One team romped out of the handshake line after the final buzzer. The other trudged away. The Tuesday meeting between archrivals Chaminade and St. Anthony’s is recorded in the CHSAA boys soccer standings as a tie, but it sure didn’t feel like a draw. For either team.
St. Anthony’s Zach Tanner maneuvered through heavy traffic in front of the Flyers’ goal found the feed from Colin Johnston and headed the ball into the right side of the netting with 2:12 left in the game to tie to tie the score at 2. And so the visiting Friars salvaged a positive after staring down another defeat at the hands of Chaminade for more than 30 minutes.
Last season the teams split their regular-season contests before Chaminade’s overtime victory in the Diocesan championship game en route to winning the state Catholic title.
“I wouldn’t say ‘happy’ about the result but, given where things stood [close to] the end of the game, it’s better than nothing,” Johnston said. “We were the more aggressive team for a lot of the second half. We should have converted more chances.”
“When you’re up 2-1, you have to put the game away and we didn’t manage the game well enough,” Chaminade coach Michael Gallagher said. “This is painful for us. We snatched defeat from the jaws of victory.”
Chris Thorsen put a long ball in front of Tanner who sidestepped onrushing keeper Andrew Marotta and put a cross-field shot into the right side of the goal to make it 1-0 for the Friars (3-0-2, 3-0-1) in the 33rd minute of the first half.
Chaminade (3-0-1, 0-0-1) stormed to the lead with two goals in less than two minutes early in the second half. Brady Reis had a good look from about 10 yards out but made the extra pass to Thomas Herzog; he redirected it to Joseph Sayers, who beat keeper Dan Van Arsdale from two yards out with 35:08 to play.
A little more than a minute later Reis turned a long ball into a corner kick opportunity and Herzog put it right on the head of Eric Oldenborg for a beautiful score and a 2-1 Flyers lead.
“The placement and the timing of his kick was perfect,” Oldenborg said.
From that point on, the tenor of the game was different as the Friars were constantly on attack and the Flyers – with strong play by Garrett Smith – kept warding them off.
In the final 25 minutes, St. Anthony’s had more than a half dozen decent scoring opportunities. They all ended with either a Flyer stepping in front of the shot or Marotta making one of his eight saves. Johnston-to-Tanner was the breakthrough and Tanner’s fifth goal of the season.
“We look for each other,” Tanner said. “The communication in all that traffic was great.”
Van Arsdale made eight saves for the Friars.
For Chaminade, this could be a look-in-the-mirror moment. Oldenborg said “when we’re up, we get satisfied.”
“This is a win for St. Anthony’s,” Herzog said. “We know we can play better than this and we look forward to playing again. We know how to beat them and we will beat them.”