Gray Bees Varsity Soccer Team Triumphant in State Championship Final

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Geovanni Lopez

Gray Bee Varsity Soccer Team poses with championship trophy.

Geovanni Lopez, Editor In-Chief

In a teeth-clenching match, the Gray Bees varsity soccer team defeated The Pennington School nationally ranked No. 8 yesterday, reclaiming SBP’s place as Prep A State champions for the 31st time. This means that the team finishes the high school season with a perfect record of 13-0-0, extending the Gray Bees’ unbeaten streak to a remarkable 70 games (four entire seasons without a loss).  

The SBP community brought the spirit of the Hive to Riverfront Park in Newark creating a thunderous atmosphere in support of their team. 

Just a few minutes into the first half Ransford Gyan (UD1) broke through the defense line with blistering pace and squared it to Captain Peter Yaro (SY) who found the back of the net.

The SBP defense line consisting of goalkeeper Marcilio Soares (UD2), fullbacks Ryan Johnsen (SY), Steven Reyes (UD2), and center backs Daunte Saunchez (SY) and Captain Skyler Cunha (SY), held the 1-0 lead which was enough to see the Gray Bees through to the second half. 

Gray Bees set up for the second half. (Geovanni Lopez)

Seconds into the next 40 minute half, SBP conceded a set-piece which resulted in a dangerous cross into the box. Pennington’s Bakary Tanjigora used the opportunity to full advantage, equalizing the scoreline 1-1. 

It would not take long for St. Benedict’s to take back its lead in a stellar manner. A perfectly delivered cross into the box by Molik Khan (UD2) found the right foot of Belmar Joseph (UD2) who did not hesitate to slot in the winner.

This result not only gave St. Benedict’s the championship but also put them in a great position to move up the national rankings to the No.1 spot the Gray Bees are accustomed to.

When the referee blew the final whistle, the passion and effort all the SBP players put in throughout the season to see this result, was apparent with players dropping to the field, hugging, praying, and crying tears of joy with each other. 

“We had to fight through because nobody has been in the varsity locker room, a real Benedict’s locker room, before except Peter and Skyler, our captains, and we found a way to push through, everyone bought into the traditions and that’s exactly what it is. Everyone has to buy in at the end of the day,” said Marcilio Soares (UD2) in his post-game interview with Jersey Sports Zone. 

Gray Bees Soccer Team celebrates victory with supporters. (Geovanni Lopez)

The SBP supporters were quick to join the players in celebration on the pitch in true St. Benedict’s fashion. “It was our family against their team and that’s what I think made the difference,” said varsity player and Senior Group Leader Justin Crespo (SY).

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