The beautiful game translates in any language.
And whether it’s in Broomfield or in the heart of Rome in Italy, a goal is a goal.
Holy Family senior exchange student Lorenzo Santi scored his first goal on American soil on Friday night and helped the fourth-ranked Tigers to a 4-1 3A nonleague victory over Denver Christian at Mike G. Gabriel Field.
“The guys really enjoy having him on the team and asking him how to say certain things in Italian,” Tigers coach Kathy Hogan said. “He brings a different level of his game. I think he need to play faster and work faster, just because it is a little bit faster here. But he’s a great, tall big body in the middle that can help us tremendously.”
Santi kicked off the scoring for Holy Family in the 4th minute, hitting a long-range shot Denver Christian goal keeper Aric Aman leaped to get his hand on, only to have it deflect off the bar and down into the goal.
The unscripted celebration that followed was pure joy.
“I wasn’t thinking about the celebration,” Santi said, “I was just happy for the goal.”
The Tigers would get the eventual game-winner later in the half. The club’s goal-scoring leaders hooked up for a beautiful scoring play in the 22nd minute. Patrick Borer placed a perfect through ball to a streaking Christian Guerrero in the middle of the Crusaders defense, and Guerrero did the rest with his one-on-one chance against Aman, finishing for his fourth goal of the season.
But as happy as Hogan was with the offensive proficiency, she was equally as disappointed with the discipline. Senior forward Nate Dalton was booked with a yellow card in the 7th minute and then got another with 4 minutes to play in the half and the subsequent red card resulted in his immediate disqualification.
“I definitely don’t agree with the chippiness we brought to this game and we definitely need to clean it up,” Hogan said. “That said, being able to play down a player against a good Denver Christian team proves to them (what) they can do, but we would rather do it with 11 players.”
Playing with the 2-0 lead certainly helped, and the Tigers (3-0) continued their aggressive attack in the second half. The biggest goal of the night for Hogan and her staff came early in the second half, when Scott Avirett’s corner kick was headed home perfectly by defenseman Thomas Rosa.
Borer would cap the Tigers’ onslaught with his fourth goal, a shot through traffic that Aman never saw and didn’t react to, in the 67th minute.
Longtime Denver Christian coach Brad Homan, whose team’s only tally came in the 76th minute when Holy Family defender Matt O’Hayre’s clearing attempt of a Crusaders direct free kick sailed over goalie Robbie Wyton’s outstretched hands, was gracious in defeat and likes what he sees in the Tigers.
“It’s a little disappointing, because I know we are better than that,” Homan said. “Holy Family is a good soccer team and they are quick on the attack and we struggled to figure that out.”
Holy Family will be back in action on Monday night at 6 p.m. at home against Frederick (0-2).
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Holy Family 4, Denver Christian 1
At Holy Family H.S.
Denver Christian (1-2) 0 1 — 1
Holy Family (3-0) 2 2 — 4
Goals (assists) — HF: Lorenzo Santi (unassisted), 4th minute; HF: Christian Guerrero (Patrick Borer), 22nd; HF: Thomas Rosa (Scott Avirett), 41st; HF: Patrick Borer (unassisted), 67th; DC: own goal, 76th.
Goalkeepers (Min-Goals allowed-Saves) — Denver Christian: Aric Aman (80-4-6); Holy Family: Robbie Wyton (80-1-6).