By Joe Pantorno
Medina Mulic has been a goal-scoring machine in her first season at Christ the King, scoring seven times in the first two games.
“That’s not too shabby,” said CK Coach John Fayad.
The freshman forward might not have found the back of the net against Mary Louis Friday afternoon, but was effective nonetheless with an assist on the game’s lone goal. Mulic’s passing and ball skills led Christ the King to a dominant 1-0 win over the Hilltoppers at Juniper Valley Park in a rematch of last year’s CHSAA Brooklyn/Queens girls’ soccer final won in overtime by the Royals.
“I was just looking for open space and my players on the other side,” she said. “Anything open. I’ve just been trying to be aggressive and take a lot of shots.”
Despite CK dominating possession, it took a run from Mulic down the left side, a brilliant cross and a chip from fellow freshman Diana Paravatos from 20 yards out in the 45th minute to give her team the win.
“I think we were really strong,” Mulic said.
Before Paravatos’ goal, Christ the King was knocking at the door, but lacked a finishing touch in the first half. When opportunities did present themselves, it was Mulic who took advantage of them, wreaking havoc down the left wing all afternoon. Mulic kept it simple. Look for the open spaces and change the direction of play, constantly launching passes to the right side of the field.
“She was phenomenal as usual,” Fayad said. “I know what she can bring. It’s just a matter of if her mind is in the game.”
The coach expected a dogfight from last year’s runner-ups. Both team’s players know each other well, having played in the past in league play and on their respective travel teams. Mary Louis didn’t seem to have quite the fight he expected on the defense end. TMLA Coach Tom Bruen was looking for a bit more aggressiveness.
“We gave them way too much respect,” he said. “We gave them way too much time and space.”
Mary Louis (0-1) was limited to a very few chances as their star striker Therese Boyle was held in check by a veteran Christ the King defense. Boyle’s suppression was thanks to a backline that kept goalkeeper Kristen Drogsler unchallenged all game. With two freshmen starting in his defense, Fayad was proud of their effort.
“Therese was alone today,” Bruen said. “She had a lot of bodies around her with little support.”