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It’s hard for a high school lacrosse game’s atmosphere to top the ambiance at a St. Anthony’s vs. Chaminade game. There are heated rivalries all over the country, but there’s something that sets Friars vs. Flyers apart. Couple that with the fact that Chaminade got off to a hot start in Thursday’s reunion between the two teams, and there was a palpable sense that a major upset could be in the works.
The Flyers’ Brendan Reilly hammered home a shot off of a Gary Correa (LI Express / Stony Brook) setup to push Chaminade’s lead to three. Gold Star Stadium on Chaminade’s campus had a buzz to it with the potential to pure pandemonium breaking loose.
Turns out having Owen Duffy on your side is one way to completely change the game. The Team 91 Long Island standout and North Carolina signee, the NLF’s No. 3-ranked senior, couldn’t be stopped. He buried his second of the game to stop the bleeding, set up Jack Speidell for a goal with two seconds left in the game, and finished with a whopping four goals and two assists to headline the Friars’ 12-10 come-from-behind win.
“Honestly, the thing I was preaching the most was just to have fun,” Duffy said. “I think at the first, we were playing a little uptight and feeding into the emotion a little bit too much. The coaches just stressed to us, ‘just play lacrosse, play relaxed,’ and honestly, our skill took over.”
Ah, yes, that skill. There’s an overwhelming amount of it, particularly on the offensive end. Duffy’s the headliner, to say the least. He bagged five goals and an assist in a 14-10 season-opening win over Indiana prep power Culver, including a highlight-reel behind-the-back goal off of a swim dodge. Thursday, he fired home goals from everywhere on the field and twice set up Harvard-bound Speidell (Team 91 LI) for goals.
The scary thought for anyone playing St. Anthony’s, though, is the incredible amount of firepower around Duffy. Speidell, fellow Harvard commit Jackson Greene (Team 91 LI), Jack Ponzio (Team 91 LI / Navy), Joe Calandrino (LI Express / Penn State), Pat Carragher (LI Express / Penn State), Luke Breslin (Team 91 LI / Lehigh) and a host of others. Just about all of those guys could be a No. 1 scoring option at other schools. Together, they make up a lethal offense, one that only lost Syracuse freshman Michael Leo (Team 91 LI) from its top-six a year ago.
“I think we’ve got a lot of great guys, and I think that’s making it hard for a lot of teams to key in on me as much as they want,” Duffy said. “With that positionless offense, it’s throwing off people’s slides and matchups.”
Chaminade’s Right There
The Flyers (0-1) looked primed to pull off the upset when they stretched their lead to 6-4 off of a nifty feed from standout sophomore Connor Kuttin (LI Express) to Aidan Lough (LI Express / Navy) with 41 seconds to play. Going into the half up two could have potentially altered the game’s trajectory, but Duffy fed Speidell on the crease with two ticks to go to give the Friars a huge boost going into halftime.
“They gave us the first punch. It was a good one, but coming off our win against Culver, we know we can move the ball. We just had to get our composure, and once we did that, we were unstoppable,” Speidell said.
On the other side, Chaminade looked the part of a team that can compete with anyone. The Flyers’ schedule is rigorous as always, and for a team playing its first game of the year, particularly against an elite opponent, Chaminade looked like it’ll be able to compete with anyone this year.
Thursday, though, belonged to Owen Duffy and St. Anthony’s.
St. Anthony’s – Chaminade Standouts
Owen Duffy ’23, attack, St. Anthony’s / Team 91 Long Island – North Carolina – NLF No. 3 ’23
The stats jump off the page, of course. Five goals and two assists give the future Tar Heel 10 tallies and three helpers in two games against nationally-ranked foes. But there’s more to it than that. When Chaminade threatened to blow the game open in the first half, it was Duffy who put the Friars on his back and refused to let the Flyers pull away. He scored the first three St. Anthony’s goals, including a high-to-high screamer on the man-up that gave the Friars some life after the Flyers went up 5-2. He set up Jack Speidell (Team 91 LI / Harvard) for a huge juice goal with two seconds left in the first half. Duffy’s lone goal of the day off of a dodge from X (see video above) was spectacular. Coupled with SSDM Matt Gilbert‘s tally 10 seconds later right before the end of the third quarter, the goal helped the Friars take their first lead, which they never relinquished.
Duffy was dominant from up top, coring goals in transition, on the man-up, at 6v6 and on a rollback dodge on the wing. Usually predominantly found at X, Duffy continues to add to his repertoire, and he even acquitted himself well as a defensive midfielder on an extended possession when he got caught on defense in transition. His added versatility makes him incredibly tough to cover since defenses have to account for him everywhere on the field.
“Coach (Doug) Schreiber‘s kind of running a positionless offense,” Duffy said. “We’ve got a lot of skilled guys and we kind of trust everyone everywhere. It’s kind of just seeing where the matchups are.”
