The Archbishop Curley soccer team has enjoyed big scoring days and also showed it could come from behind in games so far this season.
On Friday, the No. 2 Friars found another way to win at No. 6 Gilman.
Junior forward Anthony Schlee scored his eighth goal of the season late in the first half and the visitors played smart and aggressive the rest of the way in grinding out a 1-0 win over the Greyhounds in Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference play.
Curley improves to 7-1-1 overall and remains undefeated in league play at 6-0. The Greyhounds, who got 10 saves from junior goalie Grant Farley, fall to 5-3-1 and 3-3.
In their first five league wins, the Friars poured in 19 goals and also had to come from behind against Calvert Hall, Loyola Blakefield and Mount Saint Joseph.
On Friday, the path to victory against the tough Greyhounds was to get front and stay composed.
“It’s definitely confidence and effort,” said Schlee. “Even though in the first half we didn’t start out as best we could, we knew our confidence would do it for us today. And we didn’t score as many goals as we’d have liked to but we got the win and that’s all that matters.”
The game’s only goal from Schlee was filled with confidence and effort.
The Friars earned a free kick near midfield that junior back Brandon Holy served to the far post. Schlee had defenders and the area’s top goalie to contend with, but managed to get a head on it that found the net with 12:45 to play until the halftime break.
Schlee’s effort provided an example of what Curley coach Barry Stitz constantly teaches to his team.
“He struggled in his minutes and then out of nothing he scored a great goal,” Stitz said. “Brandon Holy played a great serve in and Anthony showed courage. It’s not easy going for a 50-50 [against] a big kid like Farley. He beat him to the ball and that’s a great goal. I always tell the guys if you’re not having a good ten or 15 minutes, make sure the guy that’s marking you or your marking doesn’t either or go make a play. He made a play off a set piece.”
The Friars played their best soccer protecting the advantage in the second half with quality possession. They carried the play most of the way, despite the home team’s need to score and when called upon, goalie Chris Denholm was smart and aggressive with junior back Landon Berger regularly disrupting the Greyhounds plans on offense.
“It certainly wasn’t our cleanest game of the year. I knew coming in, Gilman always plays hard and they give everybody a fit. I liked the way we responded in the second half. Any time you come over to Gilman and get a win it’s a big one for you,” Stitz said
Some big stops from Farley kept the Greyhounds close, but it turned out their first half – when they earned four corner kicks and had good build up during play – was their best chance to break through.
“It looked like a little miscommunication in the back and you can’t give up goals like that against a team like [Curley] and expect to chase the game and be successful,” sad Gilman coach Jon Seal.
“I credit my kids, they worked hard and continued to fight and battle to the very end. We had some opportunities in the first when the ball is bouncing around in the box and we just couldn’t finish, so credit to them. They came on the road and got three points which is difficult to do in this conference.”
Goals: C - Schlee. Assists: C – Holy. Saves: C – Denholm 4; G – Farley 10. Half: C, 1-0