Chaminade has been down this road before. The Flyers would like to avoid the dead end they hit last year.
Chaminade beat CHSAA rival St. Anthony's, 11-8, Thursday night for the second time this season. But as they learned from 2011, when they did the same thing, "The most important game is still to come," said Flyers midfielder Matt Graham, who had a first-half hat trick.
St. Anthony's (11-3) and Chaminade (12-1) will meet for the Long Island and state Class AAA CHSAA crowns on May 24, so as Flyers goalie Danny Fowler (18 saves) observed, "These games matter, but not much in the grand scheme of things."
That's because these two national powers knew from the start of the season that they would meet for the championship because of the paucity of large-school competition in the Catholic league. And that's why last night's game seemed to lack urgency.
Especially after Chaminade scored the first four goals to mute a crowd estimated at 1,300 at St. Anthony's. "The game doesn't mean a lot, but we worked on a few things," said Chaminade's Ryan Lukacovic, who had a goal and three assists. "We spread it out on offense and it was a lot more run-and-gun."
Chaminade won the first meeting, 6-5, in a game that featured more settled offensive sequences. Both teams let it fly last night. Eric Caliendo made 14 saves for St. Anthony's, which got four goals from Sean McDonagh and two goals and two assists from Dylan Molloy.
Graham scored twice in the first period and Paul Urbank and Tom Zenker also scored for the Flyers before McDonagh hit the back of the net with 2:55 left in the first quarter.
Chaminade led 7-3 at halftime and Urbank's low blast 1:18 into the third quarter provided a five-goal cushion. St. Anthony's cut the deficit to 8-5 midway through the third but an unassisted goal by Lukacovic made it 10-6 early in the fourth quarter and ended any remaining suspense.
Said Lukacovic, "We have a few things up our sleeve for the championship."