If you’re going to make the trip all the way from Buffalo to St. John’s University in the New York City area to play a soccer game, you might as well win it.
That was the attitude of the Canisius High School team, which beat Holy Cross of Queens, 5-1, in the semifinals of the NYSCHSAA tournament.
“We don’t get many opportunities to come down here,” Crusaders coach Chris Stuff said. “When we do, we don’t want to just show up.”
The game had two distinct halves, due in part to a strong wind that affected play.
“We got up, 1-0, and we were going into the wind first,” Stuff said. “It was important to get up a goal early.”
John-Paul Bobak had that goal in the 20th minute. When the teams switched sides, it was all Canisius. Bobak had another goal, followed by scores of Max Montante, Abel Tefera and Vincent Canzilla.
“After we got ahead, 2-0, the game got sort of chippy on both sides,” Stuff said.
It was a tough assignment for Canisius in that the Crusaders had no idea about what their opponent was like.
“We always try to do research on the other team, but we couldn’t find anything,” Stuff said. “It was a blind game for sure.
“The competition down here is really good. It’s rare for any team to come down here and win.”
Next up is a Sunday afternoon date with Chaminade, the winner of the other semifinal game by a 2-1 overtime score against Fordham Prep.