By Dylan Grismer ’22
After a long and immensely successful regular season, there was only one target in sight for the Flyers JV-A soccer team: recapturing the league championship. Back in 2018, after finishing the regular season with an outstanding record of 17-2-1, the league title was just within the grasp of the soccer studs in the class of 2022. Unfortunately, they lost the final on a very lucky goal from the foot of a Kellenberg midfielder. After enduring this heartbreaking loss, these tough, hardworking players returned with only one objective: to get revenge.
With this goal in mind, the JV-A squad burst out of the gates hot. The Flyers won or tied each of their first nine straight games, and they finished the regular season with an incredible 11-1-3 record. After suffering their only loss to New Jersey powerhouse Delbarton, the Flyers persevered and did not surrender a loss for the rest of the season. After completing their regular season schedule, the team learned they would be playing against the Firebirds of Kellenberg Memorial High School for the league title, a rematch of the final from last season. The stage was set for one of the most significant rematches in recent memory.
With a team this successful, it is expected that they would have a roster packed with elite talent. In the net, Patrick Portsmore ’22 and Conor McGuigan ’22 combined to form a formidable goaltending duo. After last year’s starter, sophomore Matt Canade, was moved up to the varsity team this year, Portsmore and McGuigan both stepped up to fill his shoes. Working in front of them, Chaminade’s lockdown defense was feared throughout the league. Led by key defenders Jack Flaherty ’22, Joe Giannola ’22, and Colin Sim ’22, this unit formed the backbone of the team and were a force to be reckoned with.
In the midfield, key operators include Tristan Kennedy ’22, Anthony Careccia ’22, Michael Cannon ’22, and Francesco Pavano ’22, last team’s team MVP. These players excelled both offensively and defensively, and they moved the ball up the field very quickly and efficiently. The strikers of this team formed the spearhead of the offense and are all known for their quick speed and powerful shots. Leading strikers are Charles Balsamo ’22, Jack O’Boyle ’22, and Ronald Jabouin ’22. Defender Joe Giordano ’22 noted, “I feel really confident with these guys on the field. They are all outstanding players and really know how to get the job done.”
After all of their hard work and preparation, it was time to fight for the league championship. On Monday, October 28th, the JV-A team took the field at Cantiague Park and squared off against their league rival Kellenberg. Right from the start, it was evident that the hard work of the Flyers had paid off. Francesco Pavano, Joe Giannola, and Ronald Jabouin all scored, with striker Liam Going ’22 adding another in the second half. “It felt amazing to score in a game like that,” Going explained after the game. “The atmosphere was amazing and it felt really good to be able to add to our lead.” Portsmore and McGuigan both combined for the shutout, with all defenders contributing lockdown defense. The score was 4-0 as time drew to a close.
Minutes later, the final whistle sounded. They had done it! At last, the JV-A soccer team could again celebrate as league champions. The players mobbed each other on the sideline, around their fellow teammates and coaches, as the fans cheered on. Captains Pavano and Kennedy walked to midfield to receive the championship plaque, and the team continued to celebrate. “I could not be prouder of my team,” starting defender Joe Giannola added after the game. “We all worked so hard to get here and it all paid off. We’re back where we belong, as league champs.”