DELAND, Fla. – They’ve been on top of the nation’s rankings all season long. Now, the Bartram Trail girls soccer team is back atop the state.
The Bears won their third state championship in program history with a 3-0 victory over Boca Raton on Friday night at Spec Martin Stadium.
Olivia Bori broke a deadlock in the 48th minute as the up-tempo and attacking Bears finally solved keeper Kelly White. Thirteen minutes later, Sophia Magdalein took a gorgeous through ball from Carolyn Johnson and punched it in the right corner of the net and the Bears were clear after that. Reese Henley added the exclamation point in the 80th minute, heading in the clincher.
“It feels good. The girls, I mean it’s a credit to them. They worked so hard for this every day on the training field, they put the work in,” said coach Jen Rodriguez. “I feel like this year particularly, they’ve been so focused on their goals. And we set them early and then we reminded ourselves quite frequently of what our goals were and what we wanted to accomplish, and they just didn’t want anything to get in their way.”
Bartram was ranked No. 1 in the nation by MaxPreps last year and barreling towards a threepeat before a stunning 3-2 loss to rival Creekside in the second round of the state playoffs ended those aspirations.
“I really can’t even describe it right now. It’s just amazing coming back from last year and just finishing off on a win,” said defender Anna Bachman. “And now it’s been the most amazing four years, like I can’t even put into words.”
A season later, Bartram completed the mission. Five of the Bears’ nine seniors — Bachman, Bori, Emma Revels, Malia Roberts, Grace Ivey — have been around for all three of those championships.
“It was just, forever grateful to have a team like this that I can do that much with,” Bori said. “... These people are the most craziest, best people I’ve ever played soccer with and I’m forever grateful.”
The Bears capped a perfect season with a 21-0-2 mark and a state title that was only delayed by a year. Creekside went on to win the 2022 championship meaning that those two St. Johns County programs account for the final four titles in the state’s largest classification.
It’s the third state title for coach Jen Rodriguez, a Bartram mainstay who has been with the school since it opened.
“I feel like the seniors were just extra motivated because of the disappointment from last year,” Rodriguez said. “I know some of them wrote down like their feelings, how it felt when we lost and so they have used that to drive themselves personally, and then to really gather us as a team because they embody that team and that it takes everybody to get to where we were.”