The soccer pitch at St. Anthony's was a canvas Thursday night and Michaelangelo helped craft a masterpiece.
Michaelangelo Sini artfully scored two goals as St. Anthony's created numerous scoring opportunities in a dominant 3-0 win over St. John the Baptist in a CHSAA boys soccer match. "We were finding each other the whole game," Sini said. "That second goal was our best combination play of the season."
Sini had given the Friars (7-0) a 1-0 lead in the 21st minute with a header off a corner kick from Justin Carfora. "First time all season that play has worked for a goal," Sini said.
Six minutes later, there were several brilliant strokes that produced an artistic success. Let Michaelangelo describe the artistry.
"It was a high ball. TJ [Butzke] found it and found me. I gave it to Jake [Giuffrida]. He gave it to TJ, who gave it back to me. I had enough time to get off a shot," said Sini, whose right-footer from the 25-yard line made it 2-0.
"When we are sharing the ball like we did tonight, there's no team out there that can play with us," said Butzke, who had three near-misses in the second half when St. Anthony's held a distinct territorial advantage. A shot in the 68th minute off a feed from Giuffrida went wide left. In the 75th minute, his blast from straight away had the goalie beat but went over the crossbar. In the final minute, Butzke again rang one off the crossbar.
Sini also came close to netting a hat trick when his point-blank shot in the 55th minute banged off the left post. In the 84th minute, Matt Vandenburg converted a header in front of a short pass from Beau Hornberger. Friars goalie Josh Weiss made nine saves to ensure the Cougars (4-2-1) never could rally.
"Maybe there's a little frustration because you don't like to leave opportunities on the field," Butzke said. "But in the end, stats don't matter, especially the way we played tonight . . . It's nice that we're getting so many scoring opportunities. Early in the year we had trouble finishing. Now we're putting more balls away. The more chances we get, the more goals we're likely to score."