Calvert Hall, Cur­ley to meet in fi­nal

Car­di­nals beat Mt. St. Joe; Fri­ars de­feat McDonogh

Baltimore Sun - - VARSITY - By Craig Clary — Glenn Gra­ham

Calvert Hall se­niors Chris Car­roll and Ben Alexan­der have been friends since they were 8 years old, and now the duo will be play­ing to­gether for a cham­pi­onship after they con­nected for the only goal in the No. 3 Car­di­nals’ 1-0 win over No. 2 Mount Saint Joseph on Thurs­day.

The Car­di­nals will play No. 1 Arch­bishop Cur­ley in the Mary­land In­ter­scholas­tic Ath­letic As­so­ci­a­tion A Con­fer­ence fi­nal Sun­day at 5:30 p.m. at Anne Arun­del Com­mu­nity Col­lege.

“It’s been 13 years since Calvert Hall has been in the fi­nals,” Car­di­nals coach Rich Zinkand said. “Calvert Hall and Cur­ley. It’s kind of old-school back in the fi­nals.”

Car­roll fired the game-win­ning goal past keeper Nick DeShong with 16:17 left in the se­cond half. Alexan­der had the as­sist.

“I saw Ben and we played a one-two, and I knew if I just put it back on tar­get, it would prob­a­bly go in, and off the post was good enough for me,” Car­roll said.

Zinkand wasn’t sur­prised to see the duo come through in a big game.

Over the sum­mer, Alexan­der, Car­roll and Calvert Hall de­fender Seth Walker played to­gether for the Pipe­line SC squad that claimed an un­der-17 U.S. Youth Soccer na­tional cham­pi­onship.

“We’ve got two guys who have been play­ing to­gether for a long time now, and Chris plays it to Ben and Ben plays it back to Chris, and he just strikes it,” Zinkand said.

“It hit the side post and went in,” Mount Saint Joseph coach Mike St. Martin said. “There is noth­ing Nick could have done on that. It was a great fin­ish.”

Fin­ish­ing was the prob­lem for the Gaels, in part be­cause Zinkand moved Walker from mid­field to de­fense to chal­lenge balls in the air.

“He’s usu­ally a hold­ing mid­fielder, but we moved him about two weeks ago to the cen­ter back po­si­tion, and he’s a beast,” Zinkand said. “He’s very good in the air and he so­lid­i­fied some things for us there.”

Mount Saint Joseph had nu­mer­ous chances, es­pe­cially in the se­cond half when Kenny Crist had eight throw-ins into the Calvert Hall box.

Walker, who cleared sev­eral in the first half, man­aged to limit the touches of Gaels de­fender Brett St. Martin.

Less than three min­utes into the se­cond half, Mount Saint Joseph’s Joseph Clark had a break­away after a nifty pass from Mark Mans­field but shot high.

A com­bi­na­tion from the Gaels’ Diego Guer­rero to Jor­dan Ehart led to a shot by Mans­field that was blocked by a de­fender.

Calvert Hall’s de­fense of Walker, John As­saro, Cam­den Ohrin and Eamon Black, and the added hus­tle of mid­field­ers Ben Ben­der and Zach Ur­ban­ski, kept goalie Kyle Cooper clean most of the day.

NO. 1 ARCH­BISHOP CUR­LEY 3, NO. 5 MCDONOGH 1: Ju­nior Ben Stitz fin­ished with one goal and two as­sists to lead the Fri­ars (19-3-2) to their 10th straight win and a berth in Sun­day’s ti­tle game.

Se­nior Ale­jan­dro Ar­bal­aez added a goal and an as­sist and se­nior Matt Brum­met opened the scor­ing with his 15th goal of the sea­son as the Fri­ars took a 2-0 lead. McDonogh, the league’s de­fend­ing cham­pion, which beat Cur­ley in last year’s ti­tle game, fin­ished the sea­son 15-7.

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