It was hard-fought revenge for Curley yesterday as the Friars out-maneuvered McDonogh, 2-1, to clinch the MIAA A Conference title in boys soccer.
After shaving their heads in a pre-game ritual, Curley avenged last year's loss to the Eagles by shutting down their prime scorers, Kaiser Chowhdry and Devin Barclay, to seal the victory and No. 1 ranking.
"We shaved our heads as a show of unity and to psych out [McDonogh] a little," said Curley team captain Matt Moneymaker. "We wanted to do something that would make this game different from last year's [final], something to pep us up so we could get our revenge."
Curley overwhelmed its younger opponent from the onset. Minutes into the game, Curley defender Steve Althoff rushed Chowhdry for an open ball and collided with the junior forward, leaving Chowhdry dazed.
Seizing the opportunity, Curley's Moneymaker charged downfield and headed the ball by goalie Dan Larach for a 1-0 lead.
"That collision with Kaiser set the whole tone for the game," said Curley coach Tom Perrella. "We knew Kaiser was dangerous and had to be shut down. We double-teamed him, but [defender] Chris Quigley really is the unsung player for marking him so well."
Shortly thereafter, McDonogh coach Stephen Nichols pulled Chowhdry and gave him some encouragement. The talk paid off two minutes later when the speedy forward assisted midfielder Lance Staib for a goal.
"Chowhdry was able to use his running to get the opening, but the field really hurt us because it was narrow and smaller, and there wasn't enough space," said Nichols about the Calvert Hall field. "We needed running because [the Friars] were stronger and more experienced with seven seniors to our two."
McDonogh used its speed to grab momentum after tying the score 1-1. But the Friars' front line maintained pressure even though its star forward Santino Quaranta missed the game after receiving a red-card penalty in the previous round against Calvert Hall for pushing a player.
Just before halftime, Curley forward Peter Johnson deflected a pass from Marco Angelini just past Larach's right side for the 2-1 lead and what ended up being the game-winning goal.
Severna Park 2, C.M. Wright 1: Senior Chris Boyd scored with 5: 40 left in the first overtime to send Severna Park to the Class 4A East region final.
Jerry Cornett got the deciding goal started with a long run from midfield. After dribbling into trouble just inside the penalty area, Jon Traylor picked up the loose ball and sent a low shot to the near post that Wright keeper Zach Keesecker turned aside. But Boyd was right there for the rebound.
There was another hero at the other end.
Severna Park reserve keeper Dan Korpon came in early in the second half and finished with eight saves after starter Jon Hopp left by ambulance with a mild concussion after colliding with Ryan Sedlak.
Eastern Tech 1, Bel Air 0: Valarie Cushing had the game's only goal off a corner kick from Jaime Stimmel in a Class 3A North region semifinal game. The Mustangs (12-2) play host to Franklin at 3 p.m. on Tuesday in the regional final.
Dulaney 5, Western 0: The host Lions (10-4) received goals from Julia Hughey, Ashley Nesbitt, Kelly Hawkins, Tracey Mullaney and Michelle Johnson in a Class 4A North region semifinal.