Soccer Crusaders find winning recipe

Mark Janzen
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With perfect record through eight games, Carlton squad thriving on teamwork

Making spaghetti is supposed to be easy, right?

That is, unless you're a fledgling bachelor who can't tell the difference between salsa and pasta sauce, or a Grade 9 student-athlete making dinner for a whole soccer team.

Soccer Crusaders find winning recipe

Making spaghetti is supposed to be easy, right?

That is, unless you're a fledgling bachelor who can't tell the difference between salsa and pasta sauce, or a Grade 9 student-athlete making dinner for a whole soccer team.

Alas, sometimes the whole noodle-and-sauce combo is trickier than it seems.

And that's why you have coaches.

The Carlton Crusaders senior girls' soccer team went on its annual season-opening trip to Moose Jaw for a tournament, and Friday night always includes a team-made meal.

"The first tournament of the year in Moose Jaw is always really tough, but it's a good chance to get out of town and get the new girls mingling with the older girls," said Crusaders coach Jennifer Ferguson.

So, into the kitchen they go.

"We had a lot of the kids in Grade 9 cooking the spaghetti with me, and I'm not sure a lot of them were that experienced at cooking. So we had a whole package of spaghetti in one pot and that kind of got lumpy, but other than that it worked out OK."

And for a young soccer team that has five Grade 9 players and five Grade 10s, it was more about the process than the finished product.

The team laughed and giggled its way to a hearty meal. And that's what the coaches wanted - just a chance to build team chemistry.

And so far, so good.

Carlton won its first two tournaments, including this past weekend's event at St. Mary, where the Crusaders knocked off Humboldt 4-1 in the final to boost their unblemished rescord to 8-0.

And having allowed only three goals in eight games, it's pretty obvious this team has it's own set of premier defenders.

"Defensively, we have been amazing," said Ferguson. "We have six girls that generally play defence, and two are the leaders on their summer soccer team's defensive core - Racquel Marshall and Molly Glass.

"Not only is their skill exceptional defensively, they're really vocal on the field and they provide leadership, on and off."

And while Marshall and Glass maintain the back end, strikers Teigan Fiset and Cassie Pfeil have been leading a suddenly potent offence.

"Scoring has always been difficult for us, but so far this year it doesn't seem to be a problem," said Ferguson. "Out of our 18 players, 14 have scored already. Although it's never clear until you start playing tough opponents, and when we did play St. Mary we only won 1-0, so we'll see."

The team will be in Yorkton next weekend as the Crusaders start to gear up towards regionals and ultimately provincials, which will be be hosted by crosstown rival St. Mary.

See, making pasta's not that difficult. It just takes a little teamwork - and actual pasta sauce.

mjanzen@paherald.sk.ca

Geographic location: Moose Jaw, Yorkton

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