It’s the natural question.
Any time a team finishes unbeaten (24-0-1) and wins a state championship as the Yorktown Patriots did June 8 in girls high-school soccer, the attention pretty quickly turns to the next season, and whether the squad can repeat those accomplishments?
So what about the Patriots going unbeaten and winning a second straight Virginia High School League Class 6 state tournament crown in 2020 and third in four years?
There will be some holes to fill with some talented senior starters having graduated. However, with the number of talented players expected to return for Yorktown next spring, a strung run likely could be in the cards.
“We’ll have to replace our goalie and we will have questions in the middle for the field. But we will have a lot of talented players coming back,” said Yorktown coach Hannah Laman-Maharg, whose team was ranked nationally in USA Today for most of the season.
A big loss comes in the middle, with Lacey McCormack graduating and moving on to play at the University of Virginia. McCormack scored Yorktown’s two goals in its 2-0 state-tournament championship victory over T.C. Williams. She scored more than 20 goals this season and also played on Yorktown’s state-title team in 2017.
Senior Katie Belt won’t be in goal next spring, nor will senior midfielder Cadyn Westhoff be around to provide her significant production.
Another key senior starter moving on is fullback Mary Monticello.
A top returner will be forward Lauren Flynn. She scored more than 20 goals this season, and assisted on McCormack’s two goals in the state final. As a freshman, Flynn scored the goal in Yorktown’s 1-0 win over Kellam in the 2017 state final.
Defender starters Georgia Beatty and Katy Talotta will be key returners along with forwards Maddie Winer and Allie Strazzella, two other top scorers this spring, and defender/midfielders Nora Green-Orset and Eliza Franklin.
Talented freshmen on the 2019 team who did not always start but likely will be in the mix to do so next season are Tess Monticello, Mia Lodwig and Emma Koppelman. Alex Matechak, Maggie Hall, Makenzie Patch, Mara Pettit, Madison Cooper, Grace Foor and Brenna Meehan will be other key returners.
Players from Yorktown’s 2019 undefeated (17-0, 12 shutouts) junior varsity team also will be vying for positions on the 2020 varsity roster.
NOTES: Yorktown’s overall record the last three seasons is 58-5-4, which includes two state titles; one region crown and one region runner-up; and three district championships . . . The last girls soccer team from Northern Virginia to win back-to-back VHSL state titles at the highest classification was Lake Braddock in 2006 and 2007 . . . Yorktown is 2-0 all time in state finals . . . Talotta’s older sister Emily played on the 2017 state-championship team.