The girls soccer team (16–1) took home the Maryland 4A state championship for the second consecutive year on Saturday night at Loyola University of Maryland, beating the Quince Orchard Cougars (14–4) 2–0.
With a chance to claim back-to-back state titles and a fourth since 2013, the Vikes headed into Saturday’s championship matchup full of energy and excitement. Even though they were missing several key players due to injury, the Vikes had already beaten the Cougars twice during the regular season, boosting their confidence. The atmosphere was electric all night long thanks to a packed crowd and a loud drumline.
Right from the opening kickoff, the Vikes dominated time of possession, keeping the ball in the attacking third for the majority of the half. About 10 minutes into the game, sophomore Evelyn Javers beat the Cougars goalie off the dribble, but unfortunately, her cross into the box wasn’t knocked home. The Vikes got a few more shots on goal before the half but all were denied by the Cougars defense. After 40 minutes of play, the scoreboard remained blank, with both teams inching closer to a possible state title.
Coming out of the break, the Vikes quickly broke the ice, scoring a crucial opening goal. Junior Sheridan Snow headed in a beautiful cross from senior Maya Wiese off a clever corner kick play.
Snow said she was exhilarated to score the first goal but also knew the game was far from over and the Vikes needed to stay aggressive.
“It was insane, I was so excited,” Snow said. “But it was also very early in the second half so I told everyone to calm down and play simple. Even though we were up, 1–0 is a really dangerous lead…we had to keep pushing.”
Luckily the Vikes did just that. Just nine minutes after Snow’s tally, senior Charlotte Shapiro struck an incredible free kick, sending the ball soaring over a wall of Cougar defenders and right over the goalie’s head, scoring a vital insurance goal and doubling the Vikes lead.
Down to the closing minutes of their season, the Cougars did everything in their power to put shots on target. However, senior goalie Sophie Mays made two fantastic saves, keeping the Cougars off the board in the final seconds of play and securing the championship for the Vikes.
With the championship victory, the Vikes capped off a nearly undefeated season where they went 16–1. Through both the regular season and playoffs the Vikes bulldozed nearly every opponent they faced, scoring 56 goals and allowing just nine.
Snow said that the Vikes were confident from the first game of the year that they would make a return to states.
“From the beginning of the season we said we’re gonna win states again this year,” Snow said. “I think there were definitely nerves, but the bus ride [to the championship game] was so fun and I think that helped get rid of the nerves even more.”
Wiese said that she knew if the team continued to play like they had all year and left everything they had on the field, they would come out victorious.
“We knew going into this that if we do what we’ve done all season we were going to win,” Wiese said. “I knew that if we left everything we had out on the field that would be enough.”
Coach Greg Herbert said he takes a lot of pride in the team’s success and what they’ve accomplished.
“I’m super proud of these girls and the tradition they’ve established at Whitman,” Herbert said. “The expectation of excellence comes from these players and it sets the standard for the rest of Whitman athletics. We’ve just got a wonderful group of young women.”