An SPS Soccer Playoff: A Run for the Ages 

Shorecrest’s girls soccer team pictured after the game with their runner-up trophy at the state championship in Spec Martin Stadium.

By: JP Rosales

SPS girls soccer had such an amazing playoff run in the FHSAA’s toughest division. To be state runners-up is quite a feat considering that their playoffs were a long ordeal filled with some tough matches. They gave it their all and played their hearts out over the past few months and in their final game against St. Johns Country Day School.

The soccer state championship match between your Chargers and St. Johns took place at Spec Martin Stadium in DeLand on February 23rd. St. Johns won the match by a score of 2-0. It was a close game for a while until about the middle of the second half. I was at the game along with many SPS fans who traveled by bus and by car for two hours to get there.

Two main things seemed to cost SPS the match. First off, they had a difficult time executing their passes. Some routine passes in St. Johns’ territory were missed, and Shorecrest didn’t get many shots on goal throughout the match. It’s very difficult to win if little pressure is applied to the opposing defense. That was something the Chargers did brilliantly in the regional finals, but not in this match. There were breakaways, courtesy of right wing Addie Oman and left wing Kaja Dionne, but it wasn’t enough. 

The other key was that Shorecrest could not get out of their territory. They were playing defense for the majority of the match. It was a superb defense, especially for the first half of the match. St. Johns’ offense gave goalkeeper Sonoma Kasica everything she could handle. She had a lot of great saves in the first half as well. SPS held St. Johns scoreless for 55 minutes. 

During the second half, however, they couldn’t contain them. Beating a team like St. Johns, which has now won twelve straight state championships, is no easy task. The bottom line for a team as good as Shorecrest is that you can’t win ‘em all. 

Over the past two championship matches played by these teams, Shorecrest has played better every time. These girls put in the work all season long, and they’ll have a better shot next year. This team is not one to doubt. Most of the key players will be back next season. And they always say “ third time’s the charm.” 

Whenever you lose a game of this magnitude, you are going to face adversity. This loss was a hard one to take. I imagine some people took it closer to home than others. But the great players know that adversity lights a fire in you that makes you want to come back stronger next season. That’s the mentality that champions are made of, champions like our SPS girls soccer regional champs and state finalists. 

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