I t was a textbook beginning for the Lady Raiders - just over 26 minutes into the state championship, QND was in a familiar position with a 2-0 lead over Chicago Parker. But the opponents were not easily shaken - even at a 2-goal difference, Saturday's game had all the intensity of a scoreless tie.
"Its a state championship game - if you're down 2, you want to stay in it. They were with us the whole game and controlled the game a lot of the time,"
"Parker was a lot better than we expected them to be but we still had to come to play. I feel like they came out with intensity and we didn't match it, but we kept going and did what we needed to do,"
"Parker brought the energy throughout the entire game, but we needed to make sure that we stayed strong and had the energy to come right back. We just needed to come out and play harder and have that desire to want it more,"
"When they got that first goal I think we played really well as a team and showed a lot of teamwork. After they got that goal we didn't let down and kept going,"
Keep going. An appropriate theme for Saturday's match that seemed to exemplify the entire season. When questions surrounded the group in the pre-season, regarding the loss of senior star power, the Lady Raiders kept going. When the Raiders unbeaten streak was stopped in the season's first game, the Lady Raiders kept going. All the way to a second consecutive championship.
"From the very beginning, all of these girls wanted to come out and be competitive, and we all had the same goal to get to this point. Throughout the games we had ups and downs but its been fun - we stuck together and got even closer,"
"Through the season we've just come so far as a team and I'm so proud of my team. It has a lot to say about our team and how hard we worked throughout the season,"
So just how much does this win say about the program? We know where Lady Raiders basketball stands on the state level, but is time to put QND soccer in the same discussion of historically elite programs?
"I definitely think that - it's a motivation to get back here every single year. Back-to-back titles is awesome and I'm just so happy right now,"
"If we put our mind to something and we really work for it, we can get it, so I think we're definitely moving up in that,"
"I think QND basketball and soccer are kind of on the same terms, they both had a great year and were great and we worked hard as a team for both,"
"Now we've won back-to-back, we haven't accomplished a three-peat but there's always that opportunity for next year. I think we should be looked at as a good team, and we have a lot of talented players coming in. People shouldn't take us lightly, because we're ready to come back and play hard,"