For Regan Quinn, it was time to dodge and weave.
“They threw their punch and we had to throw one right back,” the Chaminade attack said.
So after St. Anthony’s had scored two quick goals to cut a four-goal deficit in half early in the second quarter, Quinn went to work. He spun away from a defender to score unassisted, then 15 seconds later finished on a feed from Frankie Tangredi. The Flyers made it three goals in 1:35 when Matt Chmil scored while falling to the ground and were off and running to a convincing 12-6 victory over rival St. Anthony’s Wednesday at Ott Field in Mineola.
“I took it on myself to make something happen,” said Quinn, who scored three goals. Chmil, Patrick Kavanagh and Sean Kuttin scored two goals apiece for Chaminade, which improved to 2-1.
It was Chaminade’s defense that made sure nothing would happen for the vaunted St. Anthony’s offense, which had scored 38 goals in three victories before yesterday. “We told the kids we had to win the game on the ground and on the defensive end,” Flyers coach Jack Moran said, then pointed to senior defensemen Tangredi and Dominic Doria and added, “These guys did the job.”
Tangredi and Doria formed a mobile wall that protected goalie Andrew Bonafede, who made 11 saves, including three during one man-down situation. “We just played together on defense. The slide packages and everything else was working,” Doria said. “You could see they were a little frustrated and started forcing shots in the second half.”
The Flyers led 7-3 at halftime, then broke the game open with four straight goals in the second half — two by Kuttin and one each from Aidan Byrnes and Jake Sexton. Brennan O’Neill, the Friars’ freshman standout who committed to Penn State as an eighth-grader, had 10 goals in the first three games but managed only a goal and assist yesterday.
“Our focus was staying on their hands,” Tangredi said of the Flyers’ well-aimed stick checks. “We got them out of their rhythm and they couldn’t keep up. The defense is the strength of our team. It’s the one constant. The offense can have an off day, but the defense is always there.”
St. Anthony’s and Chaminade, the state’s only two Class AAA Catholic school boys lacrosse teams, will meet once more, on May 18 at St. Anthony’s, in the season finale. In previous years, they had met a third time to decide the state CHSAA title. School officials said only two games will be used to determine the championship this year. There will either be an outright winner or co-champions.