Preseason girls soccer: No. 8 Christ the King
Last November, Christ the King captured its first-ever Brooklyn/Queens Diocesan title, beating rival Mary Louis in a thrilling final.
It was a dream season and the returning Royals want nothing more than to replicate that this year.
“We always talk about how excited we were,” junior sweeper Cathy Lume said. “We want to get back to that.”
Lume is one of five starters back from a club that will go into the Christ the King athletics history. From the first day of preseason at Brennan Field, it was clear this year’s group wasn’t resting on last year’s laurels.
“These girls expect nothing but to win,” coach John Fayad said. “Losses are not part of their vocabulary. I expect a lot out of them and they expect a lot out of each other.”
Added goalkeeper Kristen Drogsler: “It just raises the bar and we just have to play above it again.”
It won’t be easy to replace last year’s seniors, especially the attacking duo of Fabiana Rebecca (Pace) and Christina Viaggio (New York Tech), who are both now playing Division II soccer.
Viaggio struck for 23 goals -- including a remarkable 16 in the first six games -- and added 10 assists, including a pair in the final. She was named to the All-City second team by MSG Varsity.
Rebecca was slowed by an early knee injury, but the speedy forward finished with 16 goals, none bigger than the equalizer moments after Mary Louis took the lead in the B/Q final. She also had eight assists on the season.
Fayad isn’t sure who will pick up the scoring this season, but he is excited about having a stout defense, led by Drogsler, who enters her third year as the Royals starting goalkeeper and was named All-City second team by MSG Varsity last fall.
“She was amazing last year and she will continue to improve,” he said. “She is going to be a top-notch goalie.”
In front of Drogsler will be Lume, a returning starting sweeper, and Destiny Marino is another key defender.
“She’s in great shape and she’s a shutdown defender. Our defense is going to be very solid this year,” Fayad said. “You build around what you have and what I have is an outstanding goalie and outstanding defense.”
Francesca Giglio returns in the center of midfield and she’s joined by senior Stephanie Rivera, who plays on the outside right.
“She’s phenomenal with the ball, has a good shot,” Fayad said. “She has a very high soccer IQ.”
Giglio said last year’s squad worked hard to put Christ the King girls soccer on the map and this year’s team is anxious to prove it wasn’t a fluke.
“It’s like we made a name for each other and now we have to keep it up,” she said. “I don’t want people to think that we got lucky last year. We busted our butts.”
Indeed, the Royals will likely go from hunter to hunted this fall. That’s the reward for being the defending champions.
“We lost a lot of good players so it’s going to be harder this year,” Rivera said. “But we’re willing to do it and try our best to achieve it.”
Check out our preseason No. 7 team Friday at 10 a.m.