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Soccer stardom at St. Anthony - New Brighton Schools: “No one knew us, now everybody does”

Soccer stardom at St. Anthony - New Brighton Schools: “No one knew us, now everybody does”

It’s an incredible story, with a storied history. 

Both girls and boys soccer teams advanced to state championships at U.S. Bank Stadium last Friday where they both played St. Paul Academy. They were equally rivaled teams competing for the state title. 

In a huge win, the girls soccer team won the first ever state championship in any girls’ sport in SAVHS history. The boys soccer team, playing immediately after the girls, took second place at state.

“It’s exciting not just for the girls program, but for all students and for the entire community,” Sue Pawshlyn, the girl’s soccer head coach said. “With other things that the community has gone through, its so fun to share this with everyone”

It’s hard to believe that until only six years ago, St. Anthony - New Brighton Schools didn’t have a standalone soccer program. It was shared with Spring Lake Park School District. 

2017 was the first year of SAVHS soccer for the boys and girls teams, with some students having only started soccer recently. June McGrath, goalie for the girls, started playing just two years ago. 

“The journey for how we got there was amazing. No one knew who we were, now everybody does,” Sam Mann, boys soccer head coach, said. 

For the boys team, Coach Sam had his fair share of incredible players, with a Mr. Soccer finalist being Hans Asare and two All-State players being Christopher Plaza and Hans Asare. 

“The fact that these groups of guys were able to achieve this feat is incredible,” Sam said.  

The girls soccer team has four players for the Senior Classic, an event where girls soccer players from around the state compete in a game. Iileen Cardona, Laney Cardona, Sierra Halverson and Anna Issacson will represent St. Anthony - New Brighton Schools. 

“People are all working behind the scenes – the facilities director, community ed director, superintendent – everyone does their part,” said Sue. “We’re really proud that this is a true program celebration.”

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