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  • Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

    Catholic Memorial advances to 15th title game appearance with 1-0 win over McFarland

    By Michael Whitlow, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel,


    Whether you liken it to the hit Apple TV show "Ted Lasso" or to the 2006-07 Golden State Warriors , the belief is strong among those within the Catholic Memorial girls soccer program.

    That belief has carried the Crusaders to the 15th state title game appearance in program history as WIAA members after a 1-0 victory over No. 2 seed McFarland in the second Division 3 state semifinal on Thursday night at Uihlein Soccer Park.

    "They don't stop believing that one chance is going to come," Catholic Memorial coach Andreas Davi said.

    The singular chance the 11-time state champions were hoping for came at the 72:34 mark of a scoreless duel between the Crusaders and Spartans. Lucia Brown tallied her team-high 15th assist of the season on a beautiful cross into the 6-yard-box that Kayden Scrima got a boot on and fired over McFarland sophomore goalkeeper Jaylah Moore, which felt like an impossible task at times for the Crusaders. It was the first goal the Spartans had allowed since April 27.

    "That goalie was really good," Scrima said. "We just had to take one perfect moment for us to score and that's what kinda happened."

    Scrima was the player of the match for the Crusaders not just for her game-winner, but for her efforts up and down the pitch. She was here, she was there, she was everywhere like AFC Richmond supporters in "Ted Lasso" would chant at beloved show character Roy Kent in his later years as a defensive midfielder.

    "I've played with him for four years and he's a really good coach," Scrima said on Davi's tactics. "I've loved playing for him and playing in this formation, that's kind of what I do best is playing out wide. It works perfect with my playing style because I like to go wide and up."

    The Crusaders, with a sign taped on top of their dugout that said "WE BELIEVE", aren't the Crusaders that completed a six-peat of state titles in 2017. They entered Thursday's semifinal at 12-8-1 after losing five of their first seven matches this season.

    After a 2-1 defeat to Division 4 state finalist The Prairie School on May 6, the Crusaders made their late-season push, winning six of seven heading into last weeks' sectional final against 2022 Division 3 state champion New Berlin Eisenhower. They survived a 5-4 shootout against the Lions and now sit one win away from a record of 12 WIAA girls soccer titles.

    "The girls were playing and playing and playing," Davi said. "They didn't stop. We didn't want to go again into extra time or PKs and I think that was a big difference. I think we wanted it more than they wanted it. Defensively, we were super strong."

    Davi credited the likes of Margaret Sisk, Clare Weber, Molly Prosen and Julia Rothermel for their efforts against the McFarland attack led by Ava Dean and Elise Freeman, the Spartans' leading goal-scorer with 18. Annika Tarwacki was also included in that group from Davi. Tarwacki had one of the plays of the night by helping goalkeeper Alexa Filopowicz stone a potential 1-on-1 opportunity off a great through-ball from Dean after a McFarland takeaway.

    "I'm really proud of us. We've come a long way as a team," Filipowicz said. "It was a hard-fought battle and I'm really glad we punched one in there."

    This weekend may not be CMH's first appearance at state, but for the seniors like Scrima, it's their first and only opportunity to add another gold ball to a loaded trophy case back in Waukesha.

    "I just didn't want this to be my last game," Scrima said. "I love this team and it was a group effort."

    "It would mean the absolute world," Filopowicz said on winning a title. "It was (Davi's) first year when we were freshmen, so we've definitely spent a journey with him. We've made increments each year. We lost in the regional finals, and then the sectional semis and the sectional finals. Here we are still going. It just means the absolute world. It would be great to carry on that legacy."

    This article originally appeared on Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Catholic Memorial advances to 15th title game appearance with 1-0 win over McFarland

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