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Perfect night: Bishop Kenny gives area a girls soccer title sweep

The Bishop Kenny girls soccer team celebrates after winning the Class 4A state championship on Wednesday night in DeLand.
The Bishop Kenny girls soccer team celebrates after winning the Class 4A state championship on Wednesday night in DeLand.

Bishop Kenny made it a perfect night for girls soccer on the First Coast.

What does that perfection look like?

Three state championship matches. Three state champions from Clay and Duval County.

With a little luck, the First Coast is only getting started.

While Bolles and St. Johns Country Day stretched their championship-winning streaks to three and nine seasons, respectively, Kenny, the newcomer, won its first.

The Crusaders hadn’t played for a girls soccer state title before, but played like veterans in a 2-1 win over Fort Lauderdale Cardinal Gibbons in the Class 4A championship match at Spec Martin Stadium in DeLand.

The Crusaders entered on a nine-match unbeaten streak and simply pulverizing opponents along the way. Outside of a 4-all game against Gainesville Buchholz during that stretch, Kenny’s closest games were four-goal wins over Clay and Menendez.

Gibbons (18-4-4), as well as nasty weather that was a factor, made the Crusaders play a far different match than they were accustomed to in recent playoff blowouts. And Kenny’s talented lineup answered.

The Crusaders’ Sophia Hayag scored just before halftime to tie things at 1-all. Haynes Grant had the eventual winner early into the second half and Kenny’s defense muscled up the rest of the way to put the Crusaders into the recordbooks.

The area isn’t done yet.

Ponte Vedra and Bartram Trail play in state championship games on Friday at 1 and 7 p.m., respectively.


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