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Owen Christiano's goal in penalty kicks lifts St. Joe's to Catholic boys soccer title

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Players and coaches for St. Joe's boys soccer team pose for a team photo.

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Owen Christiano’s goal in penalty kicks lifted St. Joe’s to its first state Catholic boys soccer championship since 1995 with a 1-0 victory against unbeaten St. Anthony’s on Sunday at St. John’s.

The teams needed penalty kicks after playing a scoreless game through regulation and overtime. St. Joe’s had the advantage in penalty kicks, 4-2, on goals by Dan Donovan, Andrew Herstek, Matteo Molinaro and Christiano.

Christiano’s shot to his right went past a diving St. Anthony’s goaltender and into the back of the net. Christiano began the celebration by throwing his arms up in the air and doing a brief version of the Griddy as he waited for his teammates to swarm him.

“Once the ball went into the net, it was bedlam,” coach Mike Thoin said. “The boys went berserk. I’m incredibly proud of them. They played their butts off this weekend.

“A lot times, we haven’t had much luck down there, but today everything lined up for us and we played super well.”

St. Joe’s (17-5-1) did not allow a goal in the final seven games of the season, a span of a month. The last team to score was Canisius in a 2-1 victory on Oct. 13.

Senior goalkeeper Evan Andrews began in net, but had to leave the game about 20 minutes in because of an injury after making a diving save. Ian Burgos came in and kept the scoreless streak going before Andrews returned later in the half after being tended to by athletic trainers.

St. Anthony’s (17-1-2) managed 12 shots in the game. The St. Joe's defense was anchored by senior Connor Pellow.

“My defense was rock solid,” Thoin said. “The kids have been phenomenal defensively and we’ve found goals when we needed them."

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