The 2018 Women’s Invitational Showcase Tournament (WIST) featured many of the top women’s’ high-school soccer teams in the state of Florida, with St. Johns Country Day currently ranked No. 1 and Montverde Academy in the No. 5 spot in USA Today’s Super 25 National rankings. Forty college coaches from 16 different states are planning to attend, representing National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I, II and III schools, junior colleges and National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) schools to include University of Notre Dame, University of Southern California, University of Florida, St. John’s University, Quinnipiac University, and more.
“With top teams from all over Florida, I’m happy with the turnout and excited to have colleges from all over the U.S. interested in attending,” said Robbie Aristodemo, head womens’ soccer coach. “We’re happy to have showcased nearly 200 high school soccer players over the two days where they played in front of their peers, friends, teachers, and community. This showcase tournament provides great competition and promotes women’s soccer in a relevant way at the high school level.”
The trend of playing on club teams has affected the way that soccer at the high school level is viewed. Coach Robbie is bucking the trend, and proving that trend wrong with the amount of attention that WIST has attracted.
Going into the showcase, the Eagles had a 6-0 record with a young team as a number of injuries have sidelined senior players. There are seven underclassmen in the starting lineup, many who weren’t starters last year, but they were looking forward to the challenge WIST offered. As defending Class 4A champions, the Eagles had two tough games.
Friday they played Jacksonville Bolles, the Class 2A defending champions, for a 2-1 hard-earned win. They then played St. Johns Country Day, the Class 1A defending champions and the only team who beat the Eagles last season, on Saturday. Junior Vivianne Bessette had the first goal with a minute left in the first half which was answered by St. John in the 51st minute. Isabella Flanigan, an eighth grade student, scored the game-winning goal with a save by senior goalkeeper, Sabrina Botran, ensured the 2-1 win bringing the overall record to 8-0.
“We had two very tough games scheduled so I am very proud of what our girls were able to accomplish,” said Coach Aristodemo. “This weekend was a great showcase of competitive soccer for every team. I’m happy to help grow women’s soccer and high-school soccer in Central Florida.”
Congratulations to our lady Eagles!