Bartram Trail girls roll to first soccer state championship

The Bartram Trail girls soccer team won the Class 7A state championship on Friday night. (Jamal St. Cyr)

Bartram Trail capped a near-perfect week in girls soccer with a state championship a long, long time in the making.

The Bears, ranked No. 1 in the state and in the country by MaxPreps, validated that with a 5-0 blowout over Cypress Bay in the Class 7A championship game on Friday night in DeLand.

Five area girls teams played for state titles and four brought home trophies, capping the best season in First Coast history.

Bishop Kenny (Class 4A), Bolles (3A) and St. Johns Country Day (2A) all won titles on Wednesday. Ponte Vedra came up short in the 5A game earlier Friday, falling 2-0 to Archbishop McCarthy.

Bartram’s showing was the most dominant.

The Bears (21-1-3) finished the season on a 17-game unbeaten streak, its lone loss a 3-2 game on Dec. 7 to Montverde Academy.

Ella Dudley, Paige Hunt and Grace Ivey scored goals in the first half and the Bartram defense turned in another punishing performance to smother Cypress Bay.

Hunt added a second goal quickly after halftime and Olivia Bori tacked on Bartram’s fifth.

Just how good were the Bears?

Next level against the Lightning.

Fourth-ranked Cypress Bay (22-2) entered the final having scored 121 goals this season and allowing just nine.

As good as the Bears have been throughout their 20-year history under coach Jennifer Rodriguez, a state championship had eluded them. Bartram’s only other title game appearance in 2010 ended with a loss in penalty kicks.

They reached the state semifinals each of the past two seasons only to lose to eventual state champ Montverde.

This season was different.

Having dedicated the year to injured forward Alex Horton, the Bears were relentless from start to finish. They used the area’s deepest roster to thunder through the season. Bartram had 16 different players score goals this season.

The result, which was never in doubt, meant the seventh Florida High School Athletic Association girls soccer state championship for teams from St. Johns County. Nease has four and Ponte Vedra has two.

About the Author:

Justin Barney joined News4Jax in February 2019, but he’s been covering sports on the First Coast for more than 20 years.