Tim Davis converted a pass from Jack Nuttell at 3:58 of overtime as Chaminade edged previously undefeated Fordham Prep, 2-1, late Friday in a Catholic High School Athletic Association boys soccer state semifinal at St. John’s University.
Chaminade (17-3-2) will meet Canisius of Buffalo, a 5-1 winner over Holy Cross, in the state final today at St. John’s University at 1 p.m. Fordham Prep ends its season at 19-1. It is a rematch of last year’s state final won by Chaminade.
“He came across the box and finished a nice play,” Chaminade coach Mike Gallagher said. “We always talk about the first and last five minutes of each half. We were miffed is a polite way to say we were disappointed with our play in the first half. And Fordham Prep is a legit team and we were a bit more focused in the second half.”
Chaminade struck quickly to open a 1-0 lead just 1:30 into the contest. Matt Vowinkel, who scored the game winner in overtime to beat St. Anthony’s, dribbled deep into the box before tucking the shot in.
Fordham Prep, which pressured Chaminade’s senior keeper Yanni Rigos for most of the first half, finally found the net with 1:04 left. Star forward Jorge Gonzalez scored from 10 yards out to tie the score at 1.
Gonzalez, the son of Raul Gonzalez, who was a former leading scorer at Real Madrid and a big-time player with the New York Cosmos, peppered Rigos earlier but was denied.
Rigos, in his third year of varsity play, made a handful of outstanding saves in the first half.
“He stopped one breakaway on a guy who got behind our backs and we thought it would be a sure goal,” Gallagher said. “This is a kid who broke his leg in April and he’s just now getting to a hundred percent. And now the hype is meeting the expectation — he’s got great hands and vision. He was the key for us.”
Chaminade found its rhythm in the second half but missed a few shots on net and the Fordham Prep keeper knocked a few balls off the line to keep the game tied and send it into overtime.
“To get through these games you need a keeper to play at a high level,” Gallagher said. “Rigos did that.”