RALEIGH — Led by four goals each from Matt Skowron and Tyler Van Horn, Cardinal Gibbons fended off a second-half comeback and cruised to a 14-5 win over Green Hope at home Thursday night.
The Crusaders (10-0 overall, 10-0 conference) climbed to a 10-0 lead on Van Horn’s fourth goal of the evening with just under four minutes gone by in the second half. But GHHS wasn’t done yet.
The Falcons went on a 5-0 run to make things a bit more interesting and cut Gibbons’ advantage in half with 5:21 left in the fourth quarter.
Then the Crusaders chipped in four goals in the final five minutes of the game to halt the Green Hope comeback and push past the Falcons (2-8, 1-8).
Van Horn said Gibbons started moving the ball around to get open looks and eventually found the net again.
“Once we started doing that, we put the ball the in the back of the net,” he said.
In addition to combining for eight of the team’s goals, Skowron added two assists, and Van Horn chipped in one.
“Both of them have been catalysts in our offense this year,” said Gibbons coach Mike Curatolo. “I’m really proud of their efforts.”
The Crusaders have extended their start to 10-0 for 2012, a streak that includes Gibbons’ win over Athens Drive earlier this month, which marked Curatolo’s 200th victory. And after Thursday’s game, he was presented with a commemorative plaque signed by his players, who swarmed their coach in a group hug.
“I have a wonderful group of kids that I love to death,” Curatolo said, praising his team’s efforts on the field as well as in the classroom and community. “They’re a classy group of kids, and I’m privileged to be around them.”
Meanwhile, the Falcons were led by Chris Brunetti, who scored two of their five straight goals. GHHS coach Jack Bogwicz said switching to zone on defense helped spur the comeback.
“We got some confidence, started believing in ourselves and putting in some goals,” Bogwicz said.
Gibbons began the night by notching three goals in the first 5:14 of the game, eventually building a 5-0 lead by the end of the first quarter and extending it to 8-0 by halftime.
The Crusaders started the second half in similar fashion, scoring their first two goals of the period in less than four minutes.