St. Anthony's Scores Big Win Over Haverford at Checking For Cancer

(Photo: Matt Chandik)
(Photo: Matt Chandik)

Brady Keneally doesn’t have to go very far to get some of the best competition in the country.

The St. Anthony’s (N.Y.) senior defenseman covers plenty of terrific attackmen during the Friars’ daunting schedule, but it’s quite possible that none of them are as much competition as the one that the Johns Hopkins signee battles with in practice every day.

“It’s amazing,” Keneally said. “It gets me better every day to be able to go up against the best player in the country every day. I’d say I win more for the interview.”

And if O’Neill were asked the same question?

“He would say him. We go back and forth,” Keneally added with a smile.

Luckily for the two, they get to take out their aggression on other teams, like Saturday’s 16-5 throttling of host Haverford School (Pa.) at the 10th annual Checking for Cancer event. O’Neill buried a hat trick, while Keneally spearheaded a stingy defensive effort that limited an explosive Fords offense to its lowest goal output this season.

Aidan Danenza had a goal and three assists for St. Anthony’s (2-2), while Jake Bonomi had three goals and two assists and Andrew McAdorey chipped in a hat trick. Brandon Rizzuto (12-for-14) and Jake Naso (8-for-10) were an unstoppable duo at the faceoff X for the Friars.

Backed by 11 saves from Alex Pazienza, the Keneally-led defensive unit gave Haverford fits. It’s not hard to see why, either. The future Blue Jay is an excellent cover man who was able to stay stride-for-stride with his assignment, which was usually Haverford leading scorer TJ Malone. He’s patient and doesn’t throw a ton of checks, but when he does, he usually lands them. Keneally also has a good stick that allows him to scoop up ground balls with ease, and he was an asset in the clearing game.

“Our coaches told us the whole game to go out and pressure because that’s when we play our best game,” Keneally said. “If we just sit back and relax and let them move it around, they feel comfortable, but if we get on their hands and force turnovers, it’s our game. (Malone) is a great player. I just stay top side, stay low, and just drive, pick up ground balls and get it up the field.”

Malone led the Fords (5-3) with a goal and an assist, Luke O’Grady scored twice, and Tim Carlson and Connor Devine also tallied.

Five Who Stood Out

Jake Bonomi, Attack/Midfield, St. Anthony’s, 2019 - Michigan

A midfielder by nature, Bonomi got bumped up to attack to give the Friars’ attack line a boost, and it’s paying dividends. He was basically unguardable against the Fords, using an explosive first step to leave his man in the dust. Bonomi effortlessly found his teammates for open looks, but he can also shoot, pairing an excellent on-the-run shot with plenty of power when he has time and room.

Andrew McAdorey, Midfield, St. Anthony’s, 2021

There wasn’t much that McAdorey didn’t do for St. Anthony’s. Good luck slowing him down once he gets the ball in the clearing game, and he’s more than capable on the defensive end. Thanks to an explosive first step, he routinely gets to wherever he wants to unleash a hard shot, which he used to put away three goals.

Jake Naso, FO/Midfield, St. Anthony’s, 2020 - Boston University

A transfer from Shoreham-Wading River, Naso teamed up with Brandon Rizzuto to inflict carnage on Haverford at the faceoff X. The future Terrier has unbelievable hand speed and explodes out of his stance going forward, which he did when he stung a goal to open the second quarter and kickstart a 6-0 second quarter for the Friars. Naso went 8-for-10 using a combination of hand speed, quickness and an improved lacrosse IQ.

Ryan Niggeman, Defense, Haverford, 2019 - Lehigh

Niggeman earned the unenviable assignment of sticking with 2020 standout Brennan O’Neill, and while the Penn State commit bagged a hat trick, Niggeman performed admirably. He has quick feet, which allow him to stay stride-for-stride with his matchup and he’s got an active stick. He won’t shy away from being physical, either. At one point, O’Neill tried to go through a double team, only to end up on the ground courtesy of a clean Niggeman check.

Alex Pazienza, Goalie, St. Anthony’s, 2020

After splitting the first three games with Trinity-Pawling transfer Daniel LePino, Pazienza earned his first start against the Fords and passed his test with flying colors. Pazienza was a wall against a normally high-flying Haverford offense, making 11 saves. He’s particularly stout on low shots, has decent athleticism and he made great decisions in the clearing game. Pazienza also turned in a couple of saves on chances in tight, where did a nice job of mirroring shooters.