"I saw the far post wide open and they had too many people on the wall, so I was unmarked," Kirby said.
"It was one of the biggest goals of my Catholic career," Kirby added.
The league win for the Raiders (6-2) keeps them undefeated, at 4-0, against Catholic teams. La Salle fell to 7-2 overall and 3-1 in league play.
The Explorers, ranked second in Southeastern Pennsylvania by The Inquirer, had previously given up only four goals this season, posting six shutouts. Ryan has been tough all season, with both its losses coming in one-goal games.
Physical from the opening whistle and at times nasty, the game never quite caught a flow, as there were constant stoppages for free kicks or injuries.
While the Explorers controlled the midfield for most of the game, the Raiders didn't give La Salle many open shots. Instead, the Explorers played small ball around the net, leading to many corner kicks.
Ryan scored the first goal of the game 25 minutes in, as Michael Usher's foot found the ball after the ball had bounced around a scrum in front of the net.
The Raiders led at halftime, 1-0.
The equalizer for La Salle came with 18 minutes remaining in the game, as some excellent passing paid off for the Explorers.
Mark Grasela's shot was low and well placed, finding the back of the net.
Archbishop Ryan 1 1 – 2
La Salle 0 1 – 1
Goals: AR-Michael Usher, Michael Kirby; L-Mark Grasela.
Saves: AR-Jared Ott 4; L-Anthony D'Angelo 6.
Contact Kate Harman at email@example.com.