His Archbishop Curley teammates have nicknamed him "Jewel," and at No. 3 Calvert Hall yesterday, sophomore Giuliano Celenza demonstrated what a treasure he can be.
The 5-foot-3, 130-pound striker scored two second-half goals, the last a downward arching 30-yarder that broke a 1-1 tie with 23 seconds left, lifting No. 2 Curley (6-1, 6-0) over Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association rival Calvert Hall, 2-1.
The win, a rematch of last year's 3-2 title game won by Curley, kept the Friars unbeaten in 23 games against Maryland competition. Their only loss came Saturday against St. Benedict's (N.J.).
It was just Round 1 of a possible three meetings between the two squads, with Round 2 being a Nov. 1 meeting at Curley, where the Friars have a 26-game winning streak.
"They're coming to our [dog] pound next time," said midfielder Mike Bailey. "Nobody comes there and beats us."
The winning shot was similar to a downward curling header by the Friars' Greg Loftus, which Calvert Hall keeper Scott Simmons (six saves) tipped over the crossbar near the end of the first half.
The only difference was that a defender deflected Celenza's game-winner en route to the goal, freezing Simmons, who could only watch it float overhead.
"The pass came in from [Todd Clingan], and I was going to try and beat the defender," said Celenza, who has 10 goals and two assists. "Then I looked up, saw I didn't have much time left and just chipped it."
With 15 minutes left in the game, Steve Ball's through pass into the box began the sequence for Celenza's first goal. Racing toward Ball's relay, Bailey and Simmons collided. The ball popped free, and Celenza was there to pound it in.
"Celenza's going to finish those kinds of opportunities. Those were good, hard goals by that young man," said Calvert Hall coach Bill Karpovich. "Bruce Engle did a fantastic job on Celenza ZTC in the first half, but you've got to swing a leg to clear a ball, and we didn't in the second half."
The initial goal didn't stand up, however, as the Cardinals'
Deepak Rana tied the game with 2:39 remaining.
Rana hammered a follow-up past Friars keeper Brad Bush (seven saves), who was grounded after stopping a blistering shot by Engle.
Calvert Hall (7-1-2, 4-1-1) missed two chances in the game's opening minutes, the first as Ryan Smith ripped one that drifted wide of the goal. On the second, Bush was grounded after a collision with stopper Ryan Lachowicz, whose point-blank header bounced off the post.
For the remainder of the game, however, Bush went largely unchallenged as he rose to pluck dangerous crosses, throw-ins and corner kicks from the air.