Madison Edgewood senior Madeline Cruz was coming off a broken nose and one doctor advised her not to play in the WIAA Division 3 state tournament.
She sought a second opinion and helped the Crusaders bring home the silver ball; as the state runner-up after a 1-0 loss to Catholic Memorial in the Division 3 state championship game Saturday, June 15 at Uihlein Soccer Park in Milwaukee.
Cruz, a University of Wisconsin-Madison commit, missed two regional games, but found a doctor who fit her with a plastic face mask and cleared her for a return to state.
“I’m incredibly proud of my team,” Cruz said. “We couldn’t have asked for more. The goal was unlucky. It wasn’t like there were any breakdowns.”
After a corner kick from sophomore forward Hailey Rothwell, Cruz fired a shot off the left post with 5 minutes, 24 seconds left in the game.
“I was just unlucky,” Cruz said. “I thought I could bend it in a little more with the wind, but the wind took it the other way.”
It was Edgewood’s only shot on goal of the game, and only its fifth shot overall. Catholic Memorial had only five shots, too, but three of them went on goal — and one got past freshman goalkeeper Ellie Meriggioli.
Catholic Memorial junior Emma Westrick’s corner kick from the left side was centered, and senior Shannon McWilliams tried to send a header past Cruz and Meriggioli. While Meriggioli was able to tip the ball, it went directly to junior Emma Kober — who headed the ball to her right and into the goal at 34:20.
Meriggioli finished with two saves.
In the second half, the wind picked up and the temperature dropped 15 degrees. Memorial ran a soccer version of basketball’s four-corners offense, keeping the ball on the Crusaders’ side of the field without trying to attack the goal.
Cruz said she will remember her team the most.
“My team was incredible,” she said. “Sometimes everyone doesn’t mesh together, but everyone did mesh together. I couldn’t have asked for more in practices and games.”
Edgewood 3, Notre Dame 1
Rothwell scored two goals to lead the Crusaders to a win over Notre Dame on Thursday, June 13, in a Division 3 state semifinal.
Jordy Rothwell scored on a corner kick for Edgewood.