by Mary Beth Garrison '22
St. Johns' Girls Varsity Soccer team defeated Canterbury in a sweeping 6-0 victory last night in Deland. Two goals were scored in the first two minutes, giving the Spartans the swift leg up that they continued to hold throughout the game. By the half, Mia Sadler ‘21 scored twice and Paige Crews ‘21 scored once, leaving the Spartans with a 3-0 lead. For players like Paige, this game was bittersweet. She has been playing on the team since sixth grade, winning every state championship in her career. “I am so proud of this team and everything we’ve accomplished,” said Crews, “We truly are a family.”
After the half, the Spartan girls came back stronger than before, finishing the game with three more goals. Bella Pontieri ‘22, Julia Boaventura ‘22, and Maddie Moody ‘21 all contributed to the shutout with one goal apiece. The Spartan defenders truly made this shutout possible, however, with Hannah Lemieux ‘22 holding down the midfield, Kaiya Cooper ‘22 making some key defensive plays on the back line, and Alexis Agramonte ‘21 holding down the fort in goal.
At the end of the day, the Spartans have made history with 10 consecutive state championship wins. “I’m numb,” said Coach Mike Pickett, “Our hashtag has been #DOE [Decade of Excellence] all year, and these girls really delivered.”
Even though a state championship win is certainly not a first for the Spartans, some players experienced “firsts” of their career. Hannah Lemieux ‘22 started in her first game as a captain. “It was amazing getting to play alongside all of the other captains who are seniors,” said Lemieux, “and it was an unforgettable experience.” Other players, such as Bella Pontieri ‘22, played in their first ever state championship game. “This game was such a great experience. Being a part of this team is like being a part of a family,” said Pontieri. However, some players, like Ellie Rosenau ‘21, had to support their team from the sidelines due to an injury. “This was such a special moment, even though I didn’t get to play,” said Rosenau. “Winning this game was one of the best moments of my career, and I am so proud to be a part of this team.”
Since this decade of excellence is now official, here’s to the future of the program and all of the decades to come!