Lightning couldn’t strike twice for the St. Anthony’s boys soccer team.
The Friars headed to penalty kicks for the second day in a row but ended up on the wrong side of it this time.
St. Joseph’s Collegiate (Buffalo) won the penalty kick round 4-2 to defeat St. Anthony’s in the CHSAA state championship game Sunday at St. John’s University.
“These kids had a tremendous season. I’m so proud of them,” St. Anthony’s head coach Don Corrao said. “You want to finish it the right way, but it just wasn’t our day.”
The Friars got behind early in the penalty kicks, as Daniel Donovan netted St. Joseph’s first shot and Evan Andrews made a save to give the Marauders a 1-0 lead.
Down 2-1, Declan Whitfield made a save to give St. Anthony’s a chance to even it. But Andrews stopped a shot from Colin Johnston, who scored the Friars’ lone goal in regulation in Saturday’s semifinal.
After Aristeo Aniceto scored for St. Anthony’s to make it 3-2 going into the final shooters, the Friars needed a save and a goal to extend the penalty kick round. But Owen Christiano scored the clinching goal just over Whitfield’s outstretched arms for St. Joseph’s (18-5-1).
Despite putting 13 shots on goal between regulation and overtime, St. Anthony’s couldn’t find the net and the game was scoreless heading into penalty kicks.
“It was similar to last night. We had a lot of chances and we didn’t cash in,” Corrao said.
A combination of tired legs and stellar goalie play led to the 0-0 tie after 100 minutes of soccer. Even after Andrews went down with an injury 10 minutes into the game, Daniel Horigan stepped in and played lights out until Andrews returned 15 minutes later.
Both teams played their semifinal games Saturday night, leaving little time for the players to recover.
“It’s very difficult to do what they were asked to do in that time frame," Corrao said. “Kids playing at this level and intensity need a day to recover. But St. Joseph’s was in the same boat, so hats off to them.”
It marked St. Anthony’s first loss all season, making it that much harder to swallow. The Friars finished the season 17-1-3. St. Anthony’s will lose five seniors from their starting lineup and 12 total.
“We’re going to miss our seniors,” Corrao said. “But we’ve got a nice balanced attack with our underclassmen. The Friars will be back.”