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St. Anthony’s gets to final, extends unbeaten streak to 16

St. Anthony's Brianna Passaro controls the ball during

St. Anthony's Brianna Passaro controls the ball during a CHSAA state semifinal against SI Notre Dame at Aviator Sports Complex in Brooklyn on Nov. 11, 2017. Credit: Patrick E. McCarthy

For St. Anthony’s girl’s soccer, this season was about retribution. For the seniors, this was their final chance to make it to the CHSAA state championship and make up for the mishaps of last season.

Well revenge is a dish best served cold and in the frigid temperatures the Friars did just that. St. Anthony’s extended it’s undefeated streak to 16 and advances to the final after defeating Staten Island’s Notre Dame Academy, 8-1, Saturday.

“Last year was a total heartbreak, losing in the league finals to Sacred Heart,” Brianna Passaro said. “To win in the semis by this much feels really good and it gives us a lot of energy for the finals.”

Passaro along with the rest of Friars were on a similar undefeated train last season, until Sacred Heart derailed their momentum. Since then the goal has been to get back on the path and win it all.

“Coming back this year the whole goal for the season was to beat Sacred Heart and now that we’ve done that, we just feel like we can’t stop now,” Lauren Hackett said. “Now we have to win the championship.”

Hackett started the scoring off for the Friars 30 seconds into the first half off an assist from Gianna Russo. Hackett assisted on the next goal by Nicole Gordon with 27 minutes remaining in the half. Notre Dame scored their lone goal with 20 minutes left in the half, but the Friars answered soon after with a goal from Amanda Andriano assisted by Gordon.

In the second half Russo and Gordon scored with assists from Hackett and Passaro, respectively. Passaro netted in the final two goals. The last goal was first caught by Notre Dame goalie and then dropped. Passaro rushed to the mistake and netted in the ball with 14 minutes remaining in the game.

“We didn’t go into this game lightly. We went in with the same energy we always have because everyday brings something different and every team brings something different,” said Passaro. “But winning 8-1, not only does it give us a lot of confidence but it also brings fear to the other team.”

The Friars (16-0) defense and goaltenders have been fearful all season. Including the semi-finals, the Friars have only allowed five goals, recording 11 shutouts. Vanessa Cole and Victoria Eisenberg both had one save in Saturday’s game.

“I’m really proud of our defenders,” Russo said. “They haven’t really let up any goals this season.”

St. Anthony’s will face Brooklyn’s Xaverian High School in the State Finals Sunday 1 p.m. at SUNY Maritime in the Bronx. The Friars are one game away from making their revenge season even sweeter.

“We’re going to come out [Sunday] ready to win and ready to play,” Passaro said. “We have one game left and we all want it so badly.”

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