Owen Duffy of St. Anthony's carries the ball toward the...

Owen Duffy of St. Anthony's carries the ball toward the net during a CHSAA boys lacrosse game against St. Anthony's on Thursday at Chaminade. Credit: Dawn McCormick

There aren’t many better ways for Owen Duffy and St. Anthony’s to start the lacrosse season.

Not only did the Friars win their opening CHSAA game, but they did it against top rival Chaminade.

“I think this is one of the best games in the country every year,” Duffy said. “I think every year we both come here and it’s always going to be a tight game. I think this is a great way to start.”

St. Anthony’s defeated the Flyers, 12-10, at Chaminade High School behind Duffy’s five goals and two assists. Jack Speidell added two goals and Jackson Greene and Jack Ponzio each had two assists.

It was the Friars’ fifth straight win over the Flyers.

“We knew coming into this game that it was going to be a dogfight no matter what,” Duffy said. “This rivalry always is. I think like Coach just said in the huddle, all great teams get tested. I think we’re a great team, and I think every time we play Chaminade, it’s going to be a great test.”

Chaminade took a 5-2 lead early in the second quarter, but

St. Anthony's boys lacrosse coach Keith Wieczorek is looking to win back-to-back CHSAA state titles this season, NewsdayTV Dean Zulkofske reports. Credit: Morgan Campbell

Duffy scored the Friars’ third goal and assisted on Speidell’s goal with 2.3 seconds left in the half to put the Friars down 6-5.

The Flyers remained on top for almost the entire third quarter, but Duffy tied the score at 8-8 with 18.5 seconds left in the period. Less than 10 seconds later, Matthew Gilbert broke the tie.

“You rely on the guys that you know have been battle- tested and have proven to be able to compete like that,” coach Keith Wieczorek said. “There’s no magic pill.”

Wieczorek said his team had too many unforced turnovers and dropped passes in the first half. He said the Friars initially weren’t locked in.

The win is a tone-setter for the remainder of the season. Chaminade tested St. Anthony’s, which will fuel the fire for the rivals’ May 10 matchup at St. Anthony’s High School.

The Friars also were tested against Culver Academy Prep to start the season in a 14-10 win. Culver was the No. 2 high school boys lacrosse team in the country, according to Inside Lacrosse, before being leapfrogged by St. Anthony’s.

Duffy knows how important these wins are for the team and that it will push the Friars’ momentum upward.

“This is a huge win for us,” he said. “We’re going to see these guys later. I think honestly playing a close game like that and being down showed the adversity we can [overcome].”

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