Marauders edge Crusaders to earn a spot at 5A girls’ soccer provincials

The St. Mary Marauders girls’ soccer team celebrates following their 1-0 win over the Carlton Crusaders in a 5A North Regional semifinal match Friday.

Crusaders lose 5A regional boys’ semi contest to Warman

The St. Mary Marauders girls’ soccer team is heading back to the SHSAA provincials.

After finishing in fourth place at last year’s tournament in Prince Albert, the Marauders punched their ticket to next weekend’s 5A event in Saskatoon with a 1-0 win over the Carlton Crusaders in a North Regional semifinal game at Prime Ministers’ Park Friday.

St. Mary took the lead in the 20th minute as Kara Petit converted a corner kick from Emily Lafreniere and the girls kept Carlton off the score sheet the rest of the way.

“We knew it was going to be a really close game and the girls didn’t panic,” Marauders head coach Jamie Zurakowski said. “Once we got that goal, we were able to set the pace for the rest of the game.”

“The effort was there from our girls today, but our execution was lacking on offence a little bit,” Crusaders head coach Mark Odnokon added. “A lot of credit has to go to St. Mary though, as they were able to get their players in the right spot on defence.”

While the Crusaders’ season is now over, the Marauders will now prepare for a noon match Saturday with the Warman Wolverines that will determine where each team will be placed in next weekend’s bracket.

“No matter what happens, we’re going to be playing a Saskatoon team in our first game at provincials,” Zurakowski joked.

Lucas Punkari/Daily Herald
Joseph Tikeli controls the ball for the Carlton Crusaders during their game with the Warman Wolverines Friday.

Meanwhile, the Crusaders’ boys squad saw their quest for a third straight medal at the provincials come to an end Friday with a 3-1 loss to the Wolverines in their North Regional semifinal.

“I thought we played hard, but we just couldn’t covert the chances that we had,” Crusaders head coach Carlos Correa said. “Warman were able to get a couple of goals in the first half and it was tough to come back after that.

“It was a still a great season for us though, especially with a large number of new players on our team. They learned a lot about the tactics of the game and I think that should help them out a lot when we come back next year.”

In addition to clinching a spot in next weekend’s 5A boys’ tournament in Swift Current, the Wolverines also earned a spot in Saturday’s final at noon when they’ll face a St. Mary Marauders side that has already clinched a spot at the provincials.

“I think there’s a bit of a weight that’s now off our guys’ shoulders and now we have a chance to give a few more guys some extra minutes before we got to Swift Current,” Wolverines head coach Russell Dyck said.

“This was a hard-fought match against Carlton and they gave us a really good test today. They are always a hard working team.”