Chaminade drops first game to archrival

Dylan Butler

For a Chaminade soccer team struggling to score goals, every chance in the attacking third is critical. It’s the difference between a win, or as was the case Tuesday night in South Huntington, a difficult loss as the Flyers fell to archrival St. Anthony’s, 2-1, at Cy Donnelly Field. 

Chaminade (6-1-2, 3-1-2 CHSAA) rallied from a two-goal deficit to pull within one in the 84th minute. But that was as close as the Flyers would get in a rematch of last year’s CHSAA final, which was won by Chaminade. 

“It’s midseason so we get to see what they’re about, they get to see what we’re about,” Chaminade coach Mike Gallagher said. “Now that we’ve seen them, and played with them, training sessions are going to be different.”

Things could have been vastly different for the Flyers had Nicholas Joesten’s seventh-minute header been ruled a goal. The Chaminade senior beat St. Anthony’s goalkeeper Josh Weiss and the ball slowly rolled toward the goal line. 

But following a mad scramble in front, it was ruled the goal never crossed the line and the game, played at a fierce and frenetic pace, remained scoreless. 

“I definitely thought it was a goal,” Joesten said. “I started celebrating, but it’s the ref’s call.”

“We don’t get a lot of opportunities,” Gallagher said. “We’ve had a weird year. We haven’t been scoring a lot of goals. To watch the ball roll as close to the goal as it was, I couldn’t tell you if it was in or not. It’s not my job.”

St. Anthony’s (9-1-0, 6-0-0) jumped in front in the 23rd minute on a Chaminade own goal and added a second goal seven minutes later when Matt Vandenburg lobbed the ball into the net for his third goal of the year. 

Gallagher was forced to push numbers up in the attack and changed formation, adding a third forward in the final quarter hour. 

The Flyers nearly pulled a goal back in the 77th minute, but Weiss dived to his left to save a shot by Nicholas Negulic and Giovanni LoMonaco’s rebound was wide of the net. 

Joesten finally cut Chaminade’s deficit in half six minutes from full time with his third goal of the year, a blast from distance. 

“Brian Moran left the ball off for me, took one touch and got it out of my feet and I just cracked it,” Joesten said. 

There were some nervy moments late, especially when Joesten lobbed a ball into the box that bounced before Weiss was able to corral it and seal the Friars win. 

It was a loss that was tough to swallow for Chaminade, but the Flyers believe they can build off the way they finished the game. 

“Nobody is happy with a loss, but what ends up happening is you build off the last 15 minutes and they were a bit fatigued and they were trying to defend us and defend a 2-0 lead,” Gallagher said. “Had the ball bounced one way or another, maybe we could have gotten another one, but on this night we didn’t. Kudos to them, they’re a great team.”

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Dylan Butler

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