You could tell that the Chaminade varsity soccer team wanted the escape any hint of drama this game would have. After seeing not only the other state semi-final between Fordham Prep and Canisus go to overtime, but their own finals on the diocesan level against St. Anthony’s go to penalty kicks, as well as being spectators to the Friars’ semi-final against St. John the Baptist to two rounds of kicks, they had wanted to end this in regulation against Molloy Saturday, hop on the bus and get a decent night’s sleep before their 3 p.m. start against the Crusaders Sunday afternoon at Belson Stadium.
“The intensity of the game brings it out,” Chaminade head coach Mike Gallagher said of the pressure put on the Flyer defense in the first half. “They were trying to play a little longer and they stretched us out a little bit.”
For their full night of shut-eye they can thank Carney Mahon.
“He gets around guys and he does what he does well,” Gallagher said of the junior who is more taken to lacrosse but is a fast player on the pitch. “He’s not going to score a goal from 30 but he’s going to pressure every ball that’s in the box and get on the end of a few. At half time I said ‘Carney, you’re going to get two’ and he got one, so I was half right.”
In the 9th minute of the game’s second half, senior midfielder Hunter Frey crossed the ball to a waiting Mahon for the lone score.
“I was waiting for the guy to mishit it and then I just tapped it in,” Mahon said. “Just a driven ball right to the middle of the box, the defender missed it and all I could do was just tap it in for the goal.”
A plethora of predictive powers aside on the team, Gallagher and the rest of the Flyers must turn their attention now to Canisus for Sunday as they try for their fifth state title and second in three years.
“They’ve got a couple of kids up front, they’re a team that we haven’t seen – ever,” Gallagher said. “Hopefully we’ve got healthy enough legs to counter it.”
The last time the Flyers were in the state championship, Mahon was a freshman at the school. Now he has the opportunity to play in one himself.
“I’m excited,” he said recalling the 2010 championship. “When I was there, it was a lot going on, all the fans very excited, cheering, I’m just happy to be a part of it.”1 2 F Chaminade 0 1 1 Molloy 0 0 0