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The Westminster Bi-Line

Boys soccer cinches state championship

The Westminster boys varsity soccer team joined together on May 18 to win the AA State Championship against Blessed Trinity. This is the second straight year the team won state, defeating the Greater Atlanta Christian school in 2011.

Initially, such a win seemed unlikely. The team went into the tournament ranked third, forcing them to travel for the state game.

“[Going in ranked third] was obviously not the way you’d choose it, but it ended up being a positive for us because going on the road made us become a team,” commented Coach ­­­­­Scott Snyder.

However, when the team defeated GAC in the semi-finals, team spirit began to change.

“I’d always thought that GAC was better than BT, so after we handled GAC so well I thought we could definitely beat them,” said sophomore Michael Moulton. “Their defense ended up being a lot stronger than we thought though.”

The game against BT was very close, going into double overtime and ending in penalty kicks (PKs). Three minutes before the end of the first half, the score was 0-0, when senior Josh Bennett scored a goal from 35 yards away, narrowly missing both the keeper’s hands and the bar.

“Josh’s goal was amazing; I don’t think I’ve ever really seen something like that,” said Snyder.

In fact, Josh’s goal was the only one the team scored during regulation playtime. BT scored in the final minutes of the game, forcing a tense overtime. However, some members of the team had already predicted penalty kicks.

“We knew once [BT] scored that goal right at the end of the game that we were going into PKs,” said junior Harrison Butker.

Both BT and Westminster scored on the first kicks, with Bennett once again demonstrating his skills. Seniors Chandler Gay and Andy Stormot both scored on the second and third kicks, and senior Andrew Freschi successfully blocked BT’s second and third attempts. This made the fourth kick pivotal, since the result of the penalty kicks are determined by whichever team scores the most goals out of five. BT scored, allowing them to stay in the game, but senior Paul Vicinanza scored on the fourth kick to determine Westminster as the winner.

Snyder believed that the team was ready for the game, saying, Moulton believes that the team was ready for the game, saying, “I really thought that we were well prepared. I felt very confident that we would be successful. However, It was a lot tighter in the final than I expected it to be.”

Moulton echoed these sentiments. “We do PK’s after practice pretty much every day, and we had done it every day before the games into playoffs, so we were pretty well prepared.”

Earlier in the season, the team had struggled because they found it difficult to unite together.

“It feels great [to be a state champion],” said Butker. “Honestly I didn’t think we would be at the start of the season, but we really came together as a team by the end of the season.”

Snyder agreed with this statement. “In years we’re back to back champions, but in reality each team is unique. I’ll be honest, this is the hardest group I’ve ever worked with in terms of getting them to all come together, so it was almost more rewarding to see us all click at the end.”








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