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Kayla Arestivo, Mackenzie Kober come up big (and bigger) for St. Anthony's

St. Anthony's midfielder Mackenzie Kober controls the ball

St. Anthony's midfielder Mackenzie Kober controls the ball in a game against Kellenberg on Thursday, Sept. 25, 2014. Credit: Steven Ryan

Kayla Arestivo came up big. And that's fitting, because she makes up half of a tandem nicknamed "Big and Bigger."

Arestivo, playfully called "Big" because she stands 5-2, scored two early goals Thursday that propelled St. Anthony's to a 5-0 girls soccer win over Kellenberg in CHSAA.

Mackenzie Kober, who added a goal and an assist, is a few inches taller than Arestivo, which is obviously why she goes by "Bigger."

"We played forward together when we were younger and we were so aggressive," Kober said. "So our parents started calling us 'Big and Bigger.' "

Of late, the Friars' margins of victory have been big and bigger. Over the last five games, St. Anthony's has combined a balanced offense with a stingy defense to outscore opponents 25-0.

It took Arestivo just 40 seconds to find the back of the net Thursday, sending a left-footed one-timer into the corner of the goal to give the Friars a 1-0 lead. Midway through the half, a perfect 40-yard free kick from Kaitlin Loughren was deflected to Arestivo, who fired it in for a 2-0 edge.

"There's no hierarchy on the team," Arestivo said. "Everyone is equal and we all respect one another. We're all compatible."

Kober sent a cross to Sabrina Cristodero, who fired into the upper right corner to make it 3-0 in the 37th minute. Niccola Venezia later split two defenders and played the ball to Kober, who knocked it in midway through the second half. Loughren capped the scoring for the Friars (7-0) with a liner from just beyond the box two minutes later. "This team has become so strong because we all play as a unit," Kober said, "and we know that's the only way we will achieve what we want."

What they want is to reclaim the state championship after their bid for a third straight was denied last season. "That's our goal," Arestivo said. "We are excited because we think it's in our reach."

They're thinking big . . . and bigger.

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