Rich Monath stood on the turf of Kelly Field, smiling from ear to ear. He took photos with teammates, current and past.
The centerpiece of those photos: The Reif Cup.
For the fourth straight year, top-ranked Calvert Hall retained the trophy named for Bernie Reif, Archbishop Curley’s first soccer coach and parent of former Calvert Hall player Chris Reif, in a 4-1 win Friday night over the No. 3 Friars in a MIAA A Conference contest in Towson.
Monath, the hero in last year’s MIAA A final, was a huge part of the Cardinals (10-0-1 overall) keeping possession of the Reif Trophy. The Cardinals improved their mark in the series to 11-9-1.
With just over 10 minutes gone from the first half, Monath found himself in the box scrambling for the ball, with just Friar goalie Joe Yakim in position to get the ball away.
Monath won the ball, and calmly slotted it away for the opening score. He also scored the game’s final goal, after receiving a through ball from Ben Madore.
“With all the history, having my name somewhere in there, it’s amazing,” Monath said.
Monath has been on varsity for his entire high school career. He’s been a part of Calvert Hall’s recent dominance of the Reif Cup.
Cardinals coach Rich Zinkand loves seeing his senior score.
“He’s been working hard,” Zinkand said. “It was really good for him to get on the board tonight.”
Calvert Hall got on top early, and dominated most of the game. Monath scored the opener. Ryan Belal scored to double the Cardinal lead after he snuck the ball past Yakim, following a pass from Cody Angelini in the box with space.
The Cardinal lead grew five minutes into the second half, with Madore scoring on a pass from Tyler Flynn. The win keeps Calvert Hall undefeated in MIAA A play at 9-0-1.
Zinkand knows his team can play better.
“I thought the boys played well for some stretches,” Zinkand said. “We’re still building, looking to put together a complete game. A little tentative at first, but once we settled into the match, I thought we played well.”
Calvert Hall held possession for a large portion Friday. Curley (8-4, 7-3 MIAA A) found some chances on set pieces early. The Friars made mistakes within their own half, and Calvert Hall took advantage.
“Once they got the momentum, it was tough to get it back,” Friars coach Barry Stitz said. “I told the guys at halftime, ‘let’s get the next goal.’”
Curley didn’t get the next goal with Madore’s goal opening the second half scoring, but it got one back with 24 minutes left in the game. Brady Geho scored after Mason Landreth won the ball in the Cardinal half.
“Brady played very hard today,” Stitz said. “He deserved the goal he got.”
The night belonged to Calvert Hall and its senior class which possessed the Rief Cup all four years. Six members — Monath, Madore, Angelini, Flynn, Gabe Glikin and Josh Nagy — are four-year letter-winners.
“Playing with all my friends, being able to bring it home for four in a row, it’s amazing,” Monath said.
No. 1 Calvert Hall 4, No. 3 Archbishop Curley 1
Curley 0 1 —1
Calvert Hall 2 2 — 4
GOALS: Curley - Brady Geho; Calvert Hall- Rich Monath 2, Ben Madore, Ryan Belal
ASSISTS: Curley - Mason Landreth; Calvert Hall - Cody Angelini 2, Tyler Flynn, Madore
SAVES: Curley - Joe Yaking 6; Calvert Hall - Nate Jones 3