Chapin Boys’ and Girls’ Soccer Seek Back-to-Back State Championships
CHAPIN – It is extremely difficult for a high school program to make it to a state championship. The chances of playing for a title two consecutive years are even slimmer, but the Chapin boys’ and girls’ soccer teams are defying all odds.
When Bob Taylor took over the Chapin girls’ soccer program in 2010, he knew it needed some tweaking. The team was competitive, but he was not sure if it had the DNA to win a championship. Fast forward seven years later and the Eagles are seeking their second straight title.
“I remember sitting in the stands years ago watching a state championship game and J.L. Mann’s girls team walked in,” Taylor said. “I said to myself, ‘That’s a championship team right there,’ you could just look at them and tell. Our girls now have that look. We’re not trying to be one of the top teams in the state. We want to be the best.”
They have given themselves a chance to be the best for the second straight year and one of the reasons is leadership. Senior captain Rachel Cosby and the Eagles take on South Aiken in the girls’ Class AAAA finals on Friday at 6:00 p.m., a team they defeated in preseason. Cosby believes even though the game was an exhibition, it can certainly give them an advantage heading into the matchup.
“I think it definitely helps us in a sense of we know what their strengths are,” Cosby said. “I feel like we’re playing our best soccer right now and when we’re playing well as a whole, it gives us a great opportunity to win.”
Taylor says it is difficult to reflect right now on what the program has accomplished because of preparation that lies ahead for Friday, but does know that win or lose, this team will hold its head high.
“It has been a special run, it really has,” Taylor said. “Not many teams can play for a state championship, let alone a second straight one. This will be the third time in four years our girls have been in this position and we’re hoping we can send our seniors out with one final great moment.”
Throughout every sport, a team is often faced with some sort of adversity. For Ben Bosco and the Chapin boys’ soccer, it came in waves. From injuries to key players, two tough region losses and two straight losses entering the playoffs, getting back to a state championship would take some serious mental focus.
“I never doubted our guys,” said Bosco, who is in his third season as head coach at Chapin. “Any time we step on the field, I feel like we can match up well. It is humbling to be back in a second straight championship, but we know we have our work cut out. It’s all business now, the reflection will come later.”
The Eagles will take on Eastside for the Class AAAA boys crown Saturday at Irmo High School.
“Just the thought of playing my last game at Chapin and winning a state championship is incredible,” said senior captain Cooper Woodham, who scored the game-winning goal in Chapin’s title win last season. “Winning another one would be a dream come true.”