Firebirds Fly to State
December 16, 2019
The Firebirds are state champions! After an undefeated record of 21-0-2, the girls’ soccer team advanced to play a hard game at the Columbus Crew Stadium on Saturday, November 9th against Anthony Wayne High School. They won the battle with a score of 2-1!
Several minutes into the first half, Firebird junior Kailyn Dudukovich scored the first goal. Maddie Prohaska made a great diving save that prevented the Generals from scoring during the first half. Five minutes into the second half, the Generals scored their first goal, tying the score 1-1. For most of the second half, the Generals kept the ball down by the Firebird’s goal. The student section and Firebird fans grew more nervous as the game progressed. The Red Sea could hear discussion over the question of overtime and penalty kicks coming into play. Nonetheless, with thirteen seconds left and after receiving an assist from senior Amanda Beerens, Kailyn scored the final goal for a final score of 2-1.
This victory is the reward for weeks of hard work. The team practices around six days a week through rain and shine. The girls worked hard this season setting “high goals that [were] achievable,” said senior midfielder Jenna Sitarski. They achieved these goals throughout the season. They continued to practice and fight to get to the championship. The girls took it game by game and week by week.
Going into the game, Amanda was prepared to play her last high school game. “I knew that I was going to be super emotional if we won or lost so I wore waterproof mascara.” The whole school was in support behind the girl’s soccer team and the Red Sea was ready to travel to Columbus to cheer them on. Everyone thought the Firebirds would win state with no trouble. This pressure made the Firebirds nervous. Tori Kelly said that “being a senior captain…I felt a lot of eyes on me. As a captain, I was in charge of calming everyone down.”
In the Firebird’s first playoff game, they defeated Northwest easily, moving onto Wilmington, whom they defeated 7-0 without a problem. The next game was Ursuline. The girls won 3-0 with a little more difficulty. They played their third game in the playoffs against Seton the following Tuesday. In an aggressive match, the girls pulled off a 5-2 win and moved on to play Loveland, a team that gave them a run for their money. They played their hearts out and won 2-0, going on to play in the state semifinals against Dublin Coffman. They had a tough challenge but in the end, came out with a victory 2-1. After all their hard work, they finally made it to the state championship!
The seniors left underclassman with some advice:
Madison Snowden: “Enjoy your four years it goes by quick. Enjoy the community that surrounds you.”
Tori Kelly: “Take your chance and don’t take anything for granted because the four years went by a lot faster than expected.”
Claudia Gibson: “Looking back at all the accomplishments we’ve had and all the work and hours we’ve spent, I would say to not forget this moment and try to carry it on to next year.”
Congratulations to the girl’s soccer team and we are very proud of all you have achieved. As Always Go Firebirds!
(Pictures courtesy of Jenny Walters)