For 50 minutes yesterday afternoon, the 10th-ranked Archbishop Curley soccer team appeared on its way to being routed by No. 4 Loyola. Not only had the Dons opened a two-goal advantage, they had also hit the post twice and held the ball in the Curley half of the field nearly the entire time.
But one blistering shot by senior midfielder Dale Rothe woke up the Friars, and leading scorer George Bakoulas added goals in the second half during stoppage time and 10 minutes later in overtime to lead Curley to a 3-2 upset in a Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference game in Towson.
"I don't think we came out ready to play today at the beginning of the game," said first-year Curley coach Barry Stitz, whose team won its second straight. "Down 2-0 at halftime, I laid into my team. I told them it was a gut-check time. We picked it up and played hard and smart. That's the effort I've been looking for all year against a team of a higher quality."
Bakoulas scored the game-winner, his 10th of the season, in the 90th minute when he won a loose ball at the top of the penalty area. Loyola freshman goalkeeper Amir Karimian stopped Bakoulas' initial shot from 20 yards out, but the ball bounced off the crossbar and Bakoulas headed the rebound into an empty net.
Afterward, Loyola (8-3-0, 4-2-0), which played a man down for the final 10 minutes of regulation and all of overtime after senior fullback Chase Franklin was ejected for intentionally bumping Curley midfielder Brian Kirhagis following a hard foul, could not mount a serious threat to tie.
Loyola held a decisive edge in play early, outshooting Curley (7-2-1, 3-2-0), 13-6, in the opening 50 minutes. The Dons took a 2-0 lead into halftime on a 12th-minute goal by senior fullback Mike Lookingland, his seventh of the season, and a header in the 35th minute by junior defender Ryan Tolson off a corner kick.
But when Rothe gathered a free ball at the top of the penalty area and rifled a 21-yard blast just over the outstretched arm of Karimian and just under the crossbar to cut the lead to 2-1, the Friars emerged from their lethargy.
Four minutes later, Bakoulas hit the post, and Curley kept the pressure on until Bakoulas tied the game in the 80th minute with a header from seven yards out. From the 50th minute until the end of the game Curley outshot Loyola, 17-2, including a 9-0 edge in overtime.