Ricky Berotti isn't the type of goalkeeper to stay back in the net and wait for an attacker to come to him. The Chaminade senior gets into the action so much, sometimes you don't realize he's a goalie.
Berotti comes out to snatch corner kicks and plays very aggressively. He's one of the key reasons why Chaminade has a stingy defense and was instrumental in the Flyers playing to a scoreless tie against host St. Anthony's last night in CHSAA boys soccer. St. Anthony's is ranked No. 10 nationally in the ESPN Rise Fab 50 and Chaminade is No. 15.
Berotti made eight saves, but it's the chances he cuts off with his aggressive play, such as one with 17:20 left in regulation, when two St. Anthony's players were racing to the net with no Flyers defenders around and Berotti came out 25 yards to get the ball.
"My aggressiveness has developed over the years," Berotti said. "I like to take kids out."
It's not hard to tell.
"The leadership starts with Ricky and it translates," Chaminade coach Mike Gallagher said. "He takes chances, but he's not mindless."
St. Anthony's goalkeeper Anthony Lopatowski kept the Flyers off the board with five saves. The closest anyone came to a goal was when St. Anthony's Kyle Arestivo blasted a shot that bounced off the post and rebounded to Matt Wendelken, who put it in the net 1:46 into the second half. But the officials waved off the goal, saying the Friars were offsides.
"It was a great match between two excellent teams," St. Anthony's coach Gene Buonaiuto said. "This is typical. We played great defense. We just need to figure out how to score a goal."
Chaminade (5-1-2, 2-1-1) was saying the same thing, but the Friars (5-0-3, 3-0-1) have allowed just two goals all season, including one on a penalty kick.
"It's tough to come in here and play," Gallagher said. "It's their pitch and their fans. Not a lot of teams score on St. Anthony's."
The teams met last season in the NSCHSAA county championship game, which St. Anthony's won, 1-0, on a penalty kick in the final minute.