CINCINNATI, OH— On Monday night, the Deer Park girls soccer team posted a 4-3 victory over Williamsburg High School in overtime of the opening round of the OHSAA sectional tournament. The game was a nail biter—with goals from Torey Mackey (2), Bailey Weaver and Anna McNulty—but the implications were much bigger.
With the win, the Lady Wildcats secured their seventh victory of the season, a school record. The win also marked the first postseason victory for Deer Park in school history.
From Coach Valerie Tabar: “This win is a testimony to our girls’ hard work. This was our goal since early May. First to post the best record in school history and second to win a playoff game. What a coincidence they were able to do it both on the same night. This means the world to our players, our fans, and our school.”
On redemption from last season’s postseason loss to Reading High School: “We had a bad taste in our mouth from years past, getting knocked out of the tournament early. This put a chip on our shoulder the entire off season—every sprint we ran, every weight that we lifted, and every team bonding activity we did was focused on these goals. We grew closer one game at a time. We wanted to show the world that we may be a small school but we have some girls that can flat out play!”
On playing through adversity: “In times of triumph we stood tall and in times of adversity our girls pushed through! We always tell the girls that adversity reveals character—man, did they face adversity tonight and everyone got to see our Deer Park Character (Champions). So many life lessons were learned tonight.”
On the teams’ attitude heading into overtime: “As far as going into overtime, we wouldn’t want it any other way! That’s who our team is, a blue collar, put your head down and get after it mentality.”
On what the victory means in the long run: “The coolest part about this experience is that these girls will be able to look back 10, 20, 50 years from now and remember this night and say WE did it, we changed a program and set a new standard for future Wildcats.”
Final thoughts: “We are so proud of these girls, they put their hard hat on and came to work day in day out to conquer these goals. Deer Park is here to stay. It’s always a great day to be a Wildcat!”
The girls soccer team will now face off against Finneytown High School in the second round of the sectional tournament on Thursday, October 19, at the Jr./Sr. High School at 7 p.m.