Third-ranked Curley got a little revenge yesterday by dropping sixth-ranked McDonogh, 1-0, in a rematch of last year's Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference championship game.
Marco Angelini collected a bouncing pass from brother Michael four minutes into the game and drilled the ball past McDonogh goalie Cam Thompson from five yards out. It was the only scoring in the game as both teams had trouble controlling the ball on Curley's bumpy field.
The Friars (8-1-1) were playing without their top playmaker, Santino Quaranta, who is in Florida playing with the U.S. Under-17 National Team. Instead, brother Brandon Quaranta picked up the slack by controlling most of the midfield and sending several dangerous balls into the Eagles' penalty area.
"It's always tough playing without Santino because he is such an intricate part of this team," Brandon Quaranta said. "We're as talented as any team we've had in a long time. We'll have to wait to the end of the season to see how we stack up."
Curley dominated the first half and missed several opportunities to put the game out of reach, including a shot by junior Peter Johnson that just grazed the far post. The Eagles (6-3-2) dropped 10 men back on defense to smother the Friars' attack and managed just one shot before halftime.
McDonogh coach Steve Nichols said he was forced to make adjustments because he lost seven starters from last year and the inexperienced defense needs more support from the midfield and forwards. McDonogh did launch a comeback in the second half and nearly missed tying the game on three separate chances.
Forward Kaiser Chowhdry, an All-Metro pick last season, nearly tied the game in the 65th minute, but his shot from four yards out was knocked away by Curley goalie Adam Jackson. Moments earlier, Chowhdry hit a volley that just went over the crossbar.
"They got that early goal and it hurt us," said Nichols, whose team upset No. 4 Mount Hebron on Saturday. "It took us 20 or 30 minutes to recover. I think we proved today we can play with anyone."
Nichols wasn't too upset about the loss because the Eagles lost both regular-season games to Curley last year, before beating the Friars, 2-1, in the championship game for the school's first title. Nichols said his team will use the game to see where it needs to improve.
"It helps us because we know where we are," Nichols said. "It hurts us because we didn't get the result."
Curley coach Tom "Pep" Perrella, now in his 13th year, said the absence of Santino Quaranta disrupted the flow of the offense. Perrella said his team used last year's championship game as some motivation.
"We though about that championship game, but we come out to play every game regardless," Perrella said. "I think that we are a little bit stronger than they are. They're rebuilding a bit."
Pub Date: 9/30/99