‘Storybook ending’: Creekside girls win first state soccer title

The Creekside girls soccer team lifts the state championship trophy after beating Cypress Bay on Friday afternoon in DeLand. (Justin Barney, News4JAX)

DELAND, Fla. – First, it was St. Johns Country Day.

Next, it was Fletcher.

Then, Creekside closed the book on a perfect week in DeLand.

Avery Robinson scored a pair of gorgeous goals and the Creekside defense kept Cypress Bay off-balance as the Knights won the Class 7A girls soccer state championship 3-1 on Friday afternoon at Spec Martin Stadium.

It was the first soccer state title for the Knights and put a bow on a season unlike any other. The Knights knocked off rival Bartram Trail, the two-time defending state champion and No. 1-ranked team in the country by MaxPreps.

For coach Joe Soto, it was a different vantage point. He was an assistant on both of those Bartram state title teams before taking the job at Creekside this season.

“I’m fortunate to live a mile and a half away from Creekside, my kids are zoned, they’ll be going to Creekside. And just to have that community rally around us the way they did. It’s great to bring home a state championship for them. It really is. It’s fantastic. It’s been so much fun. I’ve enjoyed the ride. And I’m so proud of these players for the way they handled themselves.”

Robinson was electric.

She had a spectacular goal in the 17th minute, leaving two defenders to her right with a deft stop and start move, then curled her shot in the upper left corner for a 1-0 Knights lead. Cypress Bay knotted things up with a minute to play before half on a goal by Hannah Mason.

Her second goal in the 51st minute was nearly identical to her first, a perfect, top-shelf shot that was untouchable. Paige McSwigan put things out of reach five minutes later with another goal and the celebration was on.

“Definitely a storybook ending because we’ve gone through so many adversities throughout the season with players getting injured, situations with coaches, just so many adversities. And I think through all the adversities I think the triumphs have been what’s been the most rewarding,” she said. “Like beating Bartram, and then just from there, just pushing on and finally winning this state championship and not just to win the state championship but to be the first Creekside girls soccer team to do it. It’s just super special.”

The Knights were just about perfect defensively. Goalkeeper Amaya Logan had eight saves and smothered a couple of point blank shots. She made a beautiful kick save on the possession before Mason’s goal.

“We’ve put so much work into this. We’ve trained every day and just, this is my dream. This was my dream coming here. This is my first year Creekside. This was my dream and we did it.”

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.