Tandem Celebrates Three Straight Girls Soccer Titles

Last weekend, Tandem Friends became the first school in VISAA history to win three straight state titles in girls soccer. And now the Badgers have the banner to prove it.

On Thursday morning, the school held a banner-raising ceremony to recognize the three-time state champs.

"Nothing's ever really happened like that before," senior Leci Irvin, a member of all three state championship teams, said. "We've usually just gone into morning meeting, shown the plaque, and everyone cheered for us. But having an actual celebration with the whole, entire school honoring our team and the hard work we've done was really important, and it's really cool."

The team's 2010 title was the first state championship in any sport at Tandem.

"A lot of schools have state banners, and I don't think Tandem has ever really done something like this before," said Brian Williams, the head coach for the Badgers' last two state title runs. "And I think it's awesome that they kind of went ahead and honored the incredible hard work of these kids."

Tandem completed the three-peat with a 4-0 over Eastern Mennonite on Saturday. Irvin, who was named the VISAA Division II state player of the year after the game, scored all four goals for the Badgers. Tandem outscored its three opponents in the state tournament 13-0.

The win also avenged a mid-season loss to EMHS. According to senior Gillian Gardiner, that game and another loss to cross-town rival St. Anne's-Belfield served as motivation for the Badgers the rest of the way.

"We all chose as a team to keep going for that state title," she said. "And I think that really renewed our dedication for the season. And I think in the end that really paid off, and it's really great to see all of our hard work pay off."

I think the best part about this is they set a goal, and they worked toward that goal," said Williams. "And it's a nice reminder that if you put your mind to something, work hard for it, you can pull through and do it."

Irvin, who will play soccer at William & Mary next season, was joined on the all-state team by fellow senior Bri Carel. Carel scored 32 goals for the Badgers this spring.

"I think it's something that people are definitely going to remember forever," Carel said of the Tandem three-peat. "It's definitely, this is the team that did it. And I think it can be accomplished again. It's just going to take a lot of hard work and dedication."

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