Top-ranked Curley needs OT to climb past Friends, 2-1 Boys soccer


The Friends Quakers gave top-ranked Archbishop Curley all it could handle yesterday, dominating play much of the game by beating the Friars to loose balls and taking the role of aggressors.

Quakers coach Pete DeSmit said he couldn't have asked for any more -- but a win would have been nice.

After Wednesday's lackluster tie with Cardinal Gibbons, Curley rebounded, surviving regulation before dominating the overtime period in a 2-1 home win.

The victory enabled Curley (6-0-1 overall, 5-0-1 in the Maryland Scholastic Association A Conference, Division II) to leapfrog Friends (4-2, 4-1) for sole possession of first place in the division.

But more importantly for coach Pep Perrella, it gave the Friars an opportunity to save face.

"We felt like we had to win," said Perrella. "We would've been unsatisfied with a tie. We didn't get that many shots, but today we found a way to win."

The Quakers outshot Curley 17-14, but could only score once, on a beautiful solo effort by midfielder Myles Perkins with 10:47 left in regulation.

Perkins stole the ball on Curley's end, dribbled around goalie Dennis Merryman, fired a shot that was blocked by defender Michael Libber, got the rebound and scored to tie the game at 1-1.

It was a spectacular solo effort for Perkins, and that's about what it took to score off of Merryman.

The senior had 11 saves, several on acrobatic moves that won him praise from DeSmit.

"Except for their keeper, it was a pretty even game," said DeSmit. "Merryman made some super saves, including some I don't think too many other keepers could have made."

Curley's offense, however, repeatedly sputtered.

Friends dominated play early, beating Curley to loose balls, keeping the ball on the offensive end, and out-hustling the Friars.

But the tide soon started to change, and the hosts scored first when Libber tapped an indirect kick to Mike Bailey, who drilled a 15-yard shot past Jamie Johnston in goal with 14:41 left in the first half.

That was it for the Friars until midway through the overtime period, when Bailey took a pass from Giuliano Celenza and beat goalie Jamie Johnston for the eventual game-winner with 4:12 left.

"Libber got up a nice cross and it came right to me," said Bailey, who agreed that the win had added significance. "I felt like we had to win to prove we could come back after a tie."

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