On an overcast and rainy afternoon, the Crusaders hosted the Bushmen of Pine Bush in a OCIAA Section 9 semi-final soccer match at Monroe Woodbury High School on Monday, October 24. The Crusaders entered the game with 15-2-1 after beating Newburgh in their last game 4-1, and the Bushmen showed up with a 11-3-1 record after losing to Valley Central 2-1.
Ten minutes into the game Crusader Francesca Donovan weaved her way through the Bushmen’s defense and scored from the top of the goal box. Just before the half Donovan scored again when Faith Welsh hit her with a pass from midfield. Donovan beat her defender and slid one past the goalie to give the Crusaders a 2-0 half time lead.
Twelve minutes into the second half the Crusaders scored again. Ella Natal took a thru ball from Welsh and battled her way past her defender to score, and the Crusaders were up 3-0. The Crusaders took control of the game from there and scored 3 more times in the next four minutes. First Emily McGee blasted a bullet past the Bushmen goalie and the Crusaders offense came to life.
Three minutes later Donovan scored again when she put a rebound off a Natal shot into the net. Finally, one minute later, Faith Zollo lead Donovan with a perfect pass, and she broke past the defenders to score her fourth goal of the game.
The Crusaders 6-0 victory brings their record to 16-2-1 and sets up a rematch with Valley Central, to whom they lost 1-0 earlier in the season. The two teams will meet on Wednesday afternoon at 5:00 p.m. in Middletown for the Section 9 Title.