Excellence. It’s a word like others that while it may be hard to define you recognize it when it’s present. Like love when you find it, trouble when you’re in it or hunger when you feel it. We know excellence when we see it, and for a number of years the followers of Stillwater girls soccer have seen plenty.
I’m not the biggest soccer fan in the world, but having had the chance to watch the Warriors on occasion I always came away encouraging people to go see them play.
A talented roster filled with players owning full skill sets. They played with chemistry, were well coached and brought the will to compete into every match.
Stillwater played with swag, and why not.
The last time the Warriors lost a game was the state finals in 2017.
Since that November day two years ago Stillwater has compiled a 43-0-3 mark in winning back to back state championships.
Undefeated in 46 outings, with the vast majority of those wins coming against quality opponents starting in a competitive Wasaren, moving into sectional and regional play and finishing at the Final Four weekend in Cortland. Roughly one third of Stillwater’s games over the past two years have come in the post season where contenders play after pretenders are sent home.
But in a room full of contenders the Warriors showed all others the door.
This season Stillwater scored 125 goals and allowed just 18 to their opponents. The Warrior defense pitched ten shutouts on the year, and fourteen times Stillwater scored five or more goals in a match. They were dominant with many games being decided by wide margins, but they had the grit, to grind out close wins like the 3-2 semifinal “W” and the 1-0 decision in the title game this weekend.
Stillwater will lose three players to the graduation stage in June, with Kate McEvoy, Paige Brinsko and Brooke Pickett all having played their final game in Cortland on Saturday.
Those three players were the senior leaders of a Stillwater team that put together a remarkable two year run displaying skill, chemistry, competitiveness, swag, grit and dominance, while playing all comers and not dropping one match.
Congratulations to the Stillwater Warriors, we celebrate your excellence.