Canisius uses PKs to claim 2018 Catholic Cup

McQuaid’s John Marangola (7) clears the ball during first-half action Saturday. (Photo: NORMAN STREHLE)

By PAUL GOTHAM

ROCHESTER, N.Y. — It doesn’t get much better, as far as postseason tune-ups go, than Saturday’s Canisius – McQuaid tilt. A pair of perennial powers deadlocked at one after 100 minutes of play.

“It’s perfect preparation for sectional time,” third-year McQuaid coach Nino Pilato said.  “Our team went out two years ago on kicks, so a high-pressure situation is a good thing.”

Trailing late in regulation, TJ Burgio leveled the match for Canisius.

“He had a heckuva game there in the back and made some big plays for us,” Canisius coach Chris Stuff said. “He was huge.”

Burgio’s free kick from 50 yards got lost in a tangle of players in front of the McQuaid goal before going in.

The Crusaders sealed the championship with penalty kicks.

“That’s one hell of a soccer team right there,” Stuff said of McQuaid. “We got a lot of skilled soccer players, a lot of talent. But today was different. It was a lot of effort. We had guys step up that hadn’t played a lot of minutes. They played with a ton of effort.

“I talk a lot about team and about us being a team. Guys who don’t get a chance to play a lot had an opportunity there. They stepped up, for sure.”

Dan Malloy took advantage of a second-chance opportunity to give McQuaid a lead in the fourth minute of the match. The senior attacker gathered a Matt Gallina cross into the box and beat Canisius goalkeeper Zachary Cox for the lead.

 

Gallina started the sequence when he sent a corner kick from the left side into the box. Canisius was able to get a foot on it and sent the ball upfield, but Vincenzo Capezzuto intercepted the clearing attempt with a header to Gallina along the left flank.

McQuaid had several chances to score in the second half.

“We had numerous opportunities to finish,” Pilato noted. “We just came up short.”

Cox steadied the Canisius defensive effort with a series of saves.

“Zack is unbelievable, man,” Stuff said. “He doesn’t feel pressure in any situation. He’s calm back there and his hands are unbelievable. He’s clutch for sure.”

Carter Duncan made seven saves for McQuaid.

“He’s doing really well,” Pilato said of the junior. “It’s his first year on the team, and he’s keeping us in games.”

 

McQuaid (4-0-1/1-0-0) hosts Rush-Henrietta Tuesday night for a 7 PM start.

McQuaid will travel to play at Canisius on September 24th.

Canisius won the 2015-16 Monsignor Martin regular and playoff titles. The 2016 squad finished as the CHSAA runner-up. The 2017 Crusaders finished the regular season as Monsignor Martin co-champs.

McQuaid claimed the 2017 NYSPHSAA Class AA championship.

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