Crusaders and Marauders girls’ teams gearing up for regionals

Lucas Punkari/Daily Herald Emily Lafreniere of the St. Mary Marauders chases after the ball during a game against the Warman Wolverines at Prime Ministers’ Park last weekend.

After taking part in three tournaments over the course of the last month, the Carlton Crusaders and the St. Mary Marauders girls’ soccer teams are hoping to have their best showings of the season at the right time.

Although it won’t be officially confirmed until after Thanksgiving, both teams will take part in a 5A regional tournament in Prince Albert next weekend with the Warman Wildcats that will see the top two sides advance to this year’s provincials in Saskatoon on Oct. 25 and 26.

“It’s one of those weekends where things can go either way, especially if we end up playing Carlton,” Marauders head coach Jamie Zurakowski said. “The girls are feeling good though going into the tournament, especially with who we’ve played this year.”

“We’re happy with how our game is at the moment and I think we’re right there with all of the top teams in the province if we are able to get to the provincials,” Crusaders head coach Mark Odnokon added.

The Crusaders, who hosted last year’s provincials but lost two straight games, are coming off of a fourth place finish at their home tournament last weekend as they lost a 2-1 affair to See See Wa Hum.

“We have about eight to 10 girls that are back from last year’s team so there’s been a good core to build around,” Odnokon said.

“Our defence is really stepping up their game and our goaltending is really good, but we’ve had a tough time at offence at times. However, I feel like it’s starting to come around.”

The Marauders, who finished in fourth place at last year’s provincial, had their best tournament showing in Moose Jaw as they were the runner-up to the eventual champion Swift Current Ardens.

“We have a really young team and one of the smallest in recent years when it comes to the number of players we have, but I feel like we have really gelled as a team and our focus on cardio has really helped us out,” Zurakowski said.

“I’m really happy with our overall development, especially with how we moved the ball last weekend in Carlton’s tournament.”

The Crusaders and Marauders boys’ soccer programs are also expected to be at home next weekend for a 5A regional tournament with the Warman Wildcats, with the top two teams heading to the provincials in Swift Current.

Warman won a tournament that was hosted by St. Mary last weekend, which saw the Crusaders and Marauders finish in third and fourth place respectively.