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Westminster boys soccer team on the road to redemption

Westminster lost in the semis last year in a shootout against Federica Academy.
Published: May. 5, 2022 at 10:35 PM EDT
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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) -The Westminster boys soccer team is no stranger to the road to state, winning six straight titles from 2014 to 2019.

COVID-19 killed their 2020 campaign and they lost a heartbreaker in the semis last year, but this year they’re ready to finish the job.

“It was devastating, it hurt for a little bit,” said Whitt Tisdale, senior striker.

The Wildcats now return to the same spot that cut their season one game short of a state title appearance last year, a battle against St. Andrews.

“Even kind of decompressing last year, we kind of celebrate setbacks here as a form of growth and fighting through them. It’s kind of a really special time where they kind of have this full circle opportunity to try again,” said Sean McLarnon, head coach.

Tisdale and Connor Lutz are 2 of the current five seniors to be on the 2019 state team, a tradition they’d like to return to.

“I know what it feels like to win. I know what it takes to win. I think last year, we just didn’t have what it takes,” said Lutz, “I think this year we do so knowing what it feels like to both lose and win in the state tournament, I think through that we can really have the motivation to win.”

McLarnon said the team relies on brotherhood, sharing a mentality they know only as ‘FFF.’

“Forced. Family. Fun. That’s just bonding a team together, and I think that’s one of the keys that gives us such a unity is like, we just go out there and we mess around and we just love each other for who we are. It really just bonds us together.” said Tisdale.

Title or not, McLarnon said it’s about what the players will carry off the pitch when the season is all said and done.

“The enjoyment of winning or the agony of defeat that’s going to be fleeting. What you’re going to remember, you know, 10 years down the line is, the three months that we had together,” said McLarnon.

Westminster’s match against St. Andrew’s has been rescheduled for 4 p.m. Saturday at Mercer University.

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