Fordham Prep coach Pete McNamara would like a do over with the events leading up to a penalty shot that could have changed his team’s fortune.
The Rams ultimately fell 1-0 to Archbishop Molloy in the CHSAA Class AA intersectional championship game at Belson Stadium last Friday thanks to a goal by Jessie Rodriguez with 15.6 seconds left in double overtim after the Rams were unable to clear the ball.
Fordham Prep (14-3-2) created a number of quality-scoring chances, including two from point-blank range in the first extra session, but also failed to convert a penalty kick back in the 58th minute that could have won the game in regulation.
“That’s the game,” McNamara said. “The game would have ended 1-0. It would have been over.”
Sophomore Sam Davidson, who is not one of the team’s main scorers, ended up hitting the crossbar. A lack of communication between the players and coaching staff sent Davidson up to take the biggest shot of the season. Star midfielder Alex Canicatti asked out of the kick and McNamara said it was because he plays with Molloy keeper Stephen Deely on a travel team.
“He second guessed it and he thought before he game if you get a PK he didn’t want to take it,” the coach said. “In his mind he wasn’t taking it.”
However there was no plan for who would if the opportunity arose, according to McNamara. Instead the kids made the decision on the field and on the fly because Davidson, who is one was making PK’s in practice, showed confidence that he would convert this time also.
“They didn’t discus it with us.” McNamara said. “That’s a mistake on my part. I should have dictated who did it next.”
Added Canicatti: “His miss hit it and there is nothing you can do about it. He buries those in practice.”
Deely said the missed chance changed things for he and his team. Molloy and its fan were able to breath a sigh of relief.
“That really helped us,” he said. “Thank God they didn’t score there.”
Fordham Prep had number of chances to claim its second straight crown, but each time watched Deely turn shots aside. He was in perfect position to stop an a shot from eight yards out by Robert Baumann in the 82nd minutes and help on to a bicycle kick blast in the box by Canicatti in the 89th minute. The Rams beat Molloy (12-0-5) in last year’s final and lost this season’s regular season meeting 2-1.
“We had a lot of chances,” Canicatti said. “It’s unfortunate we didn’t get one. We had a lot of shots on goal.”
The season does continue for his club. Fordham, which plays plenty of sophomores, is the Archdiocesan winner so will compete in the CHSAA state playoffs. It takes on Canisius (Buffalo) on Nov. 13 back at Belson.
“It not over,” Canicatti said. “This is a step, it’s a learning experience. We are definitely move motivated to do better in states.”