On Monday afternoon, Oct. 28, the Crusaders began defense of their Section 9 title as they took on the Tigers of Kingston in the first round of the OCIAA AA Division playoffs.
The game was moved to the Hudson Sports Complex in Warwick because of continuing work being done on the new athletic fields at the high school.
Kingston entered the game with a 8-7 record and were seeded fourth. The #1 seeded Crusaders entered the game with a 15-1 record and are currently ranked fifth in the state.
The Crusaders beat the Tigers when they met earlier in the season 4-0 at home and 3-0 in Kingston.
Josephine Sorce got the Crusaders off to a 1-0 lead. She teamed up with Kaelyn Salatto as they worked a little of their middle magic and she scored on a blistering shot from just outside the box.
The Crusaders struck again with 10 minutes left in the half this time Kayleigh Goodwin worked a perfect give and go with Salatto, who drilled a shot past her defender and under a diving goalie to give the Crusaders a 2-0 at the half.
The Crusaders struck again early in the second half when Kayla Harvey took the ball deep down the side and found Salatto streaking down the middle and she hammered her second goal of the game into the net to give the Crusaders a 3-0 lead.
The Crusader capped the scoring off when Olivia Shippee headed a ball across the Tigers goal mouth and Julia Tycott used her head to redirect the ball into the Tigers goal.
The Crusaders defense pitched their 13th shutout of the season led by goalie Angela Fini and a back wall of Gabrielle Mpasiakos, Kiley Metcalf, Teyha Harvey and Kayla Bauer.
The Crusaders 4-0 victory puts them into the Section 9 title game against the Vikings of Valley Central who beat Washingtonville 1-0 in their playoff game on Monday.
The two teams will meet on Thursday afternoon at Faller Field in Middletown.
- William Dimmit