Friars and Gaels have to settle for a draw
Neither can generate much offense in the second half
When Archbishop Curley sent home the game’s fourth goal at Mount Saint Joseph in the opening minutes of the second half to even the score, it seemed likely there would be more offense on the way.
It turned out neither team was able to find an offensive hero.
After regulation and then two 10-minute overtime periods, quality soccer throughout, the No. 2 Friars and No. 5 Gaels settled for a 2-2 draw in Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference play Wednesday.
A textbook connection tied the game for Curley when Ben Stitz crashed the near post and headed home an ideal cross from Matt Brummet three minutes into the second half.
Curley improved to 6-0-1 overall and 3-0-1 in the MIAA. The Gaels, who got two nifty free-kick goals from Ian Regar, are 1-1-1 overall and in league play.
“It’s two quality teams in the MIAA, and as I told my guys, it was two technically good teams, tactically both very good teams, and sometimes it just comes down to winning the 50-50 battles,” Mount Saint Joseph coach Mike St. Martin said. “I thought both teams battled hard right to the end. Of course, we want to win. But if you can get a point [for a tie] in the MIAA against a quality team, it’s a point.”
One concern Archbishop Curley coach Barry Stitz had going into the game was having his group looking ahead to Friday’s showdown at No. 1 Calvert Hall in the 15th annual Alumni Cup.
But the Friars came ready to play from the start Wednesday.
In the game’s seventh minute, Alejandro Arbelaez won space in the middle and found the near post from 20 yards out to give them a 1-0 advantage.
The Gaels work hard on set pieces and it paid off the rest of the half with some good aim from Regar.
Just five minutes later, he took a free kick just outside the penalty area on the right side and found the near post to tie the game at 1. With 14:31 left in the half, he took another one from the left edge on the penalty area and again went to the near post to give the home team a 2-1 lead at the break.
Some crafty work down the left side from Brummet followed by the cross and anticipation by Ben Stitz produced the tie. The Friars had the ball a little more in the second half and overtime periods, but were unable to break through.
“It was a good game,” Barry Stitz said. “I was a little disappointed by the fact that in the second half and into overtime I thought we were controlling the game, but just not generating good scoring chances.”
Mount Saint Joseph goalie Nick DeShong finished with eight saves. The Friars got a strong all-around game from All-Metro defender Nick Richardson, who stayed sturdy in back, got forward to generate offense and also had a number of dangerous long throws the Gaels did well to defend against.