Old Rivalries Never Die: Varsity Soccer Battles St. Anthony’s in Hard-Fought Match

EBy Colin Capece ’18

Each year, the Chaminade and St. Anthony’s varsity soccer game boasts two of the top squads in the tri-state area, and the rivalry has produced extremely memorable matches over the years.

Last fall, after an outstanding regular season, the Flyers were stunned by the Friars in the CHSAA final, losing in heartbreaking fashion with a penalty-kick shootout. “We were excited to get another opportunity to play St. Anthony’s.  They’re our biggest rival, and any time we play them we want to go out and win the game.  This time we had a little extra motivation,” said goalkeeper Yanni Rigos ’17.  He added, “We still had the loss from last season on our minds, and we were extremely focused all week during training.”

Jack Graziano ’17 dodges and bodies out a St. Anthony’s defender.

In one of the most anticipated rematches of the season, the Flyers clashed with St. Anthony’s on Tuesday, September 29 at Gold Star Stadium.  Not much has separated these two storied programs in the past, and this game once again proved that to be true.  Playing through a torrential downpour for much of the first half, the two teams held each other without many opportunities to score.  The St. Anthony’s strikers played at a fast pace, but the Flyers’ defense, anchored by senior captain Kevin Lee ’16, held firm and easily fended off a few early corner kicks by the Friars.  Chaminade struggled early, but that changed around the 22nd minute of the half.

After being awarded a free kick off a St. Anthony’s handball 25 yards from the goal, outside midfielder A.J. Codispoti ’17 curled a strong shot towards the goal that was saved by the Friars’ goalkeeper, Robert Leamey.  The ball deflected to Tim Davis ’17, whose rebound ricocheted off a St. Anthony’s defender and back to Codispoti.  After a poor first touch, the junior whipped the ball to the far post where Matt Vowinkel ’17 headed it home and gave the Flyers the lead.

St. Anthony’s quickly responded with a controversial handball call inside the Flyer’s 18-yard box, awarding St. Anthony’s a penalty kick. The Friar’s Cordt Weinstein stepped to the spot and confidently drilled the shot into the top right corner past goalkeeper Rigos.

They’re our biggest rival, and any time we play them we want to go out and win the game.

The game would continue to be tightly contested through the final whistle, but no more goals were produced; however, each team would have an opportunity to pull ahead. Just two minutes after his penalty, Weinstein had a golden opportunity to score after receiving the ball behind the defense but was denied by the outstretched right hand of Rigos. In the second half, it was the Flyers who failed to capitalize.  In the 77th minute, Nick Giovino ’17 handled a cross and found himself open on the right wing, but his strike from 10 yards away missed the goal.

Alec Brutschin ’17 sprints into action to steal the ball back from two St. Anthony’s opponents.

Neither team would get its desired result, but the game certainly did not disappoint. When asked to assess his team’s performance, Rigos said, “I thought we communicated and moved the ball really well. They’re a good team, and we had our chances to score a second goal, but just couldn’t take advantage of them.”  The Flyers look to come out on top the next time they face the Friars on Thursday, October 22, in what may be a preview of this year’s CHSAA title game.