St. Thomas Aquinas continued its dominance of girls’ soccer in Florida by capturing its 13th state title on Saturday night.
The Raiders used a three-goal blitz inside of a nine-minute span in the first half to easily cruise past Vero Beach 5-0 in the Class 5A state championship game at Eastern Florida State College.
And with that, Aquinas, which finished 20-3-2 and ranked sixth nationally by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America, racked up its third title in the past four years.
It was the program’s 15th appearance in a state title game and moved the Raiders’ record to 13-2. And coach Carlos Giron has been there for every one of the titles dating to 1988.
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Giron stood off to the side quietly watching his girls celebrate. If anyone was ever entitled to say, “been there, done that,” it was him. Prompting the inevitable question, Does it ever get old?
“No, it really doesn’t,” said Giron, who took over the program in 1983. “I mean, every year is a different year. You have to work very, very hard to get to this point, and you can never take it for granted.
“If we won it every single year then maybe it would, but you don’t win it every year, including last year when we lost a tough one in the regional final [3-2 overtime penalty-kick loss to Palm Beach Central]. I never get tired of seeing the girls celebrate.”
Just one day after the Raiders needed a dramatic overtime goal by Dallas Dorosy to break a scoreless tie and edge Flagler Palm Coast in their semifinal, there would be no such drama Saturday night.
In fact, it turned out to be the Dorosy sisters, Dallas and freshman Isabella, who led the way with two goals apiece.
Just 11 minutes into the game, Aquinas dented the scoreboard for the first time when Mackenzie Marsh dumped a free kick from 30 yards out in front of the net that Isabella Martinez got to and knocked to her left to Dallas Dorosy, who popped it in the bottom right of the net when Vero keeper Ashley Campbell overcommitted to the left.
Less than two minutes later, the Raiders were awarded a corner kick, and Dallas laid it in front perfectly for Connor Lhota, who got a clean look and headed it in to make it 2-0.
Aquinas completed its three-goal flurry six minutes later when Isabella Dorosy got in on the act, taking a centering pass from Kaitlin Tighe and knocking one home from the left side.
Even though there was still 60 minutes of soccer left, it was apparent by the body language of the Vero Beach girls that this one was done. The Indians, making only their second appearance in a state championship game, having lost to Oviedo in 2011, finished 20-4-1.
“It was a total relief,” Dallas Dorosy said.
“We came out in the first 15 or 20 minutes and put those three in like that, and that really set the tone for the game.
“[Vero Beach] was more spread out [Saturday night] than Flagler was [Friday], and that enabled us to come in and penetrate the defense, make more runs and create more opportunities, which we took advantage of.”
The Raiders spent the entire second half mostly controlling the ball on Vero Beach’s end of the field before eventually scoring twice more. Isabella Dorosy got her second goal with 30:53 left when Campbell failed to clear a ball, which Dorosy intercepted and shelved in the top left.
Not to be outdone, Dallas scored her second with just 8:33 left, taking a corner centering pass in front of the net from Martinez and popping it in.
“It’s just fantastic that she and I were able to do this on such a big stage,” said Dallas, just a junior who will be back for one more year. “I’m sure hoping Mom and Dad will be proud, that’s for sure. When I’m running up the field, I know she’s going to be there and she knows I’m going to be there for her.
“We know what each other is going to do; we talk about it at home before the game and after the game as well.”
Said Isabelle Dorosy: “It feels so exciting to come out and do this my freshman year and knowing that I’m going to have three more years to try and come back and get it again.
“It’s awesome because I’ve been waiting to play high school soccer since I started kicking a soccer ball, and now I’m part of a big family.”