Central girls soccer has been a powerhouse in the Public League for many years. Head coach, Richard Johns, led the lancers to three straight Public League Championship appearances. However, in his fourth year as head coach, the team came together to have arguably one of the best seasons in school history.
“Our goals coming into the season were to win the Public League,” said coach Johns. “We had a large number of returning players and knew we were going to have a good year, but we didn’t know how good it would be.” Led by senior captains Djavon Dupree, Romie Azor, and Lilliana Greene, the Lancers came into this year’s season focused on a championship.“Our work ethic was a lot better this year in large because of the seniors,” coach Johns said. “They have had me for four years so they know I expect hard work from everyone, and they passed that on among the younger players.”
The girls fell short in the Public League Championship the past three years to Franklin Towne Charter. During this year’s regular season, the lancers split with Franklin Towne, losing one game and winning the other. In a rematch of last year’s Public League final, the Lancers faced off against Franklin Towne in the quarterfinals of the Public League playoffs. The Lancers won in a hard fought game that went to penalty kicks; goalie Amber Dilks (277) saved three out of four penalty shots to secure the win, ending Franklin Towne’s streak of five straight wins in the Public League Championships. “Beating Towne felt great, but I wasn’t overly excited because I knew we could beat them,” said Dupree. “We did before, they were just another step in our plan to win the championship.”
The Lancers moved onto the championship after a forfeit in the semifinals by Mast Charter. They went on to beat Masterman 5-0 in the championship, making this the first title for coach Richard Johns.
The Lancers moved on to the District 12 final against St. Huberts, who they beat earlier in the season. The Lancers beat St. Hubert’s 3-0, making them the first girls public league team to win the District 12 (AAAA) Championship.“Winning districts and the public league (championship) felt great,” said Dupree. “We have been working for this for so long, I felt like we deserved it.”
The girls’ phenomenal season ended in the first round of the state playoffs against Central Bucks South. The loss ended the Lancers’ season, in which they finished with a 14-2-1 record.
Along with the success of the team, Lancer center midfielder Djavon Dupree (276) had an excellent season individually. She earned first team all-public, all-southeastern, and all-state in her final season. “I didn’t expect to win any individual accolades except for the usual all public,” said Dupree. “To win those honors, though, has been amazing and I feel extremely blessed. I wish it didn’t take me until senior year to get them.”
The Lancers will lose 9 senior players this coming spring, including co-captains Djavon Dupree, Romie Azor, and Liliana Greene. “We relied on our seniors heavily,” said coach Johns. “Especially captains Romie Azor, Djavon Dupree, and Lilliana Greene, who led our team the whole season. We also had strong leadership from senior Katie Schwab and junior Emily Lorenc.”
The Lancers will have a young core group of 14 players returning next season. In order to repeat as public league and district champions, the girls will have to rely on all-public league selections, Emily Lorenc (277), Amber Dilks (277), and Ola Owodunni (278).
Kristian Rhim (276)