Two goalies, one net: Fenwick employs two Friars as keeper

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When starting senior goalkeeper Jessie Cwik was sidelined with a concussion earlier this season, Fenwick coach Rob Watson turned to a sophomore for help.

Caroline Knight wasn’t a complete stranger. The Oak Park resident gave the Friars a big boost just as the Pepsi Showdown was ending and games in the Catholic Cup were about to begin.

Knight went 3-1-1 as a replacement keeper, playing behind an experienced defensive unit of junior Ashley Beth and seniors Kelly Collins, Emily McGann and Alisa Lollino.

“It was very fun. I don’t feel [overwhelmed],” Knight said. “I was very comfortable with my environment. It was a perfect experience. I was feeling out, adjusting with the team.”

Since Cwik returned April 27 for a 2-1 victory over St. Ignatius, the Friars have gone to a platoon system and alternate starts between the two keepers.

Cwik started and Knight played in the second half in a combined 2-0 shutout against Marian Catholic Sunday.

Knight’s success helped the Friars (14-3-4, 5-1-1) earn the No. 1 seed at the Class 2A Riverside-Brookfield Sectional. Fenwick opens the playoffs at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday against 16th-seeded Hyde Park at De La Salle.

Back when she was 6, Knight was sometimes the only girl on the field when she played youth baseball in Hinsdale and Oak Park. She played lacrosse for four years and field hockey for two years, but soccer became her favorite sport.

She will join the United Soccer Academy club team this summer in Oak Brook after playing previously for the Chicago Edge.

While Cwik was playing for Fenwick’s girls hockey team in the winter, Knight was keeper during the indoor soccer season. It was that experience that made Knight feel welcomed when she returned regularly to the varsity.

She played a few games earlier in the season, but was put on the spot when Cwik suffered a concussion during Fenwick’s 2-1 loss to Glenbrook South April 9 at the Pepsi Showdown. The loss was the Friars’ first of the season and ended a 10-game unbeaten streak.

Knight then lost her first start, 3-2 to Lake Zurich at the Pepsi Showdown. But the Friars responded with a seven-game unbeaten streak until Saturday’s 1-0 loss to Benet.

Fenwick ends the regular season with home games against Loyola Tuesday and St. Viator Thursday.

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