Livonia rallies to defeat Aquinas

Josiah Fragnito (9) settles the ball during first half action at Wegmans Athletic Complex. Livonia scored three unanswered goals to beat Aquinas 3-1.

By PAUL GOTHAM

Mark Brado connected in the 60th minute, and the Livonia Bulldogs went on to beat the Aquinas Li’l Irish, 3-1 in non-league high school boys soccer action Monday at the Wegmans Athletic Complex.

Brado’s blast from inside the 18-yard box beat Aquinas goalkeeper, Kyle Pero, to highlight a Livonia comeback.

“It was a very gritty performance,” Livonia coach Ray Maxwell said. “We only played 12 or 13 guys tonight. We don’t really have the depth we’ve had (in the past). I thought the guys on the field did very well and the kids who did come in off the bench did well. We had a pretty good second half.”

Brado combined with teammate Parker Canarvis and went high over a sliding Pero who got a hand on the ball but not enough to stop it.

“It was a great feeling,” Brado said of the come-from-behind win. “Played one from my teammate and shot it as hard as I could. The goalie got a hand on it, but it just went in.”

After getting several opportunities in the game’s opening minutes, Livonia found itself in a hole when Josiah Fragnito converted a Michael Theodoru restart with a header in the box.

“When they scored I thought we let down a little bit which is probably natural,” Maxwell noted. “I was disappointed in the goal we gave up. It was a clumsy foul.”

Tavian Hino connected on his team-leading sixth goal of the season seven minutes before halftime to level the match.

“It was important to get that equalizer before the half,” Maxwell stated. “They worked their tails off. They didn’t deserve to be down, so I was glad that we didn’t get down too much.”

Pero made a pair of saves early in the second half including one on breakaway situation for Hino.

“It was end-to-end, and it was a good game,” Maxwell noted. “Both teams had chances.”

But the Bulldogs were able to push through for their fourth win in as many outings.

“We just had to keep our heads up and keep playing hard,” Brado said. “Had to play Livonia soccer.”

Nate Adams iced the game with a counter-attack goal in the 79th minute.

The goal was the eighth on the season for Fragnito. Aquinas (4-2) will host Bishop Kearney in the first round of the Catholic Cup this Friday. A 5 p.m. kickoff is slated.

Livonia hosts Dansville on Thursday in a Livingston County match. A 4:30 p.m. start is set.

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