When Masai Brown-Andrews’s penalty shot hit the back of the net Sunday evening, memories of the past three years popped into St. John’s Coach Sal Caccavale’s mind.
Caccavale began coaching the Cadets three years ago, and though the team struggled the past two seasons, Brown-Andrews’s goal sealed the Cadets’ 3-3 (3-2) victory in penalty kicks over Wilson in the D.C. State Athletic Association championship game.
For the sixth time in as many years, St. John’s volleyball players huddled around the D.C. State Athletic Association banner — this time throwing up six fingers to mark their latest victory. The Cadets swept Sidwell Friends on Friday, 25-20, 25-23, 25-20, to remain the only victors in the DCSAA since the league began in 2013.
After Mia Bookhard’s second goal, the one from well outside the box that sealed a 3-2 WCAC championship win over St. John’s, the Good Counsel junior jumped up and down, tucking her legs in and then pounding them hard into the turf like a toddler throwing a tantrum.
But this was a fit of joy for the forward, whose brace helped the Falcons complete a dominant year with a conference championship at Catholic University.
“We worked really hard for this,” Bookhard said. “We put all our effort into it, and we stayed together as a team. We played together because we love each other.”
Defending champion St. John’s (9-4-1) got on the board first when senior Gabriella Nastasi converted in the 20th minute. Freshman Trinity Dorsey responded for the Falcons minutes later, and the game went to halftime tied.
Bookhard spent much of the season as a defender, but she was moved up top a few games ago. She scored in every game since, and Sunday she gave the Falcons (17-1-3) the lead in the 48th minute. She got a through ball and touched it past the roaming goalkeeper into the box. From there, all she had to do was win a race with her defender. She did, and the tie was broken.
“Our goal was just to pressure their defense, making good runs and attacking on the outside, because that’s where our strengths are,” Bookhard said.
Meghan O’Donovan added a goal for the Cadets in the final minutes, but it was too late.
“This was a big team effort. Not to knock anyone in the past, but we played so much as a team,” said Good Counsel Coach Jim Bruno, who has won 12 conference championships with the Falcons. “The leadership, the character of the team — I’ll remember that.”
Sidwell Friends girls’ soccer Coach Ryan Alexander received a concerning email Saturday night, about 15 hours before the Independent School League AA championship game.
Midfielder Gemma Maltby was in a hospital after spraining her right arm in a club game. Maltby had already broken her left arm in a soccer incident earlier this year.
St. John’s quarterback Sol-Jay Maiava walked off the football field at Gonzaga three minutes into the fourth quarter and burst into tears.
Maiava had just thrown a 66-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Cameron Ross to help secure what would be a 34-17 victory for the No. 1 Cadets on Saturday in Northwest Washington, but tears spilled down the signal caller’s face.
Wilson junior Ava Nicely was out of breath after crossing the line first, but she had enough energy left to cheer her teammates as the Tigers captured the team title at the D.C. State Athletic Association cross-country championship Saturday in Kenilworth Park.
“I’ve worked this whole season really hard, and I was really surprised to win,” Nicely said after finishing in 19 minutes 41 seconds.