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Stagg baffles St. Rita, moves into sectional final

05/16/2014, 8:15pm CDT
By Logan Malloy

Stagg used some stifling defense to shut down St. Rita 12-5, while Brother Rice got a last-minute goal from Dan Birmingham to help it defeat Curie 10-9 at the Stagg Sectional Friday.

Lane Holin didn’t open the season as Stagg’s starting goalie, but with the season nearing its end, the Chargers wouldn’t want anyone else protecting their net.

Holin, pulled up from the JV midway through the season, recorded 13 saves Friday night as Stagg stifled St. Rita 12-5 in a Stagg Sectional semifinal.

“Lane’s been a wall at the net,” Stagg coach Wes Gonzalez said. “He’s got the potential to be a future All-Stater.”

Highlighted by a shutout second period, Holin went 15 minutes without allowing a score. The goalie whom he replaced, Peter Krivanec, led Stagg’s attack alongside Zack Amendola with four goals apiece.

The Chargers (21-11) are now slated to meet Brother Rice 9 a.m. Saturday at Lincoln-Way Central for the sectiona title.

“I’m having fun, that’s for sure,” Holin said. “That’s definitely one of my better games of the season. I have a great defense backing me up.”

St. Rita (15-15) received two goals from Chuck Henrichs and one goal each from Matt Lopez, Dan Crone and Dan Sliazas.

“I think we had opportunities, but we just made mistakes,” St. Rita coach Sigfredo Cruz said. “(Stagg) executed off our mistakes. My hat’s off to them.”

Brother Rice 10, Curie 9
It wasn’t the play that Brother Rice coach Tony Cichowicz drew up, but that didn’t stop Dan Birmingham from landing the game-winning goal.

With 23 seconds remaining, Matt Bachler found Birmingham near the net for a quick shot as Rice swam away with a 10-9 victory over Curie in a Stagg Sectional semifinal.

“Birmingham was kind of quiet the whole game, but he put it away when he needed to,” Cichowicz said. “All of our guys did a phenomenal job. I can’t ask anything more — but I’m going to (Saturday) in the finals.”

Bachler added four goals and two assists for Rice (10-18), including three second-period scores when the Crusaders needed a lift.

Jeronimo Chavez and Manny Martinez paced Curie (19-6) with three goals apiece. Ivan Ariza added two goals for the Condors, who led 5-2 after the opening period.

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