Andrew Freschi made two dynamite saves of penalty kicks to help Westminster defeat host Blessed Trinity 1-1 (4-2 PKs) Friday and capture its second consecutive Class AA state championship and 10th overall for the program.
The Wildcats (17-4-2), the No. 3 seed out of Region 6-AA, had to hit the road all five rounds of the state playoffs, as well as the last three games of the regular season.
“Going on the road may have helped make us a better squad,” Westminster coach Scott Snyder said. “It made us focus and it’s much easier to play [together] when you’re the enemy.”
BT (19-2-2) defeated Westminster 1-0 in its other meeting this year, marking the second straight season the Wildcats avenged a regular-season loss in the title game. Westminster fell to Greater Atlanta Christian just before the playoffs a year ago but beat the Spartans 2-1 in the final. Freschi also made a clutch save on a penalty kick, in regulation, in that one.
“He’s been instrumental in us winning two state championships,” Snyder said. “He’s one of the most calm, cool, collected guys I’ve ever known.”
Paul Vicinanza knocked through the fourth penalty kick to clinch the victory and send the Wildcats charging onto BT’s field in celebration.
Westminster led 1-0 nearly the entire second half after Josh Bennett scored before intermission, but BT equalized late in the second half to force overtime.