In the 10-year history of Gold Hill Middle School, there has never been an undefeated sports team.
Thursday night, the girls soccer team defeated Springfield Middle 6-0, boosting their overall record to 11-0 and becoming the first Bulldogs team in any sport, boys or girls, to finish the season without a loss.
"It's amazing. It feels great to accomplish everything we wanted to do," said Megan Polito, Gold Hill's offensive MVP for the season. "We improved all season long and we had fun every game."
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Polito knocked in the first four goals in the season finale at Springfield and, late in the second half, defender Jenna Koster and sweeper Libby Dewey, the team's defensive MVP, played up front and each scored one goal.
Polito, who will be playing for Fort Mill High School next season, said she could not have scored all the goals without good passes from her teammates.
"It was a complete team effort. I just got my foot on it," she said.
On the other end of the field, Gold Hill's goalkeeper, seventh-grader Gabbie Dorneden, posted a shutout, which has become a fairly common occurrence during the season. Dorneden allowed only two goals all year.
"I just keep focused and hope for the best," said Dorneden, who began playing in the goal six years ago. "I don't play by myself; I play with my defense and they do a great job."
Head Coach Bill Johnson said the team has been eyeing a perfect season all year long and said he believed his team could do it.
"We had confidence in all the talent we have on this team. We just had to keep our heads on straight," Johnson said. "Our last couple games before this, playing teams for the third time, were awful tough, close games. But today, we told the team it was their last game and they put together a complete, beautiful game."
Johnson said the team had to fight through a few tight, one-goal games late in the season, as the opposition began to bring their best efforts against the undefeated Bulldogs.
Johnson said he was extremely proud of the way his entire team played and especially pleased with the way his eight-graders led the group and set an example for the younger players.
"Gold Hill will still be good next year. It was great to watch (the seventh-graders) improve all season," said midfielder Grace Burden. "They'll continue the tradition."
Although this year's seventh-graders will have a high bar set for next season, many of the returning players are excited about the challenge.
"Next year I want to come out and do the same thing again," Dorneden said.