Marco Angelini of Archbishop Curley didn't dream he would score three goals yesterday with the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference title at stake.
Neither did his coach, Tom "Pep" Perella. Nor did the Friars' formidable opponent, McDonogh.
But Angelini's hat trick stole the show before a large crowd in East Baltimore, and provided No. 1 Curley a well-earned 3-1 victory. The win gives the Friars their first regular-season title since 1995, when they shared it with Gilman.
Curley (16-0-1 overall, 13-0-1 league) still has a chance to duplicate the 1993 team's undefeated season. It will play Loyola at home Wednesday in the semifinals of the MIAA tournament.
No. 2-ranked McDonogh (20-3-1, 12-1-1) did prevent the Friars, ranked 14th nationally, from recording their 16th shutout. The Eagles, whose 17-game win streak was ended, joined Calvert Hall as the only teams to score on Curley this season. The Friars have outscored their opposition, 62-3.
McDonogh, employing three strikers, created more good scoring chances in the first half than Curley, but trailed at halftime, 1-0, thanks to a defensive lapse on Angelini's 22-yard goal. A triangle of McDonogh defenders surrounded him, but none close enough to prevent the shot.
"That's the first one I've made from that far out this year," said Angelini, who has 16 goals this season. "Coach has been telling me all season to shoot from outside the 18."
"This feels real good because beating McDonogh twice is hard," Angelini said. "Hopefully we'll see them again next Saturday."
The Eagles' two-time All-Metro midfielder Jon Cole fired off four potent shots in the first half.
A diving save by Curley goalkeeper Adam Jackson saved Cole's first blast in the 10th minute. Cole struck a direct kick from 40 yards in the 16th minute that Jackson almost misjudged but saved with his fingertips. In the 20th minute, Cole tried a banana kick that bent around Curley's wall but missed by about three feet. Two minutes later, Cole volleyed a 10-yard shot above the crossbar.
"Curley's defense drops deep and it's hard to get in behind them on through balls," Cole said. "Their sweeper Steve Althoff is tough. And their goalkeeper made some good saves. We made three or four mistakes in the back and they punished us. But give them credit for finishing."
Angelini beat a charging Bob Benson near the post for the second goal, using a through ball from Santino Quaranta for 6-yard, right-footed score in the 50th minute.
Curley beat McDonogh to the ball frequently in the free-wheeling second half.
"We played Spalding last night and it was their homecoming, and they gave us a tougher game than we expected," McDonogh coach Steve Price said. "We lost our legs in the second half. Curley is just the best team we've played."
Cole momentarily gave McDonogh hope when his 25-yard direct kick in the 71st minute found the net to make it 2-1.
Angelini scored again a minute later, however, as he beat marking back Chris Zuk to a high bouncing pass from Santino Quaranta and headed it just over the outstretched arms of fast-charging Benson at the 15-yard line.
Benson made 13 saves, including two spectacular ones in the second half.
Curley marking back Dave Marcozzi played an outstanding game against freshman McDonogh striker Devin Barclay. "What makes us tough is our diamond defense," said Marcozzi. "We leave no gaps between our midfield and defense. And Steve [Althoff] is able to take a deep drop."
Pub Date: 11/01/98