Giuliano Celenza is one of the more quiet members of the top-ranked Archbishop Curley soccer team. But with one dazzling play yesterday, the freshman forward left most of his teammates speechless.
With the Friars deadlocked in a scoreless tie against unbeaten Clifton, N.J., Celenza took a pass from David Baines, settled the ball about 20 yards out, then, in acrobatic fashion, flicked it over two defenders, turned, caught it on his knee and fired in the game-winner to give the Friars a dramatic 1-0 victory.
The win, coupled with No. 5 Calvert Hall's 1-0 overtime triumph over Georgetown Prep in the day's first game, gave local teams a sweep in the 18th annual Loyola Budweiser Tournament at Loyola College.
Both winners -- who faced each other in last year's Maryland Scholastic Association A Conference title game -- dominated play against their highly regarded opponents.
Calvert Hall mastered Georgetown Prep, The Washington Post's ranked team, outshooting the Little Hoyas, 21-4, though they needed an overtime goal by David Federline to win the game and extend their unbeaten streak to 42.
After failing to score on countless opportunities, the frustrated Cardinals ended it with 1:29 left in overtime when Federline took a pass from Steve Rottman on the right side and beat goalie David Frieder.
For coach Bill Karpovich, the win was small consolation for Calvert Hall's inability to convert on offense throughout the game.
"I just don't understand where we get this attitude that we have to push it around, push it around, and not shoot," said Karpovich. "We shouldn't be struggling with the domination we have.
"We have to find somebody up front who isn't afraid to shoot, and we'll keep on trying people until we do."
For Curley, the mood was a bit more upbeat.
The Friars controlled the ball on offense for most of the game against Clifton, which is ranked seventh in New Jersey by the Newark Star-Ledger. Celenza's goal with 10:12 left culminated the Friars' best performance of the year.
"That's the first time we've played two halves like we're capable PTC of," said coach Pep Perrella. "Up until today, our play had been very inconsistent, but today we found our consistency. It's a great confidence builder."
As it was for Celenza. The freshman, and younger brother of former all-city forward Antonio, said the goal was the biggest and most dramatic of his young soccer career.
"I saw that we only had a little bit of time left, and I had two guys on me," said Celenza. "When I turned around, the ball just landed on my thigh, and I shot it. It was my best goal so far."