Sophomore Mike Sauers converted the winning goal on a penalty kick with only three minutes left in the second overtime. Sauers was awarded the opportunity when he was taken down in the box.
It appeared Curley would get a penalty kick opportunity in the first overtime when Ricky Greensfelder was also taken down in the box. No call was made, however, causing Curley coach Barry Stitz to earn a yellow card.
“We played really well defensively,” said Stitz. “We took their pressure when they brought it, but we also did a good job of counter attacking and we were able to create quite a few good opportunities for ourselves.”
Stitz said his Friars used their home field to good advantage and that the win did not come without several tense moments.
“Our smaller field certainly helps. Also, catching them with back-to-back games (McDonogh played No. 2 Gilman on Monday) was also fortunate for us,” said Stitz. “They are the best team in this league and they are so dangerous. Every time Mike (Gamble) and Julian (Griggs) touch the ball up top, you just hold your breath.
“We have a young team and I was really proud of our effort,” added Stitz. “They beat us 6-0 last time and we were coming off a big loss (5-0) at Calvert Hall. But, we put that behind us and played our best today. This should be a huge momentum boost for us for the rest of the year.”
The win is also a big boost to Curley’s playoff hopes. The Friars (4-6-1, 3-4-0) are now tied for fifth place with Loyola in the MIAA A Conference. Those two are battling with John Carroll for the final two playoff spots with plenty of soccer still to play.
Despite the loss, McDonogh (14-2-0, 8-1-0) remains in firm control of first place in the league.