Saints win opener on Anthony tally

By on September 9, 2019
C-C senior Jacob Anthony netted the only goal of the game. Photo by Warren Kozireski

C-C senior Jacob Anthony netted the only goal of the game. Photo by Warren Kozireski

Senior Jacob Anthony netted the only goal of the game with an assist from classmate Mario Cozzo as Churchville-Chili opened the 2019 boys soccer campaign with a 1-0 win over Hilton.

“I saw the ball coming and took a run,” Anthony said. “I beat the guy and got a foot on it…it’s awesome.”

Scoring chances were kept to a minimum in the first half for both teams. In the sixth minute, Hilton sophomore Hector Puente fed a pass to junior Brett Wilkins, whose attempt was stopped by Saints goalkeeper Zach Main.

Churchville-Chili sophomore Gaven Egan was thwarted twice in the first half – the first after he stole the ball in the offensive third and got a shot off after charging toward the net; the second after a long feed down the right wing by junior Colton McCane.

In the second half, Cozzo had his direct kick from the left sideline arc toward the upper right corner before hitting the crossbar in the 46th minute. Three minutes later a free kick from 50 yards out by McCane was headed by Cozzo off the post.

The game-winning tally came just seconds later at 49:12 as Cozzo fed the pass in the box to the cutting Anthony.

“I was just trying to read it,” Cozzo said. “This is the result of all the behind the scenes work, and we do it for each other.”

Hilton pressured the Saints net for much of end of the game, but Main came up with many of his seven saves in the shutout. The first was a deflected direct kick off the head of senior Joshua Ranke in the 53rd minute. Nine minutes later, a direct kick by Wilkins from 32 yards out was stopped and, with less than eight minutes remaining in regulation, Cadets junior Andrew Leckinger sent a cross to Cody Cavuoto, whose header deflected off the post.

“We lost 16 players and 77 goals (from last year’s team) that lost in overtime in the Section V final,” Churchville-Chili head coach John Mahoney said. “But we got a 1-0 victory, which we will need to do more. They came at us hard, and my guys held up.” 

Hilton is the defending Section V Class AA champion and lost ten of their starting 11 players from the season opener one year ago.

“It was one of those games, but a good test for us,” 2018 Coach of the Year and Hilton head coach Mike Ellicott said. “We responded well (to falling behind), and I will take that as a huge positive. There was a lot of passion on the field, but I am concerned that we are not generating opportunities to score. In a strange way, it feels like we lost a sectional final, and it means something.”

Hilton senior goalkeeper Andrew Cavuoto was credited with eight saves.