DELAND, Fla. – The beat goes on and on and on.
The St. Johns Country Day girls soccer team used a relentless attack and two goals from Julia Boaventura just four minutes apart to break through in the second half and beat Shorecrest Prep 2-0 in the Class 2A state championship on Wednesday night at Spec Martin Stadium.
The championship was its state-record upping 11th consecutive, a feat that is unmatched in the major team sports (basketball, baseball, football, softball and volleyball) in the state.
It capped a five-game postseason tear that saw St. Johns (19-3-1) outscore its opponents 34-0 and left no doubt about the dynasty that continues to shine in Clay County. The Spartans now have 14 championships and trail only St. Thomas Aquinas (15) in the state record books.
“No comment on that,” Spartans coach Mike Pickett joked when asked about if he paid much attention to the 11-year streak. “Blessed. Definitely blessed. It’s all God.”
While Pickett didn’t have to say much about the streak, the Spartans, with new faces every year, continue to say it for him.
“Coach Pickett’s an amazing coach. And I just hope that the other teams that come in next year just keep the legacy going,” Boaventura, a Southern Miss signee. “And it’s amazing, every year it’s a different feeling, as I said. And just keep going, just keep working.”
Aggressive but stymied the opening half by Shorecrest keeper Sonoma Kasica, the Spartans kept the pressure up. Boaventura finally got something to fall, heading in ball from Ava Johnson in the 56th minute to put St. Johns up. She struck again four minutes later, this time on a pass from Hannah Lemieux that Kamryn Towers set up for Boaventura.
Pickett said that St. Johns changed its attack after the break and tried to get an inline path on Kasica. The Spartans took eight shots in the first half and Kasica gave them nothing. They were able to pry her away from the goalpost twice and that was the difference.
“They love each other. They’re really close,” he said. “And so, I’m just so proud of how they played for each other. We couldn’t be more proud.”