Wilson sweeps DCIAA soccer titles as boys, girls cruise to victory

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Wilson grabbed the DCIAA boys soccer championship. (photo by Daniel Carrero)
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The Wilson boys and girls soccer teams repeated as D.C. Interscholastic Athletic Association soccer champions in dominant fashion last week.

On the boys side, the Tigers trounced Cardozo 3-0 at Dunbar last Wednesday after running roughshod through their public school slate in which they outscored opponents 47-4 this season.

The Wilson goal scorers were senior Theo Biddle, senior Marco Carrero and senior Eric Gwadz with assists from Carrero, senior Oscar Lonaeus and Biddle, respectively.

Once Wilson scored, the Tigers simply relied on their defense led by senior goalie Simon Birnstad to cruise to victory.

“We spend a lot of time on the principles of defending,” Wilson coach Whitney Minnis said. “We try to get ourselves in situations where we are not giving up silly goals. We put a lot of pride in our defending. Simon has been exceptional.”

Minnis said this team separated itself thanks to its strong bond and leadership

“We have a lot of seniors, and they have been around together for a while,” said Minnis. “Each player has their own set of strengths and weaknesses, and there is a level of understanding and maturity where they see their strengths and have such a chemistry together.”

Wilson will enter the D.C. State Athletic Association tournament as the No. 1 overall seed, but the Tigers still foresee an uphill battle as they chase their first state crown.

“I like being the underdog. We will let the performance speak for itself on the field,” Minnis said. “It definitely motivates us.”

Meanwhile, the Wilson girls team rang Bell 3-0 on Thursday night at Dunbar to cap its own demolition of its public school counterparts — outscoring opponents 65-2 — on the way to its eighth DCIAA crown.

Wilson dominated the DCIAA throughout the season en route to a league title. (photo courtesy of Wilson Athletics)

“What makes this team special is from the players that start and play every minute to the players that get in a few minutes every game — they’re just a good solid group, and they get along well off the field and it trickles onto the field,” said first-year coach Kate Murphy. “You can see the chemistry. We are a really tight-knit unit, and that goes a long way.”

The Tigers’ championship charge was led by freshman Lila Lingo, who scored a pair of goals — one on an assist from senior Erin Keegan and another helped by freshman Kate Joos — for a 2-0 lead by halftime. It was Lingo’s first multi-goal game of her high school career.

“She is a little on the quiet side, but has really developed this season and become a dominating factor up front,” Murphy said. “She got the ball on her feet a lot in the championship game and put a couple away. It was good to see her get on the board.”

Wilson put the game out of reach when sophomore Saige Gootman blasted a corner kick to freshman Hannah Darnell, who scored to put the game out of reach.

Meanwhile, the defense was anchored by junior goalie Isabella Lujan.

“She is very experienced and plays over the summer,” said Murphy. “She’s a good kid and a great player.”

Throughout the season the team was led by senior captains Keegan, Elena Bagnoli and Mei Copacino.

“They’re leaders in different ways,” Murphy said. “Some are very vocal and others lead by example. It was good to have their solid base to teach the underclassmen. They also help me with anything I need because I don’t have an assistant [coach].”

The Wilson girls will enter the DCSAA tournament as the No. 4 seed with the title game set for Saturday starting at 3 p.m. at Georgetown University.