La Salle claims Dis­trict 12 ti­tle

The Review - - Sports - By Andrew Robin­son arobin­son@21st-cen­tu­ry­media.com @ADRobin­son3 on Twit­ter

La Salle se­nior de­fender Joseph Brigidi was look­ing across the field, try­ing to find who he was sup­posed to con­grat­u­late and cel­e­brate with.

Not even five min­utes in to Thurs­day night’s Dis­trict 12 4A boys’ soccer fi­nal with­North­east, a corner kick by Brigidi had led to a La Salle goal. The ball had­made a lot of noise go­ing into the net and the left back fig­ured some­one had knocked it in.

As North­east fished the ball out of the net, the of­fi­cial pointed to Brigidi and he was the one get­ting swarmed.

His quick goal, cou­pled with a dom­i­nant sec­ond half, led La Salle to its sec­ond tro­phy of the week as the Ex­plor­ers topped the Vik­ings 5-1 to win their sec­ond straight dis­trict ti­tle.

“When they started to pick up their in­ten­sity, we knewwe hadto pick up ours,” Brigidi said. “When they got their goal (in the sec­ond half), it re­ally woke us up and we got down the line more and put pres­sure on them.”

The se­nior full­back doesn’t score of­ten, but he’s one of La Salle’s best set piece tak­ers and pro­vides good ser­vice, as his as­sist on the game’s sec­ond goal showed. How­ever, Thurs­day night’s ac­com­plish­ment of scor­ing di­rectly off a corner, also known as an Olimpico, was a first for Brigidi.

“The keeper cheated out pretty much to the six so I thought, we run a goal-line play where we try to put the ball right on the keeper on the line so I gave it a go and it hap­pened to go in,” Brigidi said. “I don’t re­ally care about scor­ing much, but it did feel good.”

La Salle only led 1- 0 at half, but had a hand­ful of chances. The Ex­plor­ers knew the Public league cham­pi­ons were a good side, hav­ing beaten them back in Septem­ber, and were anx­ious to put to­gether a ro­bust per­for­mance head­ing into states.

North­east, which also qual­i­fied for states, has a wealth of speed and cre­ative play­ers up top and se­nior right back Chris Marzullo said the Ex­plor­ers’ de­fense had to stay tight and cut off chan­nels. On top of that, La Salle couldn’t let North­east seize any mo­men­tum play­ing on its home pitch with a good crowd be­hind it.

Brigidi sent a loop­ing ball into the box early in the sec­ond half that found its way down to Chris­tian Cal­abretta, who tapped it in to put La Salle up 2-0. North­east, which came out of the half with a lot of en­ergy, sliced the lead back down to one four min­utes later when Ale­jan­dro Gi­raldo volleyed in a shot with 27:50 left.

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