DELAND, Fla. – The First Coast was perfect on the girls' soccer field on Tuesday night in DeLand.
First, St. Johns Country Day claimed its record-setting eighth straight state championship with an afternoon 1-0 win over Lakeland Christian in the Class 1A game. Bolles capped the day with a 5-1 rout of Fort Lauderdale Cardinal Gibbons in the nightcap hours later, defending its Class 2A crown with a four-goal second half.
Combined, that's 19 state championships for two of the best girls soccer programs in state history.
For the Spartans, their drive for history is complete.
Maddie Moody’s goal in the 68th minute off of a corner kick broke a scoreless game and stood up to the finish to give the Spartans their slice of the record books.
It was a history-making win for the Spartans (21-2). The championship was the 11th in program history for the Spartans and state-record eighth consecutive. The eight straight titles broke a tie with St. Thomas Aquinas for most in a row in state history.
“I couldn’t be more proud of them,” said Spartans coach Mike Pickett. “All those teams prior to [this] helped us get to this point. This team will always go in the record books.
“I’m happy for our three seniors and for our young kids. We didn’t sub a lot today, one sub, but we’re a total team and all 25 players, even the three that didn’t dress are all here to be a part of it. I’m proud of each and every one of them. They gave us so much during the year and fought so hard I couldn’t be more proud of them.”
Moody's winner came off of a corner kick from Paige Crews in what had been a game of numerous close calls. The Spartans peppered Lakeland Christian keeper Breanna Newberg throughout the game, sending several shots off the bar. Newberg turned everything else away before the Spartans solved her off of the corner kick.
“I had two opportunities before that that I should have put away and I was just really excited that Paige was able to get another one [corner kick] in and I was able to finish it,” Moody said.
Bolles fell into a quick 1-0 hole but stomped on the gas pedal after that. Avery Patterson scored the first of her two goals to get the Bulldogs on the board before halftime.
Olivia Candelino, Izzy Kimberly and Aubrey Ramey also had goals in the second half as Bolles cruised to the eighth state championship in program history.
"What's so amazing about it is that we graduated nine or ten players last year," said Bolles head coach Matt Tracy. "There was no 'given' about this, but they took this on and they earned it and it was just awesome for them."
Senior defender Lauren Boswell had plenty of reason to celebrate. It was her fourth state championship--she won two previously in soccer and one in track--and it was her birthday. Her father, Bolles baseball coach Mike Boswell was there to put the state championship medal around her neck.
"No better birthday surprise than winning a state championship," Boswell said. "All of the girls stepped up and after halftime...bang, bang, bang, scored. They could not keep up with us."
The penalty kick scored by Patterson served as the catalyst for the surging Bolles attack. After the goal, Patterson screamed her enthusiastic message to her team.
"I feel like we just needed a spark to get ourselves going after that first goal," Patterson said. "I feel like screaming, 'Let's go,' was the way to do it."