JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The Creekside girls soccer team has already knocked out one giant this season. Can the Knights finish the task and notch their first state championship? Creekside faces Cypress Bay in the Class 7A state championship game on Friday at 4:05 p.m. in DeLand.
Class 7A state championship
Creekside (18-3-1) vs. Cypress Bay (16-4-1)
When: Friday, 4:05 p.m.
Where: Spec Martin Stadium, DeLand.
Road here: Creekside d. Boone, 3-0; d. Bartram Trail, 3-2; d. Lake Brantley, 4-2; d. Palm Harbor University, 1-0; Cypress Bay d. Cooper City, 2-0; d. Stoneman Douglas, 6-0; d. Palmetto, 2-1; d. Boca Raton, 3-0.
Glance: The Knights are in the state championship for just the second time in program history, losing 2-0 to St. Thomas Aquinas in their lone appearance in 2017. This could be a far different outcome. Creekside scaled the mountain that was rival Bartram Trail in the second round of the state playoffs, edging the Bears 3-2 in a monumental victory. Bartram, the two-time defending state champ riding a 32-game winning streak, was ranked No. 1 in the country by MaxPreps. Cypress Bay has been a perpetual state runner-up. It has lost the final three state championship games, outscored 10-0 in those games, including 4-0 and 5-0 losses to Bartram. Knights coach Joe Soto was an assistant coach at Bartram for those teams and is quite familiar with Cypress Bay. Jianna Ramirez, Avery Robinson and Olivia Surrency have combined for 34 goals. Paige McSwigan tallied two goals in the win over Bartram. Creekside’s scorers will have their work cut out for them. The Lightning have allowed just nine goals and outscored opponents 48-1 since mid-December.
Coach speak: “And over this last month, like I said, we’ve had a couple of obviously big wins, gotten to this point and it’s it’s really been great to see the girls, you know, just the mentality of this team change over the course of this last few weeks. And for them to see that they believe in what they’re doing and they believe that they have the ability to do this.” — Creekside girls soccer coach Joe Soto.