For The Dialog
and Mike Lang
SMYRNA – For seven members of Padua’s state championship soccer team, the past four years have been like a dream ride. They won four state titles and finished with a combined record of 69-2-3. Heading into the state championship match on June 3, the Pandas were ranked third in the country.
The team has not lost in the past 41 games, dating back to May 12, 2014, when Wilmington Charter managed a 2-1 win. The other loss came the season prior, at Appoquinimink. The Pandas tied Charter in 2013, Providence Day School (N.C.) in 2014 and Caravel last season.
The graduating seniors are Abigail Boudart, Kristen Brady, Megan Mallon, Mackenzie Scully, Gabrielle Villermaux, Sarah Brush and Molly Drach. Brush, Mallon and Scully reflected on the team’s accomplishments following the final against Caesar Rodney.
“It’s very exciting to win four championships. Not many girls around the country can say they have won four titles,” Brush said.
“That is all we wanted to do was win our fourth,” she continued. “We need to thank the people that have graduated the last few years and the underclassmen who helped on this team.”
Mallon said the girls’ ability to play together inside and outside of school has helped their continuity.
“We play club together, and we are number three in the nation for a reason,” she said.
Mallon said the girls did not know what to expect when they joined the program four years ago. It didn’t take long, however, for them to find out.
“I didn’t know we would win four championships but after coming in as a freshmen we saw what they had going and Coach (Joe) Brown told us we were a special group.”
Being special didn’t afford them any special treatment, Scully said. She was a role player as a freshman.
“At Padua, you have to earn your spot, and that puts a lot of pressure on you. But that made me better and the team better,” she said.
The Pandas won the title in 2013, this group’s first year, and again in 2014. After that, Scully said they knew they could keep it going.
“Then we won the third one and it was like holy smokes, now we can four-peat and go all four years. It was great, but it was a lot of pressure,” she said.
The girls have graduated, and they will be moving their separate ways, but they will always have these four titles – together.
“It was special for us seniors,” Brush said. “We all played varsity as a freshmen, and we all had the same goals. We got to grow together and bonded well.”