By Joseph Staszewski
Christ the King has made winning the CHSAA Brooklyn/Queens title an annual occurrence over the last five seasons, but the team’s eyes are set on much bigger prizes.
The Royals are two wins away from claim the school’s first New York City and Catholic state crown.
“That was the goal from the first day that we got to practice and sat down and spoke,” Christ the King coach John Fayad said. “The seniors made sure all the girls that just came in and those coming back, that everyone practiced hard and that everyone was right in line so we can have another crack at it.”
Christ the King gave itself that chance by beating Mary Louis 5-0 in the Class AA diocesan title game Monday night at Aviator Sports Complex. It is the fifth straight year it has taken down TMLA in the final.
CK (9-2-3) advances to face Archdiocesan winner Notre Dame Academy on Nov. 14 at Adelphi University in the state semifinals. The two teams tied 1-1 in its lone regular season meeting.
“Which ever midfield plays better will probably decide the game,” Fayad said.
His team, which reached the state final for the first time last season, needed to step things up in the second half to get past Mary Louis again. Christ the King led just 1-0 at the half thanks to the first of two goals by freshman Karen Pineda. Fayad felt his team came out flat.
“They were too excited to be in the game,” the coach said. “They were just not playing the Christ the King brand of soccer. Once they settled down things changed.”
It didn’t take long for CW Post-bound midfielder Medina Mulic to change her team’s fortune. She score four minutes into the second half and sparked a string of three Royals goals in the first 20 minutes after the break that put the game away. Freshman Karol Guaman scored twice and senor Sara Nolan added a goal. While CK is led by its seniors, the underclassmen keep the program’s future bright.
“Karen, she is going to be a star in the league,” Fayad said. “ She has all the attributes to be something special.”
However, the next two games the Royals hope around about sending its six seniors, including sweeper Diana Paravatos, Andrea Cardozo, Dana Velasquez and Jessica Mejia, out on top. It is where they have put the Christ the King during their four years.
“They are going to be hard to replace, but I am confident in the team for years to come,” Fayad said. They will definitely be missed, you are missing some of the better players in the city.”