It was quite a weekend for student athletes at Mary of Nazareth School, as they were crowned soccer City Champions in three of the four top divisions of the Washington D.C. Archdiocese CYO. Both the U14 Boys and U14 Girls teams won the City Championship in games played at the Maryland SoccerPlex stadium on Sunday afternoon, and the U12 Girls team won the title City Champs on Saturday.
“Three city championships in one year is a blessing,” said Mary of Nazareth School Principal Michael Friel. “Our student-athletes conducted themselves well on the field and overcame serious competition. I was especially impressed with their drive to win and how well they performed under stress. A huge congratulation goes out to our soccer coaches, our sports committee, and our Athletic Director, Rich Huelbig."
Many of the players on all three teams live in the Germantown area.
“I am very proud of all of our CYO soccer participants and volunteer parent coaches,” said Christian Schneider, the school’s soccer commissioner, and head U14 girls’ coach. “Since the first recorded CYO City Title Championship in 1999, Mary of Nazareth has won two Varsity Girl’s titles in 2001 and 2002, one Varsity Boy’s title in 2008 and one Junior Varsity Girl’s title in 2009. Winning three CYO City Title Soccer Championships in one year is a huge historic accomplishment for our school.”
The Darnestown school’s championship weekend began on Saturday afternoon when the U12 Girls team, made up of 5th and 6th graders won the City Championship with a 2-1 come-from-behind victory over Holy Redeemer at the Holy Redeemer field in Kensington.
The U12 Girls dominated their division all year going undefeated and outscoring opponents 47-7 during the season got goals in the title game from Madeline Schneider, of Damascus, and Daniela Serrano, of Boyds, while Reagan O’Rourke, of Germantown, set up both goals with nifty assists.
“I am very proud of our young players for their commitment, preparation, and hard work throughout this soccer season,” said U12 Girls Head Coach John Feeney. “Each member of our team contributed to our 10-0 record and winning the City Championship. We truly appreciate the tremendous support we received from the Mary of Nazareth School community this weekend. It reflects the pride and camaraderie of the students and parents that are a part of this great Catholic family.”
The winning continued on Sunday as the U14 Boys also played a team from Holy Redeemer in Kensington at noon in the stadium at the Maryland SoccerPlex in Boyds. The 7th and 8th-grade boys won 2-0 to earn the second City Championship of the weekend. The boys were 3-4 during the season and were the lowest seed in the tournament, but got hot during the playoffs to win three games in a row.
“These boys are the very definition of a team,” said U14 Boys Coach Matt Boesch. “With players of varying skill levels, they came together and showed what they were capable of. For some of them, they had unfinished business after losing in the championship game last year. You got the sense that this meant everything to them and they were not going to let that happen again. They wanted to be part of Mary Nazareth history and do their part to bring home one of the three soccer championships to the school.”
The Mustangs goals were scored by 8th grader Sebastian Aliaga and 7th grader Nicholas Laffey, both of Germantown. While goalkeeper Evan Kelly, of Darnestown, earned the clean sheet.
“As the last seed in the tournament, they had something to prove,” said Boesch. “Not only did they do that, they did not give up a goal in the tournament. Given some of our defensive woes earlier in the season, that says something about the heart and determination of these kids. I could not be prouder of what they accomplished, and more importantly, I am impressed with the character of each of them.”
The final leg of the Mary of Nazareth triple-crown weekend came at when the U14 Girls completed their undefeated season with a victory over in the championship game at the SoccerPlex. The U14 Girls squeaked pass Our Lady of Mercy from Potomac, with a 1-0 win.
It was 8th grader Sabrina Di Marizo, of Boyds, with the championship-winning goal for the varsity girls team, while goalkeeper Emily LaRochelle, of Montgomery Village, held OLM scoreless.
“The MoN girls’ varsity team put forth a tremendous effort this year and built upon last year’s campaign,” said U14 Girls assistant coach Joe Beucher. “We are as happy with this championship and an undefeated season as we are with the personal and spiritual development of these young athletes. Our team represents the diversity of our community, including all levels of gifts and abilities. We played with sportsmanship, honesty, respect, and loyalty this season, but most of all the girls never gave up, even with numerous injuries during the playoffs. I am proud that these lessons learned, both on and off the field, will hold these players in good stead for their future.”
Top: Mary of Nazareth U14 Girls finished the undefeated season and won the Washington D.C. Archdiocese CYO City Championship. Front Row (L to R), Sofia Guillamon, Lexi Burns, Mackenzie Saum, Sabrina Di Marzio, Casey Soewandi, Maya Yapur, Elizabeth Miller, Bailey Guessford. Second row; Coach Martin Yapur. Claire Beucher, Angelina Serrano, Ava Echandia, Hannah Schneider, Katie Barrow, Jennifer Albero, Ava Guishard, Jackie DeJesus, Melina Torres. Back Row; Coach Christian Schneider, Emily LaRochelle, Jennifer Juhring, Coach Joe Beucher.
Next: The U14 Boys team also won the City Championship on Sunday. Front Row (L to R): Habib Najjar, Sebastian Aliaga, Garrett Schuppner, Aidan Rafferty, Aiden Dullaghan, Bobby Eloshway. Second Row: Peter Chamoun, Luke Sanchez, Patrick Vassallo, Declan McInerney, Brenden Pauline, Nick Laffey, Alex Perrin, Christopher McDanald, Eddie Ioana. Back Row: Evan Kelly, Coach Rob Pauline (obstructed), Andrew Schaefer, TJ Sanders, Coach Chuck Eloshway, Coach Matt Boesch, Dylan Richards.
Next: The U12 Girls team from Mary of Nazareth won the CYO City Championship on Saturday. Front row: Kaitlin Rodriguez, Lucy Beucher, Jillian Puglisi, Casden Case, Annelise Allport, Hanna Ricoy, Daniela Serrano, Emma Feeney, Angelina Araj, Avery Boesch. Back Row: Coach Andy Calabrese, Ava Calabrese, Brianna Riley, Coach Nilton Ricoy, Emilyn Sanders, Madeline Schnieder, Coach John Feeney, and Reagan O’Rourke.