To Be a Champion: Three Girls’ Soccer Stars Share What It’s Like

On October 8th, the Cobbler girls’ soccer team beat Sioux Falls O’Gorman for the state title. Three players shared with the Pine Needle what it is like to become a state champ.

By Nate Johns

The Cobbler varsity girls soccer team recently brought home their first state championship with a 3-0 win against Sioux Falls O’Gorman. Losing only 2 games during the season, the girls reached the state championship game for the second year in a row, going into the game nervous but confident, facing the same opponent this year as last year.

“We were kind of nervous because they were so good last year,” senior midfielder Kayley Neville said, “but we all are so close and came together as a team to have fun. After the first goal we just wanted to hold them there, but then we scored 2 more and couldn’t be more excited.” Neville’s situation was particularly touchy, considering a concussion she had been suffering from. “Personally I was super scared, with it being only my second game since my concussion. Really I couldn’t even play, but I couldn’t miss it. I even had to wear one of those helmet things.” Despite the helmet, Kayley had a strong post-season, notching an assist in the championship game and scoring the game winning goal in the quarterfinal game to put the Cobblers into the semifinals.

Senior striker Maddison Sullivan was very humble coming into the game. “It was very nerve-wracking but our team had enough courage to take us through to the championship. After that first goal it gave me some calming thoughts, but anybody can come back from a 1-0 deficit, so staying focused in a high adrenaline game like that is a major key. I think overall the team had great sportsmanship and I’m very thankful for my team and how we acted during the state championship.” Maddison had an assist to one of the three goals also mentioned how great it felt to beat the team they lost to last year.

“Scoring all three goals was very exciting,” Maddi Avery admits.

Sophomore striker Maddi Avery was very excited, saying she felt blessed to be in the championship game. “I felt confident as to how our coaches had prepared us well, and it was by far a total team effort.” Her own performance was particularly impressive, as she put up all the points for the Cobblers with one un-assisted goal and two assisted goals. “Scoring all three goals was very exciting,” she admits. “Our midfield controlled the entire game. Maddison Sullivan and I connected very well during the 2nd half as we were putting a lot of pressure on them, and it was great to win the championship game with my sister Emma.”

It was a great year for the Central Cobbler girls’ varsity soccer team. The team and coaches are very proud to have a championship under their belt and now look forward to next year.

Photo by Madison Sidle