No. 8 Curley boys soccer secures 3-1 Reif Cup win over No. 14 Calvert Hall

Chris Reif remembers the first time he played against Archbishop Curley as a freshman at Calvert Hall in the early 1980s, competing against many of the players his father coached at the club level.

The fierce rivalry between the programs was built around athletes who were neighbors and then teammates once the high school season ended.

No. 14 Calvert Hall and No. 8 Curley renewed their matchup for bragging rights Friday in the 12th Annual Battle for the Bernard Reif Cup, named after Chris Reif's father, who was the first varsity soccer coach at Curley and won the program's first title in 1968.

Kyle Mizell scored a goal in each half, leading the host Friars to a 3-1 victory and avenging an earlier loss to Calvert Hall.

"It was a good win for us and an important one for the playoff race," Curley coach Barry Stitz said. "We definitely needed to win today. Also, with the importance of the alumni being back and the Cup, there was a little extra incentive."

Curley (8-5, 5-4 Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference) now has won the Cup for four consecutive years and leads the all-time series, 6-5-1. The Friars also used the game to honor their 1993 team that became the first in program history to go undefeated at 16-0-1 and beat Calvert Hall for the conference championship under the late coach Thomas "Pep" Perrella.

The Friars opened the scoring in the 18th minute when Tre Pulliam took a back-heel pass from Dino Gizzi and slotted the ball just inside the near post. The Cardinals (4-6-1, 2-5-1 MIAA) answered with 6:27 left in the first half when Carmen Caltabiano collected a cross from Francesco Assaro and hit a low shot under Curley goalie Elton Schwartz (six saves).

The Friars regained the lead just two minutes later when Mizell bent a free kick into the top corner of the goal from about 19 yards away.

"You work so hard and even things up, and you tell the kids all the time to stay focused and keep it where it is," Calvert Hall coach Rich Zinkand said. "Two minutes later, a free kick and we're back in the hole again and we got to battle back. We worked on some things like getting the ball in the final third and creating some chances, which I think we did. But the game of soccer can be very frustrating."

Mizell added an insurance goal just six minutes into the second half when he one-timed a cross from Eric Spalt into the top of the net.

The victory capped a stellar week for Curley, which also knocked off No. 5 Loyola on Wednesday.

"It was a huge win in front of a big crowd and our rivalry with Calvert Hall is always a good one," Mizell said. "Coming out and beating the defending champions in Loyola at home and then beating Calvert Hall at home again is always great."

No. 8 Curley 3, No. 14 Calvert Hall 1

Goals: CH-Caltabiano; CU-Mizell 2, Pulliam. Assists: CH: Assaro; CU-, Gizzi, Spalt. Saves: CH-Loeffler 5; CU-Schwartz 6. Half: CU: 2-1

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