Crusaders prevail despite big day for Cubs keeper

File photo

South Fork freshman Hannah Savio had a big game between the posts in the Cubs’ league opener against St. Bernard’s on Tuesday.

It wasn’t enough to deny the defending league and North Coast Section champs, however, and the Crusaders came away with a 5-0 win.

With injuries taking their toll on the Cubs’ squad, Savio stepped in to take over in goal and earned the respect of both head coaches after a strong performance on Tuesday.

“Their goalie did an outstanding job keeping us from scoring early on,” St. Bernard’s head coach Brian Finck said. “She made some outstanding saves throughout the game.”

South Fork head coach Ann Constantino also praised the play of the young net minder, saying “she did great in goal.”

It was the Crusaders, however, who got the win and came out of the Little 4 starting gates in style after an impressive showing against the Big 4 teams the past two weeks.

Freshman Tierra Baty also had a big game for the Crusaders, netting her first two high schools goals.

After senior Arabella Maki had opened the scoring, the opportunistic Baty jumped on a loose ball in the penalty area and slotted home to make it 2-0.

She added a second goal just minutes later and St. Bernard’s carried a three-goal advantage into the break.

Amber Smith and Sahara Tupua combined for the fourth goal in the second half.

A well-placed Smith shot on goal was saved by Savio, but Tupua was well positioned to tap it home.

Madelyn Shanahan scored the final goal of the game on a good individual move, swiftly moving past the South Fork midfield and defense before beating the keeper on a one-on-one opportunity.

File photo – Cadence Young, right.

Savio wasn’t the only standout for South Fork.

Senior captain Cadence Young “played her heart out all over the field,” according to head coach Ann Constantino, while sophomore Molly Perkins “was heroic in her defensive play.”

After being forced to play the Big 4 powerhouses over the past couple of weeks, a young South Fork team is showing signs of improvement and should be far more competitive against the L4 schools.

“We lost our keeper and one one of our strongest players and senior captain to injury,” Constantino said. “We are basically a JV team with a couple of seniors, but we are improving steadily.”

Next up, on Thursday, St. Bernard’s will host Del Norte and South Fork plays Ferndale.

File photo – Amber Smith, left

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