By John Knebels

Special to The CS&T

Just when déjà vu was starting to settle in, the scorers went on a rampage. When it was over, Archbishop Carroll’s boys’ soccer team had surprised La Salle, 4-2, in a non-spanision contest last week between two tough Catholic League opponents. Since Carroll – a sixth seed last year – stunned third-seed La Salle in the league playoffs last year, it’s safe to assume that the Explorers are sick of watching the Patriots celebrate victories at their expense.

“On paper, this wasn’t supposed to happen,” said upbeat Carroll coach Kevin Curley. “But the boys dug down and got the job done.”

Later, Curley received a text message from his brother Keith, a team assistant.

“He said it was a ‘character win,’ and he was right,” said Curley. “We had a lot of things to overcome.”

One was the revenge factor surely on the collective mind of La Salle. There was also a double yellow card penalty that resulted in two Explorer goals that turned a 1-0 lead into a 2-1 deficit. A key injury necessitated some spontaneous tweaking of the lineup as well.

However, the Patriots, who earlier had received a goal by senior Steve Dallara, erupted for unanswered second-half goals by sophomore Ryan Flynn, junior Andrew Bulman and senior Nick Szalejko to forge a two-goal lead.

Not surprisingly, La Salle had answered with a flurry of activity when it trailed 3-2. But the fourth goal seemed to deflate the worthy opponent.

One person who was extremely appreciative of Carroll’s fourth goal was senior goalie Greg Falatek.

“We were hanging on the edge of our seats,” said Falatek. “It was an awesome relief when Nick scored. La Salle was really coming at us with everything they had.”

John Knebels can be reached at