No. 5 Archbishop Curley blanks second-ranked Loyola Blakefield in MIAA A Conference soccer

Single goals by Brannock, Manning and Landreth doom the Dons

Published on: September 14, 2022 10:35 PM EDT|Updated on: September 15, 2022 10:33 AM EDT

Archbishop Curley senior back Trey Magnaye (left) makes a sliding attempt to prevent Loyola Blakefield sophomore Sammie Walker from advancing toward goal as Friar teammate Mason Cook approaches. Curley beat the Dons, 3-0, on Wednesday afternoon.

As one the Baltimore Banner’s Top 10 Soccer Players to Watch for the 2022 season, Archbishop Curley senior forward Brady Geho has a well-earned reputation for striking fear in the hearts of rival defenders.

Even when the St. John’s commit, who totaled 20 goals last fall and has already produced eight this season, doesn’t score, he’s very often a threat to break through.

On Wednesday in Towson against No. 2 Loyola Blakefield, although Geho was held scoreless, the No. 5 Friars proved that they are not a one-man show when they used goals from a trio of juniors — forward/midfielder Tristan Brannock and midfielders Malachi Manning and Phillippe Oliveira — to down the Dons, 3-0, in the Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference match.

”Even though Brady didn’t score, he’s still dangerous and created dangerous plays,” Curley coach Barry Stitz said.

It was really an overall team effort that kept everything in sync for Curley, which threatened early on with shots by Geho that were saved by Loyola senior keeper Jordy Eckman.

Eckman’s kick-save on Geho midway through the first half was his best of the game, although the Friars struck 90 seconds later when Brannock let one rip from just inside the box on an assist from junior midfielder Andrew Throneburgh.

Manning’s header on a perfect setup from junior midfielder Phillippe Oliveira, in the 35th minute, made it 2-0 going into the intermission — and matched the number of goals the Dons had yielded in their previous six games combined.

When Landreth smoked a shot past Eckman after collecting the ball from sophomore midfielder Casey Price with 21:34 remaining in regulation, for all intents and purposes, the Friars (6-2, 5-1 conference) had the game in hand.

To its credit, Loyola (5-2) kept trying to wring a goal out of its hard work without a payoff.

Loyola coach Lee Tschantret said that he was not surprised by the defeat.

”We have not been consistently practicing well,” he said, noting that he warned the Dons at Tuesday’s practice that things could go awry against Curley.

“I told them that I hope today won’t hurt you tomorrow. Unfortunately, it did. I think that we played better last year when we were 0-4 than we have this year.”

Brannock said that Throneburgh’s pass gave him just enough room to unleash a shot, and “I stuck it.”

Moreover, Brannock added that he was pleased with every phase of the game.

”We were passing and holding the ball well,” he said. “There were no goals conceded. We were playing well.”

Stitz, whose team moved into a tie with Loyola for third place in the A Conference with 15 points, was of a similar mind-set.

”It was the first complete game this season when we put everything together,” he said. “We were able to keep possession. The best defense is a good offense.”

Loyola did let at least one golden chance go by the wayside — or over the crossbar — when senior Jordan Maglalang stung a shot that barely whipped over the crossbar as it curved away from Curley goalkeeper Joe Yakim.

Senior Landon Lackner also had a couple of attempts that failed to find the net before Maglalang’s lefty in the 77th minute was gobbled up by Yakim.