For the second year in a row, both varsity soccer teams from The Episcopal School of Dallas won the SPC Division I Championship titles. This year’s events were hosted by Houston-area independent schools, February 12-14.
With a first-round bye, the No.1 seeded Eagles defeated St. Mark’s 3-0 in the quarterfinals on Friday, February 13. Later that same day, the team posted a 2-0 win against Houston Kinkaid to propel them into the championship game against Bellaire Episcopal. In Saturday’s championship match, Joseph Rooney ’15 scored the game’s lone goal at the 17:40 mark to give the Eagle’s a 1-0 advantage. Anchored by ESD’s defense, the team collectively shutout their opponents for three consecutive games. Nine of the 11 starters in the championship game were seniors. This victory marks the fifth SPC Division I championship for Mark Gardner in his 22 seasons at ESD. Joining him on the sideline this year were Ryan Kneipper ’99, who was the captain of the 1999-winning team, and Vernon Seebaran.
For the girls, the team’s first win came in a 4-0 victory over John Cooper after a first-round bye. The No.2 seeded Eagles would go on to defeat Holland Hall 6-1 before defeating Hockaday for their second consecutive SPC Championship, 3-0. ESD’s win over Hockaday was particularly sweet, as the Eagles had just tied the very talented and No. 1 seeded Daisies three weeks prior to the SPC match. Ellis Miller ’17 scored twice for the Eagles in the championship game; teammate Morgan Eller ’16 added one goal with the assist credited to Karina Boyea ’15. This is the girls’ program’s sixth SPC Division I title. The Eagles are expected to return nine of the team’s 11 starters next season. Leading the Eagles were third-year head coach Mike Renshaw and assistant coach Dayna Davenport.
This year’s goals were scored by 14 different players on the girl’s roster. Ellis Miller ’17 ended the season with a team-high 22 goals, bringing her ESD career total to 34. For the boys, there were 10 who found the back of the net this season. Winston Guillory ’15 scored an impressive 39 goals in 20 games his final season with the Eagles, bringing his four-year career total to 65 and establishing a new single-season record for the boys. In 2002, Elizabeth Walsh Goode ’02 scored 39 goals her senior year, bringing her overall total to 99, a school record for the girls; she still holds the overall record for most goals scored in a single season at 45. Drew Moor ’02, current captain of the MLS Colorado Rapids, previously held the boys’ record with 32 goals in one season; Moor still holds the overall school record with 100 goals scored over a four-year period. Sarah Ashley Firstenberg ’13, who scored 36 goals in 17 games her senior year, holds ESD’s highest average goals scored per game at 2.12. Earlier this year, Mark Gardner became the first ESD coach to surpass 300 wins in a single varsity sport.
Winston Guillory ’15 is also ESD’s first student-athlete to participate on three SPC Championship-winning teams in one calendar year: soccer (2014, 2015), lacrosse (2014), and football (2014).