey Hudak and sophomore Griffon Polinsky.
Washington said that Hudak keeps the team organized and that Griffin will be the one “we look to to give us the scoring we need.”
Crusader keeper Tim Loeffler played well, making five key saves.
The Friars (1-1, 1-0), tested the senior all day.
Washington said Curley is a talented team.
“It’s always tough in soccer when you lose by one goal, but we were competitive, and that’s what I’m looking for”.
ARCHBISHOP CURLEY 1, ST. PAUL’S 0
SP 0 0 — 0
AC 0 1 — 1
Saves: SP-Loeffler 5: AC-Grasso 3.