Entering the state playoffs this week as 6AAAA champions and ranked as the state’s No. 1 team, the Lady War Eagles will be an odds-on favorite to capture a ninth.
“In spite of a number of injuries, this team has come together in a beautiful way,” said Marist soccer coach Sergio Stadler, who was at the helm for each of the school’s previous eight state titles. “It’s a team without any true superstars, and we have a great balance of talent and a lot of different girls have risen to the occasion this season.
“We’ve come a long way in two months and half months, and are excited [about the state playoffs].”
Marist (17-0-1 overall) completed an undefeated regular season last Tuesday with a 6-1 win in the region championship game against North Atlanta.
They also posted marquee wins over three defending state champions — Milton (AAAAA), Allatoona (AAA) and Greater Atlanta Christian (AA) — and perennial state powers Lovett, Westminster and Woodward Academy during the season.
The War Eagles stellar regular season was led by seniors Mary Fitzpatrick and Caroline Strom, a pair of defensive captains that anchored a backline that pitched 13 shutouts this season.
Sophomores Grace Packer and Kelsey Carrier have starred in a deep Marist midfield while juniors Frances Monardo and Stephanie Krouskos have highlighted a consistent attack according to Stadler.
“Really I could name our whole roster as standouts because that is type of team we have. These girls have embraced our style of play this season and it’s been wonderful for me to watch as a coach,” said Stadler.
“I really can’t think of one area of play that we excel at more than others, because we really are a complete team.”
Marist opened state playoff play last night against Cass (5-9) — results were not available at press time.
A win would set Marist up with a home game next Tuesday in the Round of 16, likely against No. 6 ranked Alexander (10-3-1).