NSA finishes state runner-up

Published 10:09 pm Tuesday, May 22, 2018

The Lady Saints girls’ soccer team fell short in the state championship game Sunday afternoon.

The Nansemond-Suffolk Academy girls’ soccer team had its most successful season in the school’s history. Last week the Lady Saints went into the Virginia Independent Schools Athletic Association Division II state tournament with the No. 2 seed. After a victory over Carlisle School, NSA advanced to the state semifinal. From there, they defeated Seton School to advance to the state championship.

In the state championship game, the Lady Saints took a 5-1 loss to Highland School, which brought an end to the historic season for the Lady Saints. Highland had been the No. 1 seed heading into the state tournament. They were able to take advantage of any mishaps NSA made, and they had a size advantage.

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“The game just got away from us,” NSA Coach James Michael Dick said. “We were playing well in the first half, and they got the better of us in the second half.

With the loss, NSA finished as the first runner up in NSA’s history and finished with a 16-6 record. The loss against Highland was the first against a Division II school this year, and five was the most goals NSA had given up all season.

Even though the championship game didn’t go quite the way NSA wanted, it didn’t take away from anything they were able to accomplish this season.

“It was the first time in over 20 years that NSA girls’ soccer has gone this far,” senior Abby Herrod said. “We went from not being ranked during my sophomore year to being a runner-up. I think that in itself is a great accomplishment. We had a wonderful season, and I am super proud of this team.”

The Lady Saints were certainly happy with what they were able to accomplish this year. Coach Dick knew the Lady Saints could have a great season. However, there was a stretch when NSA defeated Western Branch High School, Beach Breakers and Bishop Sullivan Catholic School where he felt like NSA had a chance to do something special this year because of the attitude change.

“I was ecstatic that we made such a deep playoff run in the playoffs, even though the outcome isn’t what we wanted,” Alivia Giles said. “I was proud of my teammates and the way that we fought together to get to the state championship.”

NSA had three winning streaks of at least three games, with the most being five games at the start of the season. This season was also the first NSA had been ranked as high as No. 2 in the VISAA poll.

“I am so proud of these girls. They played great all season,” Dick said. “I wish we could have won that game, but sometimes the ball bounces funny some days.”