Chamblee Girl’s Soccer win State Championship

Chamblee+Lady+Bulldogs+pose+with+Title

Photo courtesy of Mark Brock

Chamblee Lady Bulldogs pose with Title

Toby Russell, Staff Writer

The Chamblee girl’s soccer team has had an excellent season, with an outstanding record, winning all but two of their games. Their incredible performance qualified them for state playoffs, and they have destroyed the competition, taking out Midtown High 8-1to win the 5A State Championship. Not only is Chamblee one of the best teams in the state, MaxPreps additionally ranks the team as the 9th best in the country as of April 30th. According to the players, this year’s tremendous showing comes from a combination of factors, practice playing a large part. (Interviews were conducted before the championship game)

“I think practice really helped us. Our intensity in practice, the competitiveness in practice has really separated us from our competition,” said Kara Croone (‘24).

Croone also believes the intimacy of the team was important to how they play.

“I also feel like we’re so connected and we’re family,” said Croone. “Most teams can’t really say that they’re as close as we are. It’s like playing with your best friends, which I think is another aspect of why we’re so successful.”

This enthusiasm was also present during games, where players helped to contribute to the competitive spirit.

“I think it was honestly just the hype on the bench. Everyone was so supportive and loud during the game,” said Cassidy Kuehne (‘25)

Other players also mentioned the shared experience of the initial loss to Marist.

“[After] the first loss of the season against Marist, we told ourselves that we never wanted to feel the [feeling] of losing again,” said Regan Drummond (‘23). “I think that that first loss [was] honestly […] good for our team.”

The team hasn’t lost since, even when put up against difficult opponents such as St. Pius and Greater Atlanta Christian School.

“[Pius was] the one of the main teams we wanted to win against and we ended up achieving that goal, which was amazing,” said Drummond. “[Against] GAC, we tied that game but that was, I think, one of our toughest games because we were down by one point and we scored a last minute goal.”

Many players agree that beating St. Pius was a monumental achievement for the team this season.

“The Pius game was a really big factor in this season, and I think it kind of determined where we are right now,” said Croone.

The team also had to overcome its own difficulties in order to find success. For example, player had to learn to communicate more effectively.

“Honestly, maybe just talking more. We don’t really communicate a lot on the field,” said Kuehne.

As the team played at a higher and higher level on the journey to State, they had to have the correct mindset.

“I think something we need to work on [is] probably just calming down. I know games get really big,” said Croone. “I know a lot of people get nervous during this time, but I feel like if we really believe in each other, we’ll be fine.”

This year stands apart from previous years in a variety of ways. Namely, the team has new players.

“I think this year we have a lot of talent. The past year has been good too, but this year I just think we’ve been the best we have [been] and we’ve gone really far,” said Kuehne.

Things look good for future years as well, with the new group of prospective players showing definite potential.

“[The] coaching staff is amazing. All the girls that are coming up from middle school and [the] freshmen, […] they’re insanely talented. So I think [the program] will continue to be great for years,” said Drummond.

For the younger players on the team, this has led to a confidence that the rest of their time at Chamblee will be similarly successful.

“I feel like how this program is going and how it’s developing, the sky’s the limit,” said Croone. “And it’s just going to keep on getting better and better.”

When it comes to rounding out this season, the players are hopeful for a good performance.

“I really hope we make it to State and hopefully win. […] I just want everyone to play their best, [have] no injuries, and score a lot of goals,” said Kuehne.

The whole season has served as building blocks for playoffs and, eventually, the state championship game.

“We’ve been practicing hard for it. We’ve prepared ourselves well,” said Drummond. “Our main goal is to get to the playoffs, obviously. So each week we’re hoping to achieve another piece of that goal.”

Notwithstanding their outstanding performance in the playoff and championship games, the players have enjoyed their season of winning, team bonding, and hard work.

“I think practices especially are really fun, […] as well as [being] on the side, like laughing with each other while still working hard but still having fun. I think that’s probably my favorite part about it,” said Croone.

Others agree that the team has a positive atmosphere.

“I just love everyone on the team. They’re so fun and supportive and it’s been a really great experience,” said Kuehne

For older players, meeting the newer members has been fun as well.

“[I’ve enjoyed] meeting new people that have come up to me like freshmen [and] some new sophomores,” said Drummond.

With the big State win, Chamblee Girls’ Soccer will be looking to repeat next year and continue to put on dominant performances in 2023.