There are few occasions that derive more pure joy than a soccer goalie scoring a goal for their team. Delivering that kind of a result in a state title game? Pure bliss.
That’s precisely what Maggie Van Thullenar accomplished for Academic Magnet in the South Carolina Class AA state title game.
Thullenar’s goal on a free kick was the opener for Academic Magnet, starting the floodgates on what eventually became a 6-2 victory against St. Joseph’s Catholic. Incredibly, Academic Magnet was so dominant, that four-goal margin of victory was the closest the Raptors faced in the entire tournament.
It’s also certainly worth considering just how gutsy a move it was to have a team’s goalie taking a free kick in the middle of a 0-0 draw with a state title on the line. Sure, Academic Magnet probably felt confidence that they were the more talented team, but anything can happen when nerves emerge with a championship at stake.
That didn’t happen for Academic Magnet, in part because their goalie broke the ice, in the least likely way imaginable.