Both Georgetown Visitation and Jackson-Reed were seeking redemption entering the D.C. State Athletic Association girls’ soccer championship after falling in their respective conference tournaments.
The Cubs were co-regular season Independent School League champions but fell in double overtime to Holton-Arms in the ISL tournament semifinal. The Tigers’ streak of 13 straight D.C. Interscholastic Athletic Association championships was snapped by School Without Walls.
Only the Cubs vindicated their tournament loss. Georgetown Visitation secured the DCSAA crown Sunday, claiming its first state title with a 3-0 win over Jackson-Reed at Catholic University’s Carlini Field.
“When we had that loss, we shook it off quick,” Coach Carey Burke said of the ISL semifinal defeat. “They weren’t devastated. They weren’t like, ‘Oh, woe is me.’ They weren’t in tears. It was really just a calm resolve that said we have work left to do, and we did the work.”
Top-seeded Georgetown Visitation (14-3-1) found an early breakthrough in the eighth minute via forward Helen Bonner, who was named match MVP. Caitlin Burke played Bonner in behind the Tigers’ defense, and Bonner drove forward before beating the goalkeeper at the near post to take a quick lead.
The linkup between the juniors was emblematic of the Cubs’ experienced upper classes. Nine of Georgetown Visitation’s 11 starters in the DCSAA final were juniors or seniors, and they were influential throughout the Cubs’ triumph.
“This hasn’t just been one year in the making, it’s been three, four, all these years in the making to all come to this big moment,” senior Makaela Morrell said.
Morrell doubled Georgetown Visitation’s advantage in the 21st minute, lifting a free kick from just outside the penalty box into the top left corner. Senior Jackie Shores wrapped up the Cubs’ comprehensive win with an individual effort in the 70th minute, winning the ball in her own half before driving forward and cutting the ball onto her right foot.
Shores looped a strike from distance over the goalkeeper to put the finishing touches on Jackson-Reed (14-7-3).
The Cubs have claimed a trophy in each of their past two seasons, winning the ISL tournament title in 2021 and the regular season crown last year, but ended each season with losses in the DCSAA tournament. This year, Georgetown Visitation’s seniors were able to celebrate their final game with a win.
“There’s no better way to finish the season off besides winning a championship game as your last high school game,” Morrell said. “It’s just really an incredible moment.”
Read the article here, by Nicky Wolcott of the Washington Post.