Cruzeiro Perfect in MRL Premier Division Qualification Play!
Team Chicago Academy-Cruzeiro opened its MRL Premier Division Qualification group play with a 3-game weekend in Minneapolis-St. Paul and emerged with 3 wins and the only perfect record thus far in the 8-team division.
Playing on turf in driving rain on Saturday morning against a very good Minneapolis United home team, the odds where definitely not in Cruzeiro’s favor. However, a spirited defensive performance coupled with some quality attacking moments, saw Cruzeiro come away with an important 1-0 win.
Halfway through the 2nd half Alyssa Bombacino found Jamie Goralski with a great pass in behind the left back. Jamie cut the ball back and played a perfect pass to Kerry Abello on the left flank who immediately beat the right back 1v1 and scored easily to secure the win.
In much better conditions on Saturday afternoon, Cruzeiro expertly dismissed an outmatched MK Tosa team 4-0. Two Kerry Abello goals within 10 minutes effectively sealed the deal for Cruzeiro. On the first goal Sarah Avery threaded a pass from the back-line into Jordan King who immediately found Kerry Abello on the left flank. Jamie Goralski pulled a defender wide, which allowed Kerry to split two defenders and walk it in for the eventual game-winner. On the second goal it was Sofia Papoutsis who found Jordan King from the back-line, and Jordan played an absolutely perfect through-ball into the path of Kerry Abello’s perfectly timed run, and she calmly walked it in for the insurance goal.
Cruzeiro took a 3-0 lead into the half when Kerry Abello drove at the left back and cut inside and beat the GK with a right-footed shot that skipped on the turf. Midway through the 2nd half Kerry Abello made it 4-0 final from a great Jordan King corner.
On a sunny but very brisk Sunday morning, Cruzeiro faced Waukesha SC from Wisconsin who had also won their two games on Saturday. It was a very tight game, but Cruzeiro had the better of the chances and came away with a 1-0 win on a Kerry Abello goal immediately off winning a dropped ball at the top of the Waukesha penalty box.
Overall it was a very strong performance by Cruzeiro especially defensively. The whole team defended with great might and shared in Bailee Witt and Anna Aubuchon’s three shutouts in goal. Up next for Cruzeiro are two MRL games in St. Louis this upcoming weekend. With just a single win in its last four games Cruzeiro will qualify for the Spring MRL Premier Division I.