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Sabrina Cristodero scores 2 goals in St. Anthony's win

St. Anthony's No. 33 Jaclyn Louro, left, and

St. Anthony's No. 33 Jaclyn Louro, left, and teammates celebrate after a goal by No. 9 Sabrina Cristodero (right arm behind No. 12 Francesca Venezia) gave them a 1-0 lead over Kellenberg late in the first half of the NSCHSAA girls soccer Class AA championship at St. John the Baptist on Thursday, Oct. 29, 2015. Credit: James Escher

Here's a brief scouting report on Sabrina Cristodero:

"She's a phenomenal athlete and she's the biggest jokester on the team," St. Anthony's girls soccer coach Sue Alber said. "She is constantly making all of us smile. But when she gets on the field, she puts on her game face."

Even with her game face on Thursday, she put a smile on the faces of her teammates. Not with her sense of humor, though. With her foot.

Cristodero scored the first two goals in St. Anthony's 3-0 win over Kellenberg to help the Friars capture a second straight CHSAA league championship.

"It was awesome," she said of her goals putting the team in a celebratory mood. "I love making people smile."

With a defender on her, Cristodero cut inside, dribbled into the box and fired into the low corner of the goal to open a 1-0 lead with 6:59 left in the half.

Shortly after halftime, Cristodero received a long ball down the left wing from Francesca Venezia. She beat a defender and placed a left-footed shot into the back of the net to increase the lead to 2-0 with 38:09 remaining.

"If she gets in shooting range, she is going to finish it because she's got a hard shot," Alber said of Cristodero, who was named MVP of the game. "She changed the game for us with those first two goals."

Cristodero has combined with Venezia and attacking center midfielders Francesca Picicci and Kayla Arestivo to create a formidable and versatile attack for the Friars. Katrina Etts and Alex Mazzucca anchor a very compact backline, which always had cover when pressured Thursday.

"We have a really good attack and defensive line," said Venezia, who bent in a shot from the center of the box with 35:12 left. "Other teams, I think, do have difficult times trying to defend us and I'm happy to be able to work with people like that around me."

Added Picicci: "We play off each other. We have the momentum to go forward every time and we don't let up ever."

Camryn Nici made seven saves to help top-seeded St. Anthony's (10-1-2) shutout No. 2 Kellenberg (7-3-1). In the first half, Nici deflected a shot on a breakaway, fell to the ground, and then recovered to catch the rebound.

The Friars, who advance to the CHSAA state tournament on Nov. 14, dedicated the season to former St. Anthony's teacher Cletus Burke, who passed away in August. Brother Cletus was the moderator for the girls soccer team and a mainstay on the sidelines at games and practices. The team wears patches on the sleeves of their uniforms that say, "BRO."

"He was such a great person," Nici said. "We wanted to honor him and win this for him because he is always watching over us."

Thursday, Cristodero made him smile.


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