Ida Baker opened in 2004 in Cape Coral with David Trepkowski in charge of the girls soccer program.
The Bulldogs have become a soccer power in Southwest Florida during his tenure, but the group of seniors he has this year may be the best class Trepkowski has coached in his eight years at the helm.
With Tuesday’s 8-0 victory over Island Coast on senior night, the squad of Monique Elliott, Alexsys Vargas, Ashleigh Weaver, Shannon Pearl and Cynthia Paredes have put together an outstanding record of 93-7-9 in their four seasons on varsity.
They’ve won the past three district titles and one state title last season, the first in Baker’s short history.
The five seniors showed signs of having something special early in their careers. As freshmen they were an integral part of a Bulldog team that opened the 2009-10 season with 27 consecutive wins. The Bulldogs only loss came in the Class 4A regional semifinal to Barron Collier.
Barron Collier would again knock them out of the semifinals the following year before the 2011-12 season brought a Class 4A state championship for Baker after back-to-back years of falling three games short.
“I’m very proud of the girls,” Trepkowski said. “They’re very special to me. They’re like my daughters.
The entire team is special to me, the whole Baker program.
“This year has been pretty successful. We’re not dwelling on last year, we’re just moving ahead. We’ve had discussions and the door’s open for us for another run. It’s just they have to come out and do it instead of just sitting back. It’s not going to be given to them.”
The team is a bit smaller than last season, dropping from 22 to 16 players. The girls are playing more minutes, but have no complaints with an 18-1 record with two regular-season games remaining.
In its only loss, Baker dominated Barron Collier 17-2 in shots on net, but wound up falling 1-0 on Dec. 11.
“We learned that we cannot let people get to us and we have to come out strong as a team,” Paredes said. “It was a great teaching moment for us.”
The seniors are an extremely tight-knit bunch of girls, having known each other for more than a decade through playing competitive soccer in and around Cape Coral.
Senior midfielder Sarah Johnson joined the team as a sophomore and senior defender Lori Rosario, a Mariner transfer, has been a welcome addition in her first year with the team.
Paredes and Elliot go back to the sandbox — they were in the same pre-kindergarten class at Skyline Elementary.
“This team has made us come closer than before,” Elliott, co-captain and forward, said. “We’re just so close that it makes everything better. Baker is really a family-oriented environment.”
Elliott leads Baker in goals with 33 and co-captain Pearl is second with 24. The Bulldogs have dominated throughout this season, outscoring opponents 113-14.
The girls are not thinking about a possible state title repeat yet though. They instead are focusing their attention on winning the District 4A-11 crown next week an unprecedented fourth year in a row.
“It’s more important for us to win districts,” Elliott said when asked of team’s possibility to repeat. “Districts are most important because it will mean Baker won the district title four years in a row. And once we win that it goes on from there.”