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The strong get stronger for 2019 Jubilee Trophy season

The defending champion Holy Cross Crusaders have added longtime C.B.S. Kirby United striker and former Jubilee Trophy MVP Malorie Harris (right), but other teams also took advantage of the breakup of Kirby. For example, goalkeeper Sydney Walsh, an all-star in both the local senior women’s soccer league and in the AUS for the Memorial Sea-Hawks , is joining Feildians for the 2019 Breen’s Jubilee Trophy season, which begins with two games tonight at King George V Park in St. John’s. — Memorial Athletics photo/Telegram File photo
The defending champion Holy Cross Crusaders have added longtime C.B.S. Kirby United striker and former Jubilee Trophy MVP Malorie Harris (right), but other teams also took advantage of the breakup of Kirby. For example, goalkeeper Sydney Walsh, an all-star in both the local senior women’s soccer league and in the AUS for the Memorial Sea-Hawks , is joining Feildians for the 2019 Breen’s Jubilee Trophy season, which begins with two games tonight at King George V Park in St. John’s. — Memorial Athletics photo/Telegram File photo

Three-time defending champion Holy Cross adds perennial all-star Malorie Harris to its lineup

The Holy Cross women have been the cream of the crop in provincial Jubilee Trophy soccer for the past couple of years, and that trend doesn’t appear to be hitting any road blocks this summer.

That’s because the vaunted Crusaders, coming off a fourth-place finish at nationals last year following a Canadian bronze medal in 2017, bolstered their lineup over the winter.

Heading the list of newcomers to the red and gold is Malorie Harris, who has been among the best female soccer players in Newfoundland and Labrador for the last number of years.

“I’d say she’s been the best player for the last decade,” said Holy Cross coach Jake Stanford. “We’re tickled pink to be adding that kind of talent and leadership to our team.”

No kidding.

Harris was again amongst the league’s top scorers last season with 10 goals in 15 games.

The thoughts of Harris and Jessie Noseworthy leading the Crusaders’ attack must be giving opposing keepers nightmares.

“I’d say she’s been the best player for the last decade. We’re tickled pink to be adding that kind of talent and leadership to our team.”

Holy Cross coach Jake Stanford on Malorie Harris

Noseworthy led the league in scoring last season with 23 goals in 16 games and was the Jubilee Trophy’s MVP.

Harris, a perennial league all-star, toiled with C.B.S. Kirby last summer, but while Kirby has disbanded, Conception Bay South will have a squad in Jubilee Trophy when it opens a new season tonight at King George V Park.

A good many players from that Kirby squad have joined Feildians, including Sydney Walsh, the province’s top keeper.

But getting back to Holy Cross.

The Crusaders have won the last three provincial championships and were unbeaten in provincial play last season. That’s after losing only one game in 2017 and going 18-0-1 in 2016.

For those keeping score, that’s one loss in three years.

And in addition to Harris, Holy Cross also has Alexe Morgan coming over from Kirby. Morgan is a former Memorial University standout and Jubilee Trophy all-star.

“She makes our fullback line that much stronger,” Stanford said.

The newcomers join a roster that remains fairly intact, including midfielder Teri Murphy, the league’s second-leading scorer last season, league all-star and the Newfoundland and Labrador Soccer Association’s player of the year for 2018.

Keeper Jaime Crocker is back for another season between the pipes. She’ll be joined by former Sea-Hawk and Dalhousie University player Hannah Noseworthy.

Joining Holy Cross, Feildians and C.B.S. are Mount Pearl, St. John’s Under-17s and Paradise U17s.

The two under-17 teams are playing on an exhibition basis.

Feildians could be a darkhorse this season, and it begins with Walsh in goal.

The 2017 Canada Games player has been a first- and second-team all-star in each of her first two seasons with the Memorial Sea-Hawks.

“She’s probably one of the top keepers in Atlantic Canada,” said Double Blues coach Mike Oliver. “If it comes to a one-game showdown, having Syd in goal increases our chances.”

Feildians have 14 new players from last season, many of whom are former C.B.S. Kirby players, including 2018 Jubilee Trophy rookie of the year Zoe Rowe and all-star Katie Joyce. Stacey Hanlon, who finished fifth in league scoring last season, is back with Feildians.

The Double Blues also picked up a number of U17 players from last season.

Just how young are Feildians? A couple of Oliver’s players will miss tonight’s game because they are involved in high school graduations.

St. John’s is playing host to the nationals in the fall, and the province has two slots for Jubilee Trophy, unlike Challenge Cup men where only the league champion will play in nationals.

For the women, the teams which will play for the all-Newfoundland championship final will be awarded berths in the Canadian championship.

“Getting to that final is certainly our goal,” Oliver said. “We’d love to win the championship, of course, but the main goal is to get to nationals.”

A doubleheader is scheduled on the new turf at King George tonight. Holy Cross tangles with Mount Pearl at 6:30 p.m., followed by Feildians and C.B.S. at 8:30.

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