After surrendering an own goal in the third minute and playing sluggishly throughout the first half, the Friars were able to find their way, and it was the dynamic forward tandem of Ben Stitz and Tommy Sidleck that paved the way.
Stitz scored two second-half goals both from Sidleck passes as the Friars claimed a 2-1 home win in Maryland Interscholastic Athletic Association A Conference play.
At halftime, Curley coach Barry Stitz urged his team to play with more focus and challenged his senior tandem up front to lead the way.
With 28:50 to play, Sidleck nudged a short pass across the penalty area for Stitz, who hit a left-footed shot from 15 yards to tie the game.
With 18 minutes left, Sidleck settled a ball on the left side and sent a low, firm pass toward the goal that a sliding Stitz steered in just before McDonogh goalie Kieran Baskett could get to it.
“We played together a little bit [in club ball] and while we were playing there we connected a lot and learned to play off each other,” Ben Stitz said of his chemistry with Sidleck.
But a miscommunication between All-Metro senior defender Nick Richardson and goalie Nathan Wdzieczkowski resulted in an own goal and 1-0 deficit less than three minutes into the game.
With much of an even first half played at midfield and both teams finding little success creating scoring chances, the Eagles took the 1-0 advantage into the halftime break.