There was no worry, nor panic for the Chaminade boys soccer team after a scoreless first half in the state CHSAA final on Sunday.
The Flyers had a handful of scoring chances against Fordham Prep in the opening 45 minutes, according to coach Mike Gallagher.
"We did make a few adjustments," he said, "but we told the team, ‘Just keep doing what we’re doing. A goal is going to come, but it may come late. Be patient.’ "
Patience is not only a virtue, it meant another championship for Chaminade. Charles Balsamo scored in the 73rd minute on an assist from Francisco Pavano, who scored unassisted in the 82nd minute. Chaminade defeated Fordham Prep, 2-0, to win the title on Randall’s Island. It was the Flyers’ first state crown since 2018.
The Flyers (16-4-1) now have won nine state CHSAA championships under Gallagher.
"I’m happy, of course, but you know what, honestly, I really think it’s the kids," he said. "The last 10 years we have really emphasized the way we play is more of a tradition."
That tradition includes working hard for the good of the team.
"We just had to keep doing the things we’ve instilled with these guys since the end of August," Gallagher said. "We have 16-, 17- and 18-year-old kids and being patient is a tough thing to do, especially because kids look for that immediate gratification."
But the Flyers were patient, and eventually, fruitful.
The defense was solid as usual. Goalkeeper Matt Canade had three saves in the shutout for Chaminade, which played Fordham Prep to a scoreless tie on Sept. 25.
Gallagher said that Chaminade puts the number of state titles it has won as stars on its jersey for each new season.
"What’s great is next year, they’ll get the ninth star," he said. "Everybody on the current team knows the tradition, and is trying to live up to that mark."