By Mike May
The Berean Christian School varsity girls soccer team had put together a dream season, but the team’s love affair with soccer came to an end on Valentine’s Day.
For the first time in school history, the Bulldogs varsity girls soccer team had advanced to a regional semifinal game – the “Sweet 16” round of the Florida High School Athletic Association’s Class 2A state tournament. The team’s opponent on Friday, Feb. 14 was its longtime rival, the Lake Worth Christian School Defenders.
It was the third time that the two teams had played one another this season. The first game finished in a 2-2 tie on Dec. 3. The second encounter was in the Class 2A, District 13 championship game on Jan. 30, which ended in a 2-2 tie after regulation and extra time, but the Defenders won in penalty kicks. Following the Bulldogs’ 4-1 win at David Posnack Jewish Day School on Feb. 11 in a Class 2A regional quarterfinals, the stage was set for round three of Berean vs. Lake Worth Christian. The game was played at Lake Worth Christian.
This win-or-go-home state playoff game was scoreless at halftime, though the Defenders had the majority of the first-half possession. Highlights of the first half for the Bulldogs were a pair of free kicks by Berean’s Macy Bergsman that sailed over the crossbar.
The game’s first goal was scored in the 45th minute when Lake Worth Christian’s Grace Montero slotted home a corner kick, giving her team a 1-0 lead. The Bulldogs almost tied the game in the 56th minute when a shot by Berean’s Anisah Ortiz-Peck rolled wide of the net. The Defenders took a 2-0 lead in the 62nd minute when Brooke Santiago kicked the ball past the outstretched arms of Berean’s goalkeeper Lindsie Randlett. For the rest of the game, Berean had the majority of the possession but was unable to score.
The loss was the final soccer match in their high school careers for Berean seniors Randlett, Kaleigh Fix and Wellington resident Rachel Horshington. For Berean head coach Jon Iverson, it was a tough way to end the best girls soccer season in school history.
“They played as a team with a determination to improve every game throughout the season,” Iverson said. “They showed a lot of heart and unselfishness. We’ve had years of being good losers, and this year, they were classy winners. I am proud of this team’s commitment to team and personal growth. Our regional quarterfinal win was a program first.”
For Horshington, it was a memorable and fun season.
“We played together as a family and not just as a team,” she said. “We fought hard in every game and constantly encouraged each other to do our best. It was a great season, and I’m proud to be a Bulldog — forever.”
Berean ended the season with a 10-3-4 record.