Connor Kuttin ’25, attack, Chaminade / Long Island Express
Playing a top-3 team in the country loaded with Division I commits on defense in your first varsity game can’t be easy. Kuttin sure didn’t look out of place at all for the Flyers. One of the best X attackmen in the 2025 class, he acclimated himself well to the Chaminade offense. Kuttin picked up his first varsity point on a nice wheel play to Gavin Creo (LI Express / Richmond) and then collected his first goal on a blast from the wing in transition. He’s a deceptively strong shooter for his smaller frame, but Kuttin makes his money as a distributor. He had a really nice feed to a cutting Aidan Lough (LI Express / Navy) and later added another assist on a Brendan Reilly (Amherst) finish.
Jack Ponzio ’23, midfield, St. Anthony’s / Team 91 Long Island – Navy
For much of the game, Ponzio’s primary impact came on defense and in the middle of the field. He played understated, quietly effective defense and communicated well with his defensive mates. The future Midshipman then came up big offensively for the Friars down the stretch. After Jude Lynch (LI Express / Holy Cross) cut the St. Anthony’s lead to one on a man-up bomb from the wing, it was Ponzio who scored a beauty of goal, the lefty diving to his left and tucking home a shot. Fewer than two minutes later, Ponzio zipped a great pass to Jackson Greene (Team 91 LI / Harvard) for the game-icing goal. He finished with a goal and two assists.
Jack Speidell ’23, attack, St. Anthony’s / Team 91 Long Island – Harvard
There isn’t an offense in America in which Speidell couldn’t find a home. Speidell is the perfect complementary attackman to a strong dodger and feeder. He’s elite off-ball and has a terrific rapport with Duffy, the byproduct of the two playing together for over a decade with Team 91. Both of Speidell’s goals came off of feeds from Duffy and both showed how Speidell can always find open space and finish in a hurry. Take your eye off of him for a split second and he’s gone, but he also showed that he can make some smart passes to get a defense rotating.
Phil Verdi ’23, goalie, Chaminade / Long Island Express – Johns Hopkins
Verdi had an unceremonious introduction to the St. Anthony’s offense last year. The Johns Hopkins signee came on in relief of starter Colm Flynn and couldn’t find a rhythm against the Friars’ shooters before yielding the crease back to Flynn in the teams’ opener. This time around, the unquestioned Flyers’ starter looked right at home and almost lifted Chaminade to an upset.
He made 12 saves, including a scintillating low stop on Duffy with 5:54 to play that gave the Flyers the ball back down only one goal. Verdi’s always been a bigger body in the cage, but he looks leaner than ever and lighter on his feet, which showed on some of the saves that he made.
“That game played a big part in motivating me for the season,” Verdi said. “I knew that last year, I could have made some saves but they took some good shots. I think that I came into this game trying to make the saves I should make and maybe grabbing one or two that I shouldn’t. Overall, I think it made me a better goalie, knowing that I’m not unbeatable, knowing that I can come in and they can put six on me in a quarter and I get pulled again. It definitely feels good to know that I’ve worked so hard to come back. It’s not the outcome that we hoped for, but we’ve got two more against these guys.”
St. Anthony’s 12, Chaminade 10
St. Anthony’s 2 3 4 3 – 12
Chaminade 4 2 2 2 – 10
St. Anthony’s (2-0)
Owen Duffy ’23 (Team 91 LI / North Carolina) 4 goals, 2 assists
Jackson Greene ’23 (Team 91 LI / Harvard) 2 goals, 2 assists
Jack Speidell ’23 (Team 91 LI / Harvard) 2 goals
Jack Ponzio ’23 (Team 91 LI / Navy) 1 goal, 2 assists
Joe Calandrino ’23 (LI Express / Penn State) 1 goal, 1 assist
Mike Finnerty ’23 (LI Express / UMass) 1 goal
Matt Gilbert ’23 (LI Express) 1 goal
Michael Moon ’24 (Team 91 LI / Brown) 13-for-25 faceoffs
Joey Rice ’23 (Team 91 LI / Stony Brook) 7 saves
Sean Forde ’24 3 saves
Aidan Lough ’23 (LI Express / Navy) 3 goals
Brendan Reilly ’23 (Amherst) 2 goals
Connor Kuttin ’25 (LI Express) 1 goal, 3 assists
Gary Correa ’23 (LI Express / Stony Brook) 1 goal, 1 assist
Ryan Landolphi ’23 (Navy) 1 goal, 1 assist
Jude Lynch ’23 (LI Express / Holy Cross) 1 goal
Gavin Creo ’23 (LI Express / Richmond) 1 goal
Bradley Wyckoff ’23 (Monmouth) 1 assist
Quinn Ball ’25 (LI Express) 11-for-22 faceoffs
Alex Choi ’24 3-for-3 faceoffs
Phil Verdi ’23 (LI Express / Johns Hopkins) 12 saves