Turn­ing the corner

Cava­liers earn first win over Hur­ri­canes in over a decade

The Calvert Recorder - - Sports - By ANDY STATES as­tates@somd­news.com

On Sept. 14, 2004, Calvert’s boys soc­cer team de­feated Hunt­ing­town — then in its first sea­son — by a 3-0 count.

And while the Cava­liers en­joyed a pair of Pa­triot Clas­sic tour­na­ment wins over their county ri­vals in the two sea­sons that fol­lowed, when they knocked off the Hur­ri­canes 2-1 on Thurs­day night it marked the first reg­u­lar-sea­son win for the pro­gram against Hunt­ing­town in 14 years.

“We’ve wanted this since we were fresh­men, all of us,” said Calvert’s Ryan Wo­j­ciechowski, one of the 12 se­niors on the Cava­liers’ ros­ter. “It’s a great feel­ing. We played how we knew we needed to and things went our way tonight. ... It meant a lot to all of us.”

“We switched up our sys­tem right

be­fore this game,” added fel­low Calvert se­nior Matthew Har­ris. “We worked the ball so much bet­ter, and we all wanted it. That was the dif­fer­ence.”

The South­ern Mary­land Ath­letic Con­fer­ence Ch­e­sa­peake Di­vi­sion win brought an end to a three­game los­ing streak the Cava­liers had been mired in. Four of Calvert’s five games have been de­cided by one goal this sea­son, the lone ex­cep­tion the team’s 4-1 win over La Plata in its sea­son opener.

Calvert (2-3, 1-1 SMAC Ch­e­sa­peake) took a 1-0

lead on Nick Lau­tieri’s long, left-footed shot that arched just un­der the cross­bar close to eight min­utes into the game. The Cava­liers later were able to dou­ble the lead roughly 10 min­utes later when the ball ap­peared to go off a Hunt­ing­town player and into the goal fol­low­ing a throw-in. The early lead was vi­tal for a Calvert team that has strug­gled with slow starts at times, ac­cord­ing to Har­ris.

“Our only other win this year we scored first and all the other games we didn’t,” he said. “That’s es­sen­tial for us. We needed to score first.”

Hunt­ing­town (3-3, 1-2) cut its deficit in half when

Justin Miller con­verted a penalty kick late in the open­ing half, but the Hur­ri­canes were not able to find the net again.

“I thought Calvert took ad­van­tage of op­por­tu­ni­ties and we didn’t. That’s prob­a­bly what it comes down to,” Hunt­ing­town head coach Charlie Rus­sell said. “We had the ball a lot in the sec­ond half and we didn’t cap­i­tal­ize. First half, they had a cou­ple chances and they took ad­van­tage of it. We came out too slow and they took it to us early and we could never catch up.”

All three of Hunt­ing­town’s losses to date have come by one-goal mar­gins. In Rus­sell’s mind, time on the prac­tice field

holds the key to what­ever suc­cess the Hur­ri­canes will en­joy this sea­son. Af­ter a sched­uled game at North­ern on Tues­day night, Hunt­ing­town is sched­uled to travel to play McDonough at 6 tonight at Lau­rel Springs Re­gional Park in La Plata.

“We need more training,” he said. “We’re a young team, so when we’re not training we’re not get­ting bet­ter. We need more op­por­tu­ni­ties to do that. It’s go­ing to be tough. The next week we have three games. Af­ter that hope­fully we get a lit­tle bit of a break where we can get back and work on some things. We have the pieces. We can do it. We just need to play more

to­gether.”

De­feat­ing Hunt­ing­town, even if the team is a more youth­ful ver­sion than at times in the past, was of great sig­nif­i­cance to the Cava­liers.

“That was a team ef­fort, an ab­so­lute team ef­fort and it goes to show what they can do when they play as a team,” Calvert head coach Jim Wo­j­ciechowski said. “We needed that one. We’ve had our strug­gles the last cou­ple of games, but they kept their heads about them and they wanted this one. I think they came out and showed it tonight.

“It’s huge, ab­so­lutely huge. The school is be­hind us 100 per­cent and we’re be­hind the school 100 per­cent. When they played tonight they played for pride and played for Calvert pride. That made the dif­fer­ence for us.”

For Calvert, Thurs­day night’s win was not sig­nif­i­cant solely in the his­tor­i­cal sense. Af­ter three nar­row losses, Wo­j­ciechowski hoped it marked a point that will turn the sea­son in a pos­i­tive way. Calvert was sched­uled to host Chop­ti­con on Tues­day night and will travel to Leonard­town to bat­tle the Raiders at 6 tonight.

“I told the boys be­fore the game, ‘Tonight we turn the corner,’” the coach said. “Af­ter a cou­ple of tough losses, I think we did. We found our game tonight. We just have to con­tinue to build on it.”

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