Royals girls soccer team snags BQCHSAA crown

The Christ the King girl’s soccer team rallied to notch a 6-5 victory over Mary Louis Academy and clinch the BQCHSAA championship.
Photo by Benjamin Leibowitz
By Benjamin Leibowitz

The Christ the King girls’ soccer team wasn’t going to give up their crown without a fight.

The Royals notched another BQCHSAA championship Sunday afternoon, taking down Mary Louis Academy 6-5 in overtime at Aviator Sports Complex. It wasn’t an easy game, but the squad found its rhythm when it mattered most.

“It was one of our goals for this year to win the division title,” said Christ the King coach John Fayad. “I have to give Mary Louis credit for fighting hard. This is the fifth time we’ve won this [the Brooklyn-Queens division title], so we are used to this. It took overtime to get there, but I am really proud of our team,”

The Royals jumped out to an early 2-0 lead, but couldn’t maintain the cushion as Mary Louis fought back to take a 5-4 lead late in the game. Despite some miscues, Christ the King never lost its focus and, most importantly, the squad knew it had a weapon the Hilltoppers didn’t—Kiana Leger.

The co-captain not only connected on the game-tying goal in the waning minutes of regulation, but also secured the championship with the game-winning goal less than a minute into overtime. It was her third goal of the game, but Leger was quick to point out that the early lead helped set the tone for the entire matchup.

“It was very important to score those early goals,” she said. “We had to show the other team that it was going to be tough to keep up with us.”

Christ the King’s team chemistry proved the difference-maker down the stretch—clawing back after giving up the early lead and, most importantly, out-hustling the Hilltoppers in the first few moments of overtime.

“Our team chemistry is really good. We don’t even need to speak to know where we are on the field,” said co-captain Paulina Ambrus, who scored the first goal of the game. “Towards the end [of the match] we picked up our intensity. We knew we had history against this team, and knew what had to be done [to come away with the win].”

It hasn’t always been an easy year for the reigning city champs and this game was a bit of a microcosm of the season. By the final whistle, however, the Royals found their center, settled into a rhythm and focused on their goal. It’s a philosophy the squad hopes to take into the future as well.

“We’re resilient. This year we lost our goalie to an ACL injury, so the early part of the year was tough,” Fayad said. “It is a very young team, we only have a few seniors so the future looks bright.”

Christ the King advanced to the city championship, facing off against Kennedy Catholic, but after this latest on-field performance, the Royals are nothing short of confident with the ball at their collective feet.

“We just have to give everything we have,” Ambrus said. “And I think we are ready to do it.”

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