Coach Mike Gauvain’s squad defeated St. Louis University High 3-2 in overtime to win the Class 4 District 4 championship match last Saturday at Chaminade.
Now, the Red Devils (22-1-1) will be playing Vianney in the sectional on Tuesday (Nov. 4). Chaminade is the host but the game will be played at 7 p.m. at De Smet. Chaminade does not have lights and the game would have had to start at 2:30 p.m.
That didn’t work for Vianney so the site was changed.
“We were really hoping to play it here,” Gauvain said. “We’re the host but we couldn’t do it with the logistical issues. We don’t have lights here at Chaminade and with no more daylight savings time, we just couldn’t make it work. So we made a decision to go there to De Smet and play.”
During the regular season, Chaminade scored a 3-1 on Sept 20 over Vianney.
“It was a pretty even first half in that game,” Gauvain said. “We got outplayed a little in the first half and we took over in the second half. It was a pretty even match for entire 80 minutes. We scored on our chances and that was the difference. It was really an even battle.”
The winner will advance to the quarterfinals.
“We’re the last two standing from our conference,” Gauvain said. “We’re excited about that. We have to defend well in the game. We have to make sure we concentrate on the restarts. When we get some chances, we will have to know them in.
“We’ll do what we can to advance. It’s great to still be playing.”
It took a great effort from the Red Devils to pick up their 14th district championship by beating the Junior Billikens.
The two teams traded victories during the regular season. Chaminade won the season opener 3-0 way back on Aug. 23. In the CYC Tournament, SLUH scored a 2-0 victory.
“The district championship game was the rubber match,” Gauvain said. “It was really entertaining game.”
The teams played even in the district title game but SLUH led 2-1 with time dwindling. The Red Devils never gave up.
Junior midfield AJ Anthon scored with 1 minute, 14 seconds left in the game to tie it 2-2. Anthon scored when he hit a loose ball by SLUH goalkeeper Albert Reinwart.
The goal gave Chaminade new life in a game that looked to be lost.
“It was such a thrilling game,” Gauvain said. “When you score late like that to tie it and then win in overtime, it’s a special game for us for sure. It was really something.”
Anthon scored the game-winning goal three minutes into overtime.
“We had the momentum going into overtime and we made the most of it, “Gauvain said. We just kept plugging away. The boys never got down. They kept fighting. Every year it’s a battle with SLUH. We’ve been in the district with them like nine years in a row. We lost last year 1-0 to them and the year before we beat them 3-2. So it’s back and forth and it seems like it’s always a one-game game with SLUH.
“This time, we kept plugging away. We played the full 80 minutes and we needed to. We got it where we wanted and we scored.
Anthon showed what kind of athlete is, Gauvain said.
“He had not played for us for four weeks,” Gauvain said. “He had a bad back. He came back for this game and played the full 80 minutes. For him to play all those minutes is a testament to not only his athletic ability but to his courage to get out there and be fit to play.
“He scored the goal to tie it and then he scored the goal to win it. I was happy for him.”
When Anthon scored, the Red Devils celebrated.
“It was chaotic,” Gauvain said. “The kids were excited and the fans were excited. It was a thrilling time for us all. It was such a great game. You want to win it in overtime. We didn’t want it to go to penalty kicks.”
The Red Devils have won 11 games in row heading into the match with Vianney.
“They are playing OK,” Gauvain said. “We’re got to figure a way to get it in goal and score against Vianney. What’s happened before doesn’t matter much now.”