The Student News Site of Walt Whitman High School

The Black and White

The Student News Site of Walt Whitman High School

The Black and White

The Student News Site of Walt Whitman High School

The Black and White

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June 17, 2024

Girls soccer defeats Montgomery Blair 2–0 to win third consecutive state championship

The girls soccer team (15–1) won the Maryland 4A state championship 2–0 against the Montgomery Blair Blazers (16–4) for their third consecutive year on Friday night under the bright lights at Loyola University of Maryland. 

The Walt Whitman Vikings took the pitch looking to complete the coveted three-peat and 6th state championship for the school. The game took an unexpected turn when junior goalie Skye Pratt received a red card early on. 

The game started fast, with the Blazers bringing the energy to try and stop the Vikings’ offensive attacks. Blair played aggressively, swarming to the ball and making many substitutions to keep their legs fresh. As the first few minutes of the first half panned out, the game was fairly even, with both teams getting few opportunities to put one in the back of the net. This all changed when junior Evelyn Javers gained possession on the right wing, making some impressive dribble moves to juke out the defender and get an angle at the goal. Javers placed a practically perfect shot that blasted to the top right of the goal past the outstretched arms of the Blair goalkeeper. At this point, the game’s momentum swung to Whitman’s side. The Vikes continued to play at their own pace, demanding Blair to match their style. This all changed a mere eight minutes later. 

Pratt rushed out of the goal to try and meet Blair’s forward at the ball. She snatched it out of the air, yet the referee’s whistle blew and held up a red card as she was outside of the box. Pratt was ejected from the game, and the Vikes were forced to play with ten players— putting junior Sophie Castleberry, the backup goalkeeper, in the game. Castleberry only recently made the transition to goalie just before the season started and was put on the biggest stage for her first real game in her new position. However, she did not back down from the challenge and helped the Vikes maintain their shutout for the rest of the game. 

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“She never really played goalie before we took her in as a field player. She played basketball, and we figured she’s athletic enough to be an option,” Head Coach Greg Herbert said. “I’m really proud of her, the way she stepped up and made a couple of saves.”

Even being a player down, the Vikes still played to their strengths. The game soon went to halftime with the score still 1–0. 

Coming out of the half, the Vikes were playing more defensively, compensating for the player they had lost, with, at times, only one forward playing up. Although this did not stop them from creating scoring opportunities, the ball still found itself on the Blazer’s side of the field. 

“We definitely started playing more defensive, but even then, we were able to move the ball and still attack,” said junior Sascha Beasley. “We probably had more shots and opportunities in the second half playing down a man.”

Again, Javers found herself making moves in the box. This time, she was tripped up and fouled, granting a penalty kick to the Vikings. Senior captain Sheridan Snow was selected to take the shot, and on her first try, it was deflected by the goalie. Snow quickly ran the ball down and popped it into the back of the net to make the score 2–0. The game went on with little time left, and after shutting down some potential by Blair, the buzzer sounded, and the team stormed the field with euphoria. 

The Vikes hoisted the trophy for the third year, completing something that most can only dream of. This streak of domination from the Walt Whitman girls soccer team will go down in the history books.

“These girls are just gamers. I’ve never seen a team take on a challenge the way that this team does,” said Coach Herbert. “There’s a winning mentality every time they step on that field.”

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