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Curley soccer continues playoff push with 5-2 win over Gilman on homecoming day

On its homecoming day in front of a spirited crowd, the Archbishop Curley soccer team wasn’t going to let anything get in the way of a win.

Gilman was coming off its biggest victory of the season and got the game’s first goal early, but the host Friars owned the rest of the game Saturday to claim a 5-2 win in Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference play.

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A balanced Greyhounds offense was led by junior Brady Geho’s two-goal performance, while senior center back Ricky Schissler led the defensive front.

Curley improved to 8-7-1 in league play to remain in fifth place with 25 points. Gilman, which upset No. 2 Calvert Hall, 1-0, on Wednesday, is 8-7 overall and 7-7 in conference play, still holding on to the sixth and final playoff spot with 21 points.

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Another slow start by the Friars led to the Greyhounds striking first, with Josh Melancon scoring eight minutes into play. But the home team made sure to respond.

Alex Krisher scored on a corner kick sent in by Schissler three minutes later to tie the game, and the Friars got goals from Casey Price and Matt Lynard in the final five minutes of the half for a 3-1 advantage at the break. They kept attacking throughout the second half, getting two goals from Geho to walk off with an important three points for the win.

“The effort was fantastic. We’ve had some trouble coming out hard this year, letting up the first goal like today, but we fought back hard,” Schissler said. “I can’t thank the student section enough for coming out and giving us the push we needed because we needed this game to help get us in the playoffs.”

Some persistence and good fortune came for the Friars after they got the game tied at 1. Chris Shanahan served a ball in front that Nick Henderson got to and sent a shot off the post. But freshman Casey Price pounced on the rebound for the 2-1 lead with 4:06 left in the half. With under two minutes to play in the half, Matt Lynard lofted an unsuspecting shot from 25 yards out that got caught up in the wind and ended up over Gilman goalie Ethan Chodnicki (13 saves) for a 3-1 lead.

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With the home team pressing for much of the second half, Geho made it 4-1 with 12:53 to play to put the game away.

The Friars have four league games left with a home game against Loyola Blakefield next up at 4 p.m. Wednesday.

“Overall I’m really happy with the performance today. Again, we had to come from behind against a team that doesn’t give up a lot of goals and we were able to score five goals,” Curley coach Barry Stitz said. “Great atmosphere. You always think homecoming is a big game, but this one is about survival and making the playoffs, so we’re in a little bit of a different position than the past five or six years where it was jockeying for our seeding. Now, we’re fighting to make the playoffs and I think we saw some of that desperation from us today, which is a good thing.”

Gilman remains one point ahead of Concordia Prep (6-7-2 for 20 points) for the final playoff spot with one game in hand. The Greyhounds will look to bounce back at home Monday when they take on Archbishop Spalding at 4:15 p.m.

“Our team played hard, but it didn’t necessarily play well and you’re not going to win a game like that in this atmosphere when you don’t play well, so we’re going to have to regroup and be ready for Spalding,” Gilman coach Jon Seal said.

Goals: G – Melancon 2; C – Geho 2, Krisher, Price, Lynard

Assists: G – Johnson; C – Goff, Schissler, Henderson

Saves: G – Chodnicki 13; C – Caulkins 2, Yakim 4

Half: C, 3-1

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