The Schalmont girls soccer team proudly displays its state championship trophy upon its return to the Rotterdam school Sunday night. The Sabres defeated Greece Odyssey (Section V) 4-0 in the Class B finals earlier in the day.
Photo by Rob Jonas.
The momentum from Saturday's semifinal victory carried over into Sunday's final against Greece Odyssey. Schalmont got its first goal in the opening 40 minutes and pulled away with three more goals in the second half to clinch the championship.
Strijek -- who finished her senior season with a team-high 47 goals -- said she didn't expect to record back-to-back hat tricks at states.
"I definitely worked hard there, and I guess it showed," said Strijek, who concluded her varsity career with 106 goals.
"It definitely wasn't just her," said Caschera. "Rachael Gac, Alexsandria Cardinal, Hannah Saccocio, Jenna Saccocio, Katie Saccocio, Diana DiCocco, Madelin Saccocio, who had a nice goal [in the finals] ... all of those girls played awesome. And when I went to my bench, my subs played great."
Schalmont finished the season outscoring its opponents 123-7 and posting 17 shutouts.
"This is the only team I've coached here that's scored that many goals and allowed so few," said Caschera.
It will be a tall order for Schalmont to repeat the season it had when 2012 rolls around. The Sabres lose eight seniors to graduation including Strijek, Murray and cousins Hannah, Jenna and Katie Saccocio. But, Caschera sees promise in a junior class that includes Gac, Cardinal and DiCocco.
"Next year it's going to be a young team, but there will be eight juniors who will be seniors next year that will want to win [a state title] again," said Caschera.
For now, the Sabres can bask in the glow from their first state championship trophy.
"23-0 and state champs. It's definitely a perfect season," said Strijek.