SJC’s boys soccer team competed at the DC state championships (DCSAAs) on Sunday, November 11. They played against nearby Woodrow Wilson High School and managed to get the win earning the program its first championship since 1986.
Wilson scored the first goal, but St. John’s quickly bounced back with a point. With less than 10 minutes left on the clock, St. John’s was up 3-2. Suddenly, Wilson managed to score a goal, tying the game. The clock soon ran down. After a short break and a chance to talk strategy, it went into overtime. Two overtimes went by and neither team was able to score, so it went into penalty kicks. This is when St. John’s claimed victory. The team beat Wilson in overtime 3-2, securing the title. Immediately, a celebration broke out among the cadets.
Matthew Surette, the senior captain of the team said, “We’ve proven all year that we could take them and come on top.” And upon reflection of the penalty kicks, sophomore Pandelis Margaronis said, “When the last penalty kick went in, it was the happiest time we’ve had all season, it felt like all our hard work paid off.”
This was a major success for the soccer team and validation for their hard work.
Head Coach Sal Caccavale said, “We wanted to make a statement to let everybody know that St. John’s Soccer is for real! I think we did that with our semi final 10-0 win over No. 1 seed Washington International School and then following it up with a victory in the final.”
It was a cold evening at Catholic University, but according to the players it didn’t matter. Surette said, “It was cold! But it did not really affect how we played, we just played how we usually do.”
On top of being state champions, sophomore Pandelis Margaronis was named most valuable player. Margaronis has one main message: gratitude. He said, “I just want to thank my team for all the hard work, the coaches, and all the students and parents who have supported us, and my family.”
Coach Caccavale said, “Our goal for next season is to win both the WCAC Championship and defend our DCSAA title. My staff and my players will tell you, ‘We are happy, but never satisfied’.”
Unsurprisingly, the St. John’s community is excited to see what’s in store for this championship soccer team in the future.