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Brady Geho’s overtime goal lifts Curley soccer over Loyola, 2-1, in MIAA A quarterfinals

Archbishop Curley striker Brady Geho worked and worked some more in Tuesday’s Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference quarterfinal against visiting Loyola Blakefield, trying to break the tie to send the No. 8 Friars to the next round.

And while all his quality second-half chances went for naught, largely because of some fine defense by the Dons, the junior stayed ready for his next chance.

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It came just two minutes into overtime. Fellow junior Matt Lynard sent him a short pass from the right side, and Geho quickly settled the ball and scored from 14 yards to give Curley a 2-1 win over the No. 10 Dons in a cold, steady drizzle.

Geho’s 21st goal of the season sent the Friars (12-8-1) to a matchup against No. 1 McDonogh in Thursday’s semifinal at 3 p.m.

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“I thought I played really good in the second half and I just kept on shooting and felt it was going to fall one time,” Geho said shortly after the game with the Friars’ student section roaring in the background. “It felt amazing. Amazing.”

The wet conditions didn’t deter either team from playing at a high level, and it was the Dons (10-8-3) who struck first.

The visitors took a 1-0 lead in the 17th minute when junior Evan Altemus scored from the far post off Cameron Cole’s corner kick.

The Friars responded five minutes later when senior defender Ricky Schissler scored from 10 yards after Geho sent a cross from the right side that was nudged further across by Andrew Throneburgh.

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Both teams had quality chances to break the tie early in the second half before the Friars — and Geho — took control. Midway through the half, Geho’s shot from 12 yards was blocked by Mateo Munoz. With 17 minutes to play, Geho snapped a header from a corner kick toward the net before it was tipped over the crossbar by Dons goalie Jordy Eckman.

With 14 minutes left in regulation, Cole aimed a shot for the corner from 10 yards that Curley goalkeeper Michael Caulkins kept out with a fine reaction save.

With under three minutes to play, Geho had another chance turned back by Eckman, who finished with eight saves.

Curley coach Barry Stitz had a feeling it would be Geho’s time eventually, and he was right.

“He worked very hard, he was dangerous, especially the second half and on, and was just unlucky a couple times,” Stitz said. “He’s our leading scorer and you expect your best players to make plays when you need it, and he did that today.”

The Friars have gone 7-1-1 in their past eight as they prepare for McDonogh, which won both meetings in the regular season.

“To me, it’s not just about today, but it’s about our last seven or eight games where we’ve been on a pretty good roll. We’re obviously going over there to win,” Stitz said. “We know they got some very good players, the top player in the league [senior forward Jacob Murrell], and it’s going to start with doing what we do best and then we’ll start worrying about what they do.”

The Dons, whose starting lineup Tuesday was dominated by underclassmen, had an up-and-down season that often comes with youth. After a 0-4-1 start, they enjoyed an 8-1-1 stretch midway through the season that showed their potential.

“I was really proud of the way we turned the season around. Starting off like that with a young group, a lot of kids don’t recover, so that shows good character from the group,” Loyola coach Lee Tschantret said. “It’s a tough one — I feel for the seniors. It was a good game. They played fantastic, so I feel for them. But somebody has to lose and unfortunately it was us today.”

Goals: LB — Altemus; AC — Schissler, Geho

Assists: LB — Cole; AC — Throneburgh, Lynard

Saves: LB — Eckman 8; AC — Yakim 3, Caulkins 5

Half: 1-1

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