Impressive. Incredible. Astounding.
Pick a superlative, any superlative and it might fail to do justice in describing the kind of season the Peoples Academy girls soccer team wrapped up on Saturday.
Showcasing the blazing speed and superior ball skills that helped lead them to the Division III high school girls soccer finals, the top-seeded and undefeated Wolves capped a season for the ages with a 9-0 drubbing of second-seeded and previously once-beaten BFA-Fairfax.
“We’ve had a wonderful season,” said Peoples’ junior sniper Katie Stames, invoking yet another superlative.
Stames was wonderful in her own right, scoring four goals (giving her 43 for the season) and assisting on another as the Wolves (18-0) won their second straight state championship and five in seven seasons.
Junior Hannah Merriam chipped in with three goals and two assists for Peoples, which has now fashioned a 32-game winning streak in which it has outscored opponents 174-11 with 23 shutouts.
This year alone, the Wolves outscored opponents 113-4.
“I knew coming into the season we had a special group,” said PA coach Jim Eisenhardt. “We had pretty much our entire team back from last year when we won the state championship. We had our entire offense back.”
Indeed the Wolves returned nine starters this year and the scary part for D-III foes next season is Peoples returns nine more starters next year, as well.
“Peoples is just such an amazing program this year,” said BFA-Fairfax coach Geri Witalec said. “I think even if they were playing in another division, any division, they would be playing for a title today.”
The Bullets (16-2) fell behind 1-0 with 10:57 gone in the game on the first of two goals by sophomore Kelly Grimes, who tapped a crossing pass from junior Katie Fish past BFA-Fairfax goalie Emily Miner.
BFA-Fairfax only mustered modest pressure from their 50-goal scoring duo of Anissa Hartmann and Morgan Young and eventually, the Wolves
talent and tenacity took over.
Stames scored four goals on four shots in a span of 10:12 to bust the game open and Merriam added a another tally in the final five minutes for a 6-0 halftime lead.
Merriam added two more goals in the first seven minutes of the second half and Grimes put the finishing touch on the rout with a nifty head- flick with 20:58 to play. Hayley VanCor, Megan LaMare, Marissa Benson and Micaela Gailmor had one assist apiece for Peoples. Goalie Ana Swift stopped two shots.
Eisenhardt gave the Bullets credit for their grit, but he conceded that his team is one for the ages in Division III:
“Coming into the season I knew we were going to compete with anyone,” said Eisenhardt. “Part of me is sad to see this (season) end (but) this is the way I was hoping it would end.”