For 103 minutes Chaminade couldn’t crack the code to St. Anthony’s defense. It turned out they just needed to use their heads.
Chaminade defeated St. Anthony’s, 1-0, in double overtime to claim the CHSAA boys soccer championship on Sunday night at Mitchel Field. Jack Flaherty scored on a header off a corner kick from Luca Giannola in the third minute of the second overtime.
"It was really nice, we’ve been working on the corners all week," Flaherty said. "It was really nice to be able to execute it, especially in the closing moments of the game."
The defensive battle was a complete 180 from the last time the two teams met. That game ended in a 6-4 win for St. Anthony’s (17-2) in mid-October. Before that, Chaminade handed the Friars their only loss of the regular season, a 2-1 Flyers victory in September.
"We wanted to make sure that they couldn’t control the game," Chaminade coach Michael Gallagher said. "And we did a good enough job."
While Gallagher highlighted how the defense played as the Flyers tried to take St. Anthony’s key players out the game, Flaherty’s play clearly was a big factor in the championship.
"Jack is one of our captains, he’s a great athlete." Gallagher said. "I thought it was apropos that Jack ended up scoring the game-winner."
Flaherty, who has committed to play lacrosse for Navy next fall, noted the "challenges" that comes with facing an opponent in such an important game that you already have faced multiple times.
"We have to really focus in on them because we know how good they are," he said. "I feel the more we play the more anxious we get and the more we have to prepare."
Chaminade (14-4-1) advances to the state championships and will take on St. Francis Prep in a semifinal at 7 p.m. on Friday at Mitchel Field.