Senior-laden Royals pursue state crown

By Stephen Zitolo

Christ the King has one goal this season: to win a Catholic state title.

The Royals have ruled in CHSAA Brooklyn/Queens girls’ soccer, winning the last four titles, but a state championship has eluded them. CK reached the final for the first time ever last season. This year, with the same core group of players returning as seniors, may be the best shot they’ve ever had to win it all.

“I believe if all my players play to their capabilities and stay healthy, I’m sure that we will get there again [to the Brooklyn-Queens title game],” said Christ the King head coach John Fayad. “I think this year is a special year for us. Our top players are seniors this year and that is our goal [to win the state title].”

Christ the King is led on offense by one of the best players in the city, senior midfielder and LIU-Post commit Medina Mulic. Mulic had an impressive junior year for the Royals last season, with 12 goals and eight assists.

“She’s the backbone of the team,” Fayad said. “The team goes as she goes. She has been essential to everything we do.”

Senior midfielder Kiana Leger and striker Sarah Nolan will also be instrumental pieces of the Royals offense and their hopes to win a state title. Nolan was a goal-scoring machine as a junior as she compiled 17 goals and nine assists. Leger chipped in 10 goals last season and assisted on 12.

“Me and Kiana, we both switch up,” Mulic said. “She plays forward and I play midfield. If I go up, she goes and drops back. We always know that Sarah will be waiting on the other side to finish up.”

Solidifying things on defense are senior Diana Paravatos and junior goalkeeper Kimberly Moreira. Moreira registered eight shutouts in 13 games last seasons, allowing just four goals on the year.

“These two girls are essential,” Fayad said. “Diana is a senior this year and is a very aggressive player and she works just the way I want her to. Kimberly has matured a lot over the last three years and I’m sure she will be one of the best goalies in the city this year.”

The CHSAA has changed its format this season. The league is broken into intersectional AA, A, and B divisions. Christ the King will be in the AA with rival Mary Louis, Notre Dame Academy, St. Joseph by-the-Sea, St. Joseph Hill, Kennedy Catholic, Cardinal Spellman, Maria Regina, and Fontbonne Hall. Unlike in the past, games versus teams outside your diocese effect playoff positioning.

“We were able to make three tiers that will keep every game competitive,” Fayad said.

CK opened its season on Sept. 10 with a 2-2 draw against St. Joseph Hill and beat rival Mary Louis 8-3 two days later.

“Just like every other year we were ready for [Mary Louis],” Mulic said. “I know they were ready for us.”

She and the Royals are also ready to push for the state crown that has eluded them.

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