Fri­ars and Gaels have to set­tle for a draw

Nei­ther can gen­er­ate much of­fense in the sec­ond half

Baltimore Sun - - VARSITY - By Glenn Gra­ham glenn.gra­ham@balt­ twit­­nGra­hamSun

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.

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