Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Crusaders Girls Soccer among best all-time

from today's Waukesha Freeman - 

CMH wins seventh WIAA title, 10th overall


The Catholic Memorial girls soccer team holds the WIAA Division 3 state championship trophy after beating Mount Horeb 2-0 in the state title game Saturday. Robert F. Borkowski/Special to The Freeman 

Mount Horeb 0 

By Mark Hutchinson

Freeman Staff

MILWAUKEE – The old adage says a tie is like kissing your sister.

So why did the members of the Catholic Memorial High School girls soccer team rush the field at Uihlein Soccer Park to celebrate one Saturday?

They had good reason, tying Whitefish Bay for the most WIAA state championships with seven following their 2-0 victory over Mount Horeb in the Division 3 title match. The Crusaders, who earned their third straight WIAA state crown, finished 23-2-1 this season.

“It’s nice to know that we’ve tied the record for the most WIAA state titles,” CMH coach John Burke said. “It’s also great to have double digits now, winning our 10th state title overall (including WISAA titles).

“They’re all special, but this one is special because they’re so young. For these kids, with only three seniors, to put the season together that they did, especially with all the injuries and adversity we had, was

CMH senior midfielder Cristina From, who sustained an ankle injury during the Crusaders’ state semifinal victory over Xavier on Thursday, scored the only goal her team would need at the 8-minute, 16-second mark of the title match off a corner kick by sophomore midfielder Mo Burke.
“I’d sprained my ankle like this before,” From said. “I didn’t know Thursday if I’d be able to go in the championship match, but I really wanted to play for my team and I really wanted to play in my last game. When I was getting ready beforehand, it really, really hurt to run, but I gutted it out.

“Coach Burke is always stressing to us that we’ve got to get the first goal. When we do that, we play better through the rest of the game. I love hitting the ball
 on corners, so I made it my goal to finish one.”

Coach Burke was elated for From.

“Crissy, coming off her injury Thursday night, was hurting and hobbled,” the coach said. “We had to play
 her at center back so she didn’t have to run as much, then come forward for the corners. I told her to come up on set pieces, otherwise she had to stay back because her ankle was pretty severely injured. So then she came forward and finished that brilliant corner.”

Mount Horeb put a heavy emphasis on defending CMH sophomore forward Emily Cervantes, who entered the
 state tourney with a staggering 62 goals and 20 assists. 

“I was so impressed with No. 16 (junior defender Tess Baier) from Mount Horeb,” Coach Burke said. “I thought she did as good a job as anyone has ever done of defending Emily Cervantes. I told Emily at halftime, ‘Here’s a game where you are not going to get a lot of accolades, but what you’re doing is occupying so many of their players.’ It wasn’t just No. 16; there were so many people back dealing with Emily, double- and tripleand quadruple-teaming her.

“That just eviscerates the midfield. I knew we were going to be fine. They only had two shots, and only one of them was on goal. We knew we just needed a couple and we’d probably be in good shape.”

Cervantes had seen similar pressure before.

“It was frustrating at times because they were just on me all the time,” Cervantes said. “But most teams try to do that, so I tried not to let it bother me.

“Cristina had a really good game. She just fought through the pain. She stepped up a lot. This was her last year, and I’ll never forget her.”

CMH extended its lead to 20 when sophomore midfielder Jo Rolli scored on an assist by junior midfielder Nicole Piette in the 53rd minute.

“It felt unreal,” Rolli said. “I remember asking somebody, ‘Did I seriously just score?’ “I’m not usually the one to score in critical situations, so it felt great. But it was like, ‘Holy cow, what just happened?’” Burke enjoyed the view.

“What an absolutely beautiful goal,” the coach said. “It was a combination play that got us in, and Jo Rolli had a clinical finish.”

In order for the Crusaders
 to secure their third straight state title, their defense had to do its job. From and Rolli admired how that mission was accomplished.

“Our defense was remarkable,” From said. “It has been remarkable the entire season. Sometimes our forwards and midfielders get tired out, so we rely so much on our defense and it has really come up big for us.”

Rolli agreed.

“Our defense played great,” she said. “We were having some struggles near
 the end of the season clearing the ball, but we cleared it great here. This was the best I’ve seen our defense play.”

From embraced this state title differently than she did the last two. From, midfielder Jessica Hyde and defender Tori Hodorowski were the only seniors on this season’s squad.

“This one, for me, feels so much better,” From said. “Coach Burke told me that, being a senior, I had to lead this team, so it feels remarkable having been a captain.”

Rolli was impressed at what CMH overcame to win its third consecutive gold ball.

“We overcame so many injuries,” Rolli said. “Some of our girls were really hurting. Morgan (Rymer) had her quad. Crissy (From) had her ankle. Nicole (Piette) had her ankle.

“People needed a lot of rest, and we had to switch around everyone. We had to do different stuff, but we were able to pull together.”


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