By Ray Hamill — A pair of soccer players played a pivotal role in helping their respective teams to an NCS championship over the weekend, at opposite ends of the field.
And that earns each of them an athlete of the week nod.
Senior striker Marayah Tomlinson closed out her high school soccer career with a bang, netting all three goals in the St. Bernard’s girls’ dramatic Division-III win over No. 1 seed Technology, including scoring the winner just two minutes from time.
And that championship, which was the Crusaders’ first in 16 years, earns the St. Bernard’s girls our team of the week honors.
Less than 24 hours earlier, sophomore goalie Alonso Garcia also played a major part in the Fortuna boys’ Division-I championship, remarkably stopping five of the seven penalties he faced.
ATHLETES OF THE WEEK
St. Bernard’s Soccer, Senior
Tomlinson was one of several seniors to close out strong, as the Crusaders overcame a 2-1 second half deficit on their way to the championship.
Tomlinson displayed tremendous poise to score the winner in the dying moments, seeing an opening and slotting through a packed goal mouth with a wonderfully-placed shot.
For more on Tomlinson and the Crusaders’ big weekend, see Tomlinson, seniors lead St. Bernard’s to dramatic NCS win …
Fortuna Soccer, Sophomore
Garcia was one of several players to step up their game on the big stage on Friday night, as the Huskies had to dig deep to come from behind in a championship deciding penalty shootout.
After missing their opening three kicks, the Huskies nailed three of their final four, and that, coupled with Garcia remarkably saving five of the seven he faced, was enough to give Fortuna a third championship in four years.
For more on Garcia’s big night, see VIDEO — The save heard around Fortuna …
TEAM OF THE WEEK
St. Bernard’s Girls Soccer
The Crusaders also had to dig deep on their way to a dramatic NCS championship on Saturday afternoon, scoring twice in the second half to come from behind, and netting the winner just two minutes from time.
It is the program’s third NCS crown in girls soccer, but their first since 2003, and it’s a credit to the players and coaching staff who have been building towards this success for several years.
Congratulations to Tomlinson, head coach Phil Rouse and the rest of the Crusaders coaches and players for their fantastic achievement.
Special mention also goes out to the Fortuna boys, who were one of our teams of the week a few weeks back, for winning a third NCS crown in four years in dramatic circumstances.
For more on the Crusaders’ championship win, see Tomlinson, seniors lead St. Bernard’s to dramatic NCS win …