By Joseph Staszewski
Christ the King left little doubt that it is the dominant team in CHSAA Brooklyn/Queens and did so without its best player.
The Royals girls’ soccer team rolled past Mary Louis 5-0 despite star Medina Mulic sitting out the second game of her two-game suspension on last Wednesday at in a Class AA game at Juniper Valley Park. The squads played to a 1-1 tie in their first meeting with Christ the King playing most of the second half a player down after Mulic was given the red card that brought on the suspension. The junior midfielder’s services weren’t needed the second time around while playing windy and rainy conditions.
“It is a testament to the rest of the team,” Royals coach John Fayad,” said. “ Most of my players get overshadowed by her name. As you can see people stepped up today.”
The biggest contribution came from sophomore midfielder Kiana Leger. She scored twice and had a hand in the game’s first goal. Junior Adriana Cardozo scored of the rebound of a Leger free kick that slammed down into the box off the crossbar. She and Leger helped first place CK control the play at midfielder in Mulic’s absence and kept Mary Louis from mustering much of a offensive attack.
“KiKi did the things Medina would have done,” Cardozo said.
It lead to a 4-0 Christ the King lead at the half. Diana Paravatos scored on a free kick and Sara Nolan recorded a tally off a pass from Legar, who had the lone second half score. It showed the Royals were far from a one-person show.
There was some confusion before the game over Medina’s eligibility. Fayad believed she could take the field because she sat out games with Fontbonne Hall and Bishop Kearney and played her for the first eight minutes as things were being sorted out. A discussion with CHSAA Intersectional Coordinator and Mary Louis Athletic Director Joe Lewinger clarified the rule. Medina could not play because Kearney does not play in the Brooklyn/Queen’s ‘AA’ division, so it is not considered a league game.
“It was a miscommunication,” Fayad said. “It was resolved.”
While the Royals made it clear they are the favorites to claim and fourth straight diocesan title it was also hoping to show they are the top team in either diocese earlier in the week. Instead, CK’s long awaited clash with Archdiocesan favorite Notre Dame Academy had to be cancelled because the Gators had too many injuries according to Fayad. Notre Dame beat Christ the King in the CHSAA State semifinals last year and it left the players wanting to face the Staten Island school again.
“We were looking forward to it,” Leger said. “Everyone as so hyped up and they just canceled on us. If we se them again will be ready for them.”