Athletes of the Week: Soccer stars from South lift team to vengeful state title

Published: May. 31, 2023 at 4:10 PM AKDT
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - As they say, fourth time is the charm. After coming up short to the dynastic Dimond Lynx the last three season, the South Anchorage girls soccer team got over the hump Saturday in the Division I State Championship game behind some Athlete of the Week quality performances.

Senior captain Madison McDonald lifted a shot over the goalkeeper in overtime to lift the Wolverines to the 2-1 victory in the much anticipated championship rematch.

“We’ve been trying for three years and it feels so good, it is my last year,” an emotional McDonald said after netting the game-winning goal. “I’m sorry I’ve been crying this whole time.”

And can’t forget about Addysen Gasser, the freshman who scored her first goal of the season with less than a minute to go in regulation to tie the game at 1-1 and make McDonald’s overtime goal possible.

Helping keep the three-time defending champions at bay and South within striking distance was sophomore goalie Skylar Lind, who made save after save in clutch moments to help bring the title back to South for the first time since 2018.

“It was so great, we beat Dimond earlier in the season so I knew we could do it again,” Lind said. “Just being with the seniors in the first big win against Dimond, it was just so good.”

With so much heartbreak in recent years, this team could not dwell on the past.

”Our coach this whole year as been saying, ‘you’re not playing 2021 Dimond, you’re not playing 2022 Dimond — you’re 2023 South playing 2023 Dimond, get that out of your head and come back and play like the team that you are,’ and that’s what we did,” McDonald said.

And now they are forever the 2023 DI State Soccer Champions.