By Gene Morris
LILacrosseNews.com, Posted 4/5/12
Junior Ryan Lukacovic scored with 2:07 remaining in the game to help No. 6 Chaminade defeat St. Anthony’s, 6-5, today in a battle of CHSAA powers.
The Flyers jumped out to a 5-1 lead after the first quarter until the Friars staged a classic second-half comeback.
Chaminade improved to 4-0 while the three-time CHSFL champion Friars fell to 2-1. St. Anthony’s came into the game ranked No. 1 in the nation by ESPNHS’s POWERADE FAB 50 while Chaminade was No. 6.
“We got fortunate we had a couple of long sticks score; (Brendan) Caputo hit a bomb, and (Paul) Urbank hit a nice off hip shot and the next thing you know – we were like wow!” Chaminade coach Jack Moran said. “They adjusted and did a great job sliding on us and we held it a little too long and we skipped a pass when we didn’t need to and they got us out of rhythm.
“But fortunately for us (Lukacovic) got to the top and hit a good shot for us.”
St. Anthony’s-Chaminade games are always among the most anticipated matchups of the year. The top two teams in the CHSAA wage two battles in the regular season and are both fixtures in the CHSAA finals.
“We were fired up,” Moran said of his team coming out of the gate. “Our plan was to try and go up and down with them – we’re going to play them three times – so we went out and we wanted to run and if we find we really can’t run, then… but we got out and a lot of teams like to lock and we like to let our long sticks shoot.”
Brian Dunne, Brian Porter and Joe Reilly also scored for the Flyers.
Chaminade came out controlling play to begin the second half but the Friars hung tough and scored the only goal of the quarter. They had their work cut out for them going into the final period and mounted a furious comeback, something that pleased St. Anthony’s head coach Keith Wieczorek.
“It’s always tough when you play over here, they have a tough home field, they always play well here,” he said. “I think we’ve only beaten them here once in the last six years. I’m very happy, the kids competed. They came out fired up and we had to weather that storm and to our kids credit we did.”
The Friars struck for another goal four minutes into the fourth quarter and found themselves up two-men just two minutes later. Shot after shot went wide or was deflected away by the defense until the Friars finally capitalized near the end of the advantage.
Senior Sean McDonagh completed the comeback by skipping a low hard shot past Chaminade goaltender Dan Fowler (12 saves) with 6:02 left in the game. Brian Sherlock led the Friars’ comeback with three goals and an assist while Dylan Molloy and Matt Chanenchuk also scored once each. Eric Caliendo made 18 stops.
“This game’s about peaks and valleys,” Moran said. “You cannot drop your head – they’re going get two or three in a row, nobody is shutting anybody out. When we get a couple you can’t get too high because no one is going to quit. They just kept pecking away, chipping away, and the next thing you know it’s a tie game. I think our kids handled the adversity well.”
The Flyers were able to regroup and control play until the Virginia bound Lukacovic tallied the game winner. The two teams will meet again on May 10 and probably for the final time in the CHSAA final.
“They all mean something,” Wieczorek said of each game against Chaminade. “You prepare just as hard for each one but we’ll see them again down the road. Tip your hat- they deserved the win today and they got it.”
Chaminade 6, St. Anthony’s 5
St. Anthony’s: 1-0-1-3
Chaminade: Ryan Lukacovic, 1 goal, 1 assist, Joe Reilly, 1 goal, Paul Urbank, 1 goal, Brian Dunne, 1 goal, Brendan Caputo, 1 goal, Brian Porter, 1 goal,
St. Anthony’s: Sean McDonagh, 1 goal, Brian Sherlock, 3 goals,1 assist, Matt Chanenchuk, 1 goal, Dylan Molloy, 1 assist
Saves – Eric Caliendo (St. Anthony’s) 18; Dan Fowler (Chaminade) 12.