Friday, June 20, 2014

from today's Waukesha Freeman -


Xavier 0 

Cervantes keeps piling on
Sophomore adds four goals to school record
By Tony Mooren, Freeman Correspondent 

MILWAUKEE — Thank you, Japan.

As if Catholic Memorial High School sophomore Emily Cervantes needed any more ammunition for her already impressive arsenal, she was apparently given more by Japan in the 2014 World Cup A Japan-inspired new move, relayed to her by coach John Burke, propelled her to one of the finest performances in WIAA state tournament history: a fourgoal barrage that lifted the Crusaders into the Division 3 state title game with a 4-0 semifinal victory over Xavier.

“That’s the most dominant performance I’ve ever seen at state in any game I’ve coached or watched,” said Burke, the state’s all-time victory leader at 429.

Only once in the 32-year history of the state tournament has a player scored four goals in a single game and Cervantes, displaying speed, power and technical superiority, is the first to reach that total.

And she did it with verve: her first goal came on the new move that opened her up for a 25-yard shot, the second on a World Cup-class 25yard rocket shot from the left side to the right upper corner, the third with strength
 as she was knocked down by a defender but still battled through Xavier’s prone goalie and the fourth after going one on three on a 45yard run. 


The four goals give Cervantes, who has already verbally committed to play for the University Tennessee, 66 this season — a year after a then school-record 50 as a freshman.

“I taught that first goal to Emily 10 minutes before the game,” Burke said. “Japan did it in the World Cup. She peels off her defender like she’s going to go one direction on the throw-in and then curls off her back to get open. That’s how high her soccer IQ is. Right when she scored on it, the whole bench yelled, ‘Thanks Japan!’” “I probably didn’t have much of an angle, but I hit the ball right and it went in,” Cervantes said.

Did she expect to score on the shot?

“I expected it to be on goal and I thought I hit it well,” she said.

The goal came 24 minutes, 3 seconds into the match, and it was something akin to an unleashing of the offense.

“Xavier has a fantastic team,” Burke said. “We knew it would be a challenge, so we started off on defense. I told the players: ‘No shots in the penalty area,’ and we didn’t allow any in 80 minutes. All their shots (eight) were from distance. Our defense did an incredible job.”

Junior goalkeeper Cassidy Lentz was in goal for a fifth straight state-tournament shutout for the two-time defending state-champion Crusaders.

“It’s so much fun. When you make a save it’s a great feeling, and then you get the ball back to your offense to score,” Lentz said.

Cervantes’ first three goals came within a span of 13:49 — and she was taken out for five minutes during the stretch.

“She comes up big for us all the time,” Lentz said of Cervantes. “Everyone knows that, but it’s a 0-0 game and then all of a sudden she gets hot and we have four goals.”

Cervantes’ final goal came 27:51 into the second half, and she exited for good shortly thereafter.

Earlier in the second half, she was hit in the right eye
 by a ball, which seemed to bother her.

“I couldn’t see out of my right eye,” she said.

But that mini-injury was better than last week.

“I had a skeletal muscle injury to my ribs and strep throat, so I missed practice while the rest of the team worked hard,” she said. “They sacrificed in practice, so I’m really happy and proud I could repay them for all their hard work.”

Sophomore Mo Burke had an assist on Cervantes’ second goal, and senior Cristina From assisted on her third goal. Lentz recorded seven saves.

Photo credits:  Top - Catholic Memorial sophomore Emily Cervantes works the ball to the goal moments before scoring a second period goal as Xavier sophomore Elizabeth Moran defends Thursday. Charles Auer/Freeman Staff

Bottom - Catholic Memorial sophomore Mo Burke is trailed by Xavier freshman Sophia Otto during a WIAA Division 3 state semifinal game at Uihlein Soccer Park on Thursday. Charles Auer/Freeman Staff

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