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Christian Micheli's heroics lift St. Anthony's to state final

Christian Micheli goalie of Saint Anthony's passes the

Christian Micheli goalie of Saint Anthony's passes the ball during the soccer game against Fordham in the CHSAA state semifinals on Nov 8, 2019. Credit: Anna Sergeeva

After St. Anthony’s failed to convert on a barrage of chances Friday evening, keeper Christian Micheli did his best to keep the Friars’ season going.

Micheli stopped the final shot of the evening to give St. Anthony’s a 9-8 win over Fordham Prep in penalty kicks after a 0-0 draw in a Catholic League state semifinal Friday evening at St. John’s University. The Friars will return to St. John’s to face Archbishop Molloy on Sunday at 1 p.m. for the state title.

Micheli also stopped a shot on the edge of the 6-yard box early in the second overtime period to keep the match scoreless. As the overtime moved along, St. Anthony’s created chance after chance, only to be denied by Fordham Prep keeper Brett McLaughlin.

The Friars started strong and had the first good scoring opportunity when Dylan Cotter struck the ball from distance in the eighth minute, but the ball just went over the bar.

St. Anthony’s continued to apply pressure, but also needed Micheli to make a pair of big saves to send the match into the break with no score, including a stop on a shot fired by Lewis Govan from the top of the box with three minutes left.

Fordham Prep came close to going ahead early in the second half when the Rams played the ball to an unmarked player in the box, but the ensuing shot went wide.

As was the case in the first half, the Friars created the bulk of the chances in the second. This surge was highlighted by a series of plays with about 15 minutes left in which St. Anthony’s forced Fordham Prep to make three saves in quick succession before putting the ball in the net, only to be flagged for offsides.

About eight minutes later, the Friars came close to scoring yet again when Dominic Algieri dribbled past the keeper near the edge of the penalty area, but narrowly missed the target.

At the other end, Fordham Prep had a chance to end the match, but Micheli deflected a last-second free kick over the bar to send the match to overtime.

Late in the first extra period, Dylan McCrary head the ball into the bar on a corner before a Fordham Prep shot from distance went wide in the final seconds to send the game into a second overtime.

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