The Faith Lutheran girls soccer team regularly uses 20 or more players in a game. Most games, that is the product of the Crusaders blowing out the opposition and emptying the bench.
Other games, such as Monday’s 2-0 win against Arbor View, it’s because Faith Lutheran has such a deep roster that rotating players in and out of the lineup is a tactical advantage.
“In a tough game like that, we have the ability to keep fresh legs,” coach Bob Chinn said.
Monday was unlike any other game.
Faith Lutheran and Arbor View are each ranked in the top-100 nationally by Max Preps, making it one of the rare times a pair of ranked soccer teams from the same city are pitted against each other.
Faith Lutheran's Mackenzie Folk scored on an assist from Kennedy Lazenby about 12 minutes into the game, and the Crusaders’ defense did what it has all year in recording the shutout. Faith Lutheran improves to 14-0 on the season, outscoring opponents 82-2.
And Arbor View, the state champion from 2013-16, isn’t like any other opponent. The Aggies entered with a 13-1-1 record and have a roster of talented year-round players. It was a similar story earlier in the season when Faith Lutheran snapped Bishop Gorman’s 49-game winning streak.
“We have a strong chemistry,” Chinn said. “We know we can (win) because we are playing not as a group of individuals but as a team. We are better than any other team out there.”
Faith Lutheran is also younger than any other team out there. The Crusaders have just four seniors on the 27-player roster, one of whom starts. Their more-productive players are sophomores and juniors, meaning they are built to last.
“This is a very special group that I think you will be seeing for years to come,” Chinn said.
Faith Lutheran added to its lead early in the second half on a goal from Amelia McManus. Ari Gronauer had the assist.
Sophomore Jordon Brown played the entire game in goal to record the shutout, the team’s 12th on the season.
“Our kids are playing well as a team,” Chinn said. “It is fun to watch.”