CHS Soccer Players in the State Cup Final


Margaret Neale striking a ball for the U18/19 team

Malcolm Brickhouse, Staff Writer

Editors note* Congratulations to the U17 boys and girls teams on winning the State Cup!

The absence of high school sports this year has created a feeling of emptiness around the student body, probably even more so than being in the real classroom for some people. While we didn’t and probably won’t get to experience crowded games with our fans cheering us on from the sidelines, we do have several student athletes excelling in out of school sports teams. One sport that several CHS students have been performing very well in outside of school is, not surprisingly, soccer. The Soccer Organization of Charlottesville Area or SOCA, as most Charlottesvillians know it as, who at the start of the year rebranded its top teams as Skyline Elite, has four teams still left in the State Cup, getting ready to play in the finals. Each of these four teams is stacked with CHS talent.
The U17 girls team is looking to be SOCA’s first girls team to win three state cups. Juniors, Elizabeth Burns and Emilia Ventre are both crucial players on this outstanding team. “The season has gone really well for us,” said Burns. “We haven’t lost yet in league play, and we have only given up one goal this season.” If the team wins, they would get a chance to compete in the East Regional tournament, and possibly nationals. “It would mean a lot to win,” said Burns.
The U17 age group is doing extremely well this year with its boys team also heading to the State Cup final. The team has five CHS players on it: Lucas Fuller, Lucas Simpson, Lucas Miller, Xavier Trager, and Graham Lenert. These five were the only sophomores last year to make the varsity team. “We have been doing really well, and have only not won one game all season, which we tied,” said Lucas Fuller. “It would be our second straight state championship.” The boys team would also get the chance to go to the regional tournament if they can secure a win.
The U18/19 girls team is also looking to win it all, after a devastating defeat in the finals last year. Margaret Neale and Maddie Packer are the two CHS players on the team, and they both play very crucial roles on the team. “It is our last year together at SOCA, so we’re just trying to enjoy competing together this one last time,” said Neale. “I think there is an extra will to win this year with the hopes of making it back to the regional tournament, especially knowing that it is our last opportunity.” Neale and Packer made the East Regional tournament two years ago, but got taken out in the semi finals.
The last, and youngest CHS players playing on a SOCA team in the state cup finals are Jackson Elmore and Cooper Moreland, on the U16 boys team. “It would be very exciting to win it all because we have put in a lot of work,” said Moreland. The U16 team has won every game so far this year, except one.
The prospect of CHS students winning a state championship is always exciting, even if it isn’t for the school team. Let’s hope that they are able to pull it off and bring the trophies home to Charlottesville, and maybe later in the school year help contribute to a high school state championship. Go Black Knights!