St. Anthony's midfielder Justin Carfora and goalkeeper Josh Weiss both said they couldn't have felt more confident knowing the NSCHSAA final would be decided in a shootout.
After a scoreless regulation and two scoreless overtime periods, St. Anthony's defeated Chaminade by winning on penalty kicks, 4-1, Saturday night at Adelphi University.
Latest HS sports stories
The Friars (20-1-1) will play in a state semifinal match against Fordham Prep next Saturday at 7 p.m. at St. John's University. Both St. Anthony's and Chaminade (11-4-4) are considered co-champions, according to league rules, because the score was still tied after a second overtime period.
Last season, Chaminade defeated St. Anthony's in the final in a shootout, which Carfora said he remembered once the second overtime period ended.
"It was pretty dramatic that it came down to penalty kicks again," Carfora said. At first I was very nervous but then I thought of last year and there was no way I was going to let a loss happen again. I had all the confidence that we would take it."
Carfora connected for the Friars in their first attempt during the shootout. Michelangelo Sini converted on St. Anthony's second try, and Nick Cestaro followed to put the Friars ahead 3-0.
"At that point, having Josh Weiss as goalkeeper gave us a huge lift," Carfora said.
Nicholas Negulic found the back of the net for Chaminade after Weiss made two saves, but then Beau Hornberger clinched it for the Friars.
"I was feeling really confident throughout and especially heading into the shootout," said Weiss, who recorded 10 saves and earned the game's Most Valuable Player award. "I told my team not to worry even if this miss a penalty kick in the shootout because I had their backs from the start."
Weiss gave his team no reason to doubt him. He set the school's record for shutouts earlier this season with 17 shutouts.
"Josh is the best goalie I've ever played with," Carfora said.
Chaminade's defense barred the Friars from cashing in on several scoring chances before the shootout, especially late in the second overtime period when defender James Harris made a clear with 12 seconds remaining.
Joe LoMonaco also made things very difficult for the Friars by making several critical tackles in both overtime periods and goalkeeper Andrew Dorritie had 10 saves.The defensive dominance shown by both teams didn't surprise many, including Weiss.
"You just knew it would be a great game coming in against Chaminade," Weiss said. "And to be honest, I don't know if I've ever played in a better game."