The Carlton Crusaders senior girl’s soccer team are proof that perseverance pays off.
Having been the bridesmaid to cross-town rival St. Mary Marauders at a number of events this year, including last week’s regional playoff, the Crusaders outdueled the Marauders in the Saskatchewan High School Athletic Association 3A provincial final in Regina on the weekend.
Carlton, which had lost tournament finals to St. Mary in Yorkton, Moose Jaw and Prince Albert (the Crusaders won their own tournament by beating St. Mary in the final, but lost to Marauders in the St. Mary final), went undefeated this weekend in claiming the gold medal.
The Crusaders opened the provincial event with a 3-0 triumph over Regina LeBoldus and then needed overtime to get past Saskatoon Centennial in semifinal action. Against St. Mary, a shootout was required to determine the provincial champion as neither team scored a goal in regulation time or the overtime session.
It was the second shootout game for St. Mary on the weekend as they needed penalty kicks to get past Regina Campbell 2-1 in their opening match and they then outscored Saskatoon’s Holy Cross 2-1 to set up the all-Prince Albert provincial final.
At the provincial boy’s soccer championship in Saskatoon, St. Mary beat Regina O’Neill 2-0 to claim the bronze medal while Carlton finished fifth after outscoring Regina Campbell 3-2.
St. Mary opened the tournament with a 1-0 win over Regina Campbell, but were eliminated from gold-medal contention with a 1-0 loss to Saskatoon’s Holy Cross in semifinal play.
Carlton dropped its first game 3-2 to Regina O’Neill and that put them in the relegation round where they defeated Balgonie 3-2 to setup the fifth-place playoff against Regina Campbell. Ryan Earing had a goal in each of Carlton’s games to lead the Crusaders while Bryan Kobelsky and Thomas Favel had St. Mary’s goals in the bronze-medal win over Regina O’Neill.