In their first season under head coach Andrew Sopher, the Falcons produced an 11-7 record that included an appearance in the district championship game and a first-round regional match. SSES swept Bradenton Christian, Sarasota Christian and North Port Imagine in district play, routed Southeast, and battled to hard-fought, one-goal losses against Braden River, Cardinal Mooney, St. Pete Catholic and Seffner Christian. It was clearly a campaign that produced some important building blocks for the future.
The majority of the roster returns intact for 2017-18, led by seniors Katie Pierce and Lily Meaker, juniors Kendall Miller and Zoey Block, and sophomore Jackie Schlossberg. The Falcons will need someone to emerge as a goalkeeper with the graduation of Kelsey Leskinen. She took over near midseason and solidified the position last season.
A standard of success has already been established for the Falcons. The program has had just one losing season and captured nine district titles since 2000, including a string of five consecutive from 2008-12.
Those teams were led by a group of stars who went on to play collegiately. Goalkeeper Shannon Morrish was 76-23-5 in five seasons as a Falcon and was part of four straight district champions. She was the team MVP in 2010 and played in 16 games during her career at Vanderbilt. Morgan Fragapane starred for the Falcons as a forward and then appeared in 51 matches at Presbyterian College in South Carolina. Hannah Howell was the Bradenton Herald player of the year in 2013, scored 101 career goals at SSES – including 39 as a senior – and signed with Georgetown University.
Soccer is FHSAA sanctioned and is a winter season sport.