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SportsHigh SchoolGirls Soccer

Nicole Gordon’s goal gives Friars CHSAA championship

St. Anthony's teammates celebrate after their win over

St. Anthony's teammates celebrate after their win over Sacred Heart Academy in the CHSAA final at Adelphi on Wednesday, Nov. 1, 2017. Credit: James Escher

Those zeros just didn’t add up.

St. Anthony’s was completely dominating its Nassau-Suffolk CHSAA Class AA girls soccer championship game Wednesday night at Adelphi’s Motamed Field, with a distinct territorial advantage and every shot on goal for the first 61 minutes. But the Friars couldn’t solve Sacred Heart goalkeeper Sara Micheli.

“It was very frustrating,” St. Anthony’s center forward Nicole Gordon said.

Gordon ended the frustration with a goal off a nice cross by Gianna Russo midway through the second half and the Friars went on to a 2-0 victory that gave them the league championship. St. Anthony’s (15-0) will face the Diocese of Manhattan winner in a state Class AA semifinal on Nov. 11 at Aviator Field in Brooklyn.

“When Gianna crossed it, I saw the ball in front and I knew it was my job to get it in,” Gordon said. “Not just for myself but for my team. We were dominating the game and we deserved it.”

Gordon’s well-placed kick gave the Friars some breathing room and forced Sacred Heart (12-4) to break out of its defensive shell and try to attack more. But the Friars’ defense, which has allowed only four goals all season, made it easy for keeper Vanessa Cole to register the shutout. She had to make only one save, while Micheli made 12, including several diving stops.

“Sacred Heart always gives us a good, physical, hard-fought game,” St. Anthony’s coach Sue Alber said. “It took time for us to get that goal. Offensively, our creativity and movement around the goal wasn’t good enough in the first half.”

But it was plenty good enough in the second half. St. Anthony’s iced the contest on Lauren Hackett’s unassisted goal with 10:17 left. “If you’re a good team, you don’t let your frustration show,” Gordon said. “We just kept going. Once we got the first one, I knew we’d get another one, and we did.”

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