Weekly Feature

2018-11-07 / Sports

St. Joe’s soccer team repeats as Monsignor Martin Champions


St. Joe’s soccer won its second-straight Monsignor Martin Championship Friday in nearly identical fashion to last year.

The Marauders opened scoring about 20 minutes into the first half when Joe Fronczak found the back of the net. But Canisius tied things up 15 minutes into the second half to send things to overtime. But neither team would score in either overtime period, sending things to penalty kicks.

Fronczak, Mason Graham, Mattheaus Hendricks and Evan Benz all scored to clinch the victory for the Marauders while goaltender Alex Hartman stopped the first and third Canisius shots.

“We won the first half decidedly,” St. Joe’s coach Mike Thoin said. “Joe had a second goal called back with about a minute to play on a very tight offsides call. That would have made it 2-0. They won the second half, but in the overtime, we had the better chances. But there were only a handful of chances that we had. Then probably two or three minutes before the end of the second overtime is when I knew we were going to PKs. I started to get the boys ready for what they were going to look at.”

While the team won the championship last year as well, it did not end this season with very high expectations. They had lost 16 seniors and featured the youngest group that Thoin had coached to this point. But they found a way to win, despite their lack of size and experience.

“It was a complete pleasant surprise,” Thoin said. “The kids were wonderful together; they worked their butts off. But a surprise is the only way you can look at it. They shocked me and they shocked a lot of the teams we played against. We’re younger than almost everybody, and we’re smaller than almost everybody. But we find ways to beat you. They moved the ball well and they moved wonderfully as a unit. They defend very well and keep the ball like it’s their job. They don’t let anything get them unflappable. They just keep going at it.”

The Marauders were strong on both ends, scoring more than they did last year and also playing strong defense.

“We stepped up on both ends,” Thoin said. “We scored more goals than we did last year and we gave up just about the same.”

The Marauders will now move onto the CHSAA State Semifinfals against Regis High School of New York City Friday at 5 p.m. They’ll be without centerback Frank Pellicano but can still win if they are able to play the way they did against Canisius.

“The thing that will be interesting as we go on is we go to New York for states at the end of the week is my centerback Frank Pellicano is not going to go with us,” Thoin said. “He got hurt 20 minutes into the game against Canisius. He’s done for about four weeks. He doesn’t need surgery, but he’s not going to be able to play. He’s going to help us coach.

“We just have to maintain our composure and play as hard as we would play against Canisius. If we play with that same intensity and keep our composure, we have a wonderful chance this weekend.”

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