The Bradford District High School senior girls soccer team is heading to provincials next week after winning the Georgian Bay Secondary School Association (GBSSA) title Thursday against St. Peter's Catholic Secondary School in Barrie.
The Bradford Buccaneers defeated the Panthers, 4-1, at the south-end Barrie high school after also making Collingwood Collegiate walk the plank — by way of a 9-1 win — on Tuesday.
With the win over St. Peter's, Bradford now moves on to the Ontario Federation of School Athletic Associations (OFSAA) tournament in London.
"This was, from the beginning, a team that we all say was magical," said Buccaneers head coach Erin Carson. "The talent is incredible and we knew that this team could go far, and look what they've done."
The Bradford girls were undefeated all season and have set a Simcoe County Athletic Association (SCAA) record by scoring 59 goals in nine games, while allowing only four against.
"This is a once-in-a-generation team," said assistant coach Brent Dyck. "Our Grade 12s were cheated out of playing for the last two seasons because of COVID, so they are definitely making up for lost time."
The Bucs' Tolu Oladunjoye said Thursday's victory felt "amazing" and is excited to go to OFSAA. They find out on Monday who they will be facing.
Bradford's Kayla Gunn, who normally plays the striker position, was in net for Thursday's game.
"It's come a long way because in Grade 9 we lost the semis, then COVID hit and we came back," she said.
Emily Hill was very excited about the win and is looking forward to playing in the OFSAA championships. I think it will be a struggle, but will be a lot of fun," she said.
The Bucs' Alexis Delahunt, who plays the position of striker, scored a penalty-shot goal Thursday.
"It was a relief. I hoped that I would score, but you never know," she said with a laugh.
St. Peter's co-captains Julia Scott and Seema Sakran said they were disappointed with their team's loss, but proud of how hard they worked all season. The pair were the only Grade 9s on the team when they first started high school three years ago.
Thursday was bittersweet for them, as Grade 12s playing their final game in Panthers purple.
"We fought," Scott said. "We work together as a team, go down together as a team."
"There was a lot of potential on this team. We all worked really hard and fought 'til the end," Sakran added. "Lots of memories made."
Sakran is going on to play soccer at the post-secondary level, while Scott will be pursuing volleyball.
Laura Gulley, one of the Panthers coaches, was hoping for a different outcome in Thursday's game, but was happy with the team's work ethic this season and their performance in the GB final.
"The season is short and sweet. It didn't end the way we wanted to, obviously, but they were a very good, strong team and we aren't disappointed in our effort today at all," she said. "We have fantastic girls on our team. They are very skilled, very talented. ... We have had a successful season."
Gulley wished the Bucs all the best at OFSAA.
"We'll regroup and come back even stronger next year," she said.