On Monday, January 21st at Winterberry Park, the Marco Island Academy Girls’ Soccer team won the inaugural Paradise Coast Championship by defeating the visiting Donahue Catholic Shamrocks 4-0.
First year head coach Darrin Palumbo said, “This is an incredible honor for our team. Our girls have worked so hard this year and they truly deserve this. We are so grateful to the alumni players, coaches, and team parents who built this program from the ground up. In their first year, winning a game or scoring a goal wasn’t even a consideration. Simply scrounging up enough uniforms and fielding enough players to show up for a game was the goal at that time. Because of those girls and their dedication to our school and program, we can now call ourselves champions. This is as much their championship as it is ours.”
The Rays also play in the Florida High School Athletic Association (FHSAA) District 8, where they are the 4th ranked team in the district. With a record of 13-3-2 and 96 goals scored and only 13 allowed, it is easy to understand why they are a considered to be a legitimate contender for the district championship. Head Coach Darrin Palumbo said “We are so proud to have had such an incredible season, resulting in our first championship. Winning a district championship would also be an incredible honor.”
“We are a small team, both in size and number, but we play big. Our strength is in the fact that we consider ourselves more of a family than a team. We have never forgotten where we came from or where we are going. Right now, we are going after that district quarterfinal win and continue to take it game by game.