Turning the corner
Cavaliers earn first win over Hurricanes in over a decade
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
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.”