Lady Raiders win state title

Published 11:49 am Sunday, May 19, 2024

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Reagan Walker started pestering Pungo Christian Academy Athletic Director (and her future coach) Logan Van Staalduinen about starting a girls soccer team when she was in eighth grade. It took her two years to convince him and three years later she held the state championship trophy.

The Lady Raiders (16-2) claimed the NCISSA 1A title with a 5-0 rout of previously unbeaten Cresset Christian Academy of Durham Saturday afternoon at North Carolina Wesleyan College in Rocky Mount.

“It’s amazing to do this in our third year as a program and I give Reagan all the credit for her persistence,” Van Staalduinen said. “I didn’t think we’d have the numbers to start a soccer program, but somehow she talked enough girls who had no experience into playing and here we are.”

Senior Katie Baxter scored two goals in the first half, then eighth-graders Karrigan Arnold and Brooklyn Bowes scored to make it 4-0. Fittingly, Walker scored the final goal.

“That was the perfect ending because she’s given this program so much,” Van Staalduinen said. “We made it to the round of eight two years ago, then the final four last year and had nine players returning, so I knew we had a shot. I’m really proud of everyone’s effort all season.