By Martie Thompson

The Bartram Trail girls’ soccer team defeated Boca Raton at the FHSAA Class 7A State Championships at Spec Martin Stadium in Deland by a score of 3 – 0 on Feb. 24. This championship is the third in school history for the team, having previously won it all in 2020 and 2021. According to the team’s head coach, Jen Rodriguez, who has coached at Bartram Trail since the school opened in 2000, this was one of the best seasons the school has had, as they finished with a 21 – 0 – 2 record.

“We had nine seniors this year. Five of them, Grace Ivey, Malia Roberts, Emma Revels, Olivia Bori, and Anna Bachman, were on the team for all three state championships,” Rodriguez said. She credited the leadership of the seniors as a contributing factor to the team’s success.

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She said the girls’ beginning of the year goal was to win the championship this year — not her favorite goal since it leaves no room to stumble. But she agreed that it was good to strive high.

“After the disappointment of last year [when the team lost to rival Creekside in the second round of the state playoffs], the girls were extra motivated,” Rodriguez said.

Rodriguez admitted to scheduling a tough regular season because she knew she had a strong group of players returning this year and that they would need the challenge. By the time the playoffs rolled around, she knew her team was ready.

“We have goals and strategies for each game,” Rodriguez said, “but during the game, it’s up to the players to execute.”
And execute they did. The team scored its 100th goal of the season as the first goal in the state championship game. They concluded the season with a total of 102 goals scored and only seven goals given up.

Coming up for the team now that the season is over is a recognition at the St. Johns County Board of County Commissioners meeting in April and a presentation for a Rotary Club. Rodriguez said both of these events will give the athletes a chance to practice their leadership skills and talk about their journey.

Five of the graduating seniors will be continuing their athletic endeavors by playing soccer at Division 1 colleges. Rodriguez said that Bartram Trail will be returning 12 players for next year’s team and she’s sure they will have similarly lofty goals to this year’s team.

“They will understand what it means to be state champions and even more importantly, they will understand what it takes to get there,” she said.

Photos courtesy Jen Rodriguez
State Champion Bartram Trail High School.

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