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Boys Varsity: St. Anthony’s vs. Chaminade CHSAA Championship

The third and final meeting of the season between St. Anthony’s and Chaminade was for all the marbles. The two teams split the first two games during the regular season. St. Anthony’s came away with a 15-11 win at Chaminade in game one where Owen Duffy scored seven goals. Then, Chaminade took the second match up at St. Anthony’s 11-10 in overtime where Will Lynch scored the game winner. This time, back at Chaminade, it was St. Anthony’s with an epic 12-11 come from behind victory to claim the CHSAA championship. Andrew McAdorey earned Epoch player of the game honors, but it was the combination of him and Owen Duffy that led the comeback in the second half. Let’s dive into how they were able to come away victorious against their longtime rivals!

First Half

Chaminade won the opening face-off, but after failing to score, St. Anthony’s got the ball and McAdorey ripped one through on their first offensive possession to put the Friars up 1-0. Chaminade answered back with two consecutive goals including one by Trey Berry after scooping up a ground ball. The 2-1 lead was brief, as Jack Ponzio stung one through the cage to tie the game at two. Both teams exchanged goals in the first quarter. Lynch of Chaminade sprinted to cage and fired one in to reclaim the lead for the Flyers. In a game with so much on the line, every play and every loose ball was critical. St. Anthony’s evened up the game on another ground ball that was picked up by Ponzio who scored. In the final two minutes of the first quarter, Thomas Casey and Jack Flaherty scored two consecutive goals to put Chaminade up 5-3.

The Friars struck first in the second quarter with Johnny Maccarone flashing a pass to Duffy who put it through the cage and cut the deficit in half. It didn’t take long for Chaminade to counter. Lynch showed off his strength and laced one in the top left corner after backing down the St. Anthony’s defender to give them a two goal lead again. Two straight goals by St. Anthony’s evened up the game at six, but Casey put Chaminade back on top shortly after the game was tied. With less than two minutes remaining in the half, Jalen Seymour fed a beautiful pass to Maccarone and he took care of the rest.

It was looking like we were heading for a tie game going into halftime, but the Flyers scored two late goals. Charles Balsamo recorded his second of the game which put Chaminade up 9-7 going into intermission just 24 minutes away from lifting the championship trophy on their home turf.

Second Half

The second half started with the Friars second half goalie, Will Snyder, making two crucial saves to keep Chaminade’s lead at just two. Those two saves led to what most would say was the play of the game and shot of the year. Duffy came from behind the cage and as he turned the corner he shot with his back to the goal as he was falling down and scored! This goal will be featured on our GLE Top 10 Plays of the Week so keep an eye out for this incredible shot and comment below what number it should be! Duffy wasn’t done yet, though. He scored a second consecutive goal off of the feed from McAdorey to tie the game at nine.

After evening the score, the Friars got one more goal in third to grab their first lead since the first quarter. McAdorey brought out his do-it-yourself kit and laced one for the 10-9 lead. On the other end, the Friars’ defense kept Chaminade’s offense completely silent in the third quarter. The tables had turned and all of a sudden St. Anthony’s was in the driver seat going into the final 12 minutes.

The momentum continued for the Friars in the fourth. They took an 11-9 lead with McAdorey setting up Seymour who somehow scored with defenders swarming him. Snyder had another big save to keep the Friars up two, but Chaminade wasn’t going to be denied again as Lynch scored a clutch goal with just over five minutes remaining which made it a one score game. It was officially crunch time and the game was still very much up for grabs. The Friars got a monumental insurance goal from the stick of Mike Leo who was set up by Jackson Greene.

The Flyers needed two goals to tie it with two minutes left in the game. They got a huge goal from Balsamo with just 12 seconds left to make it 12-11. Machado Rodríguez  proceeded to win the face-off and Chaminade took a timeout with eight seconds left and a chance to tie the game. Coming out of the timeout, Balsamo had the ball and was guarded by McAdorey. He made his way to the cage, but ran out of time before he was able to get off a shot off and St. Anthony’s prevailed 12-11 to take home the championship!

Postgame

McAdorey spoke with the LILJ on his emotions after capturing the league championship. Here is the full interview.

“I’m absolutely stoked. It’s a huge win, great team, great coaches, great team overall. It feels great.”

He also discussed the mindset going into the second half after trailing by two at halftime.

“We knew we just had to weather their first punch. We had to stay poised on offense and defense,” McAdorey said. “During the halftime huddle, coach Wieczorek got us together just to make sure we were staying poised, and we got out on the field and didn’t let our emotions get the best of us.”

The victory for St. Anthony’s marks the second time in three years (with the 2020 season being cancelled) that they’ve defeated Chaminade in the championship game by a single goal. Great game guys and Congratulations St. Anthony’s!

 

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