Formula works for Faith Christian girls’ soccer program’s first state title

Faith Christian’s Caroline Scarlett, left, Karrie Gaines, center, and Kyle Gaines celebrate during the state semifinals. (Courtesy photo)

Eagles finally break through for elusive crown

RAMSEUR – Faith Christian won a state championship in girls’ soccer for the first time in school history earlier this month.

It didn’t occur by accident.

“We knew we had the people if everybody did what they were supposed to do and everybody stayed healthy,” Eagles coach Brian Gaines said.

Faith Christian topped host Wilson Christian 4-1 in the championship game of the North Carolina Christian School Association’s Class 2-A state tournament.

It marked the fifth time the Eagles had played in a title game. They avenged a 2023 loss in the final to Wilson Christian.

“We got it this time,” Gaines said.

For seven of the players on the roster, Gaines had been coaching them since recreation leagues. So those hours on YMCA fields in Asheboro blossomed into a state championship.

“It has been pretty emotional,” Gaines said. “Our goal was to put a championship banner on the wall. It was 10 years in the making.”

For the core of the team, it marked the third time in the championship game. Faith Christian also reached the last game of the season in 2021.

Members of the Faith Christian girls’ soccer team react after winning the program’s first state championship. (Courtesy photo)

There were six senior starters for Faith Christian this year. Those included the second-year coach’s daughters – twins Karrie Gaines and Kylie Gaines. Madison Avelino, Christina Davis, Alexis Lynch and Caroline Scarlett were the other senior starters.

Sophomore Ruth McLanahan scored three goals in the final and Kyle Gaines had the other goal.

Kyle Gaines wasn’t available last spring because of an anterior cruciate ligament injury. Her presence filled a void this time around.

“When you meet the better teams, you have to have that firepower,” said Coach Gaines, who has another daughter, junior Kassie Gaines, on the team as well.

Coach Gaines, who was a Faith Christian assistant coach for several seasons, said the addition of seventh grader Kensley York to the lineup made a significant difference on the defensive end this year.

The Eagles edged Southside Christian 4-2 in the semifinal on the day prior to the title game after earlier pouncing on Greenville Christian Academy 9-0. So they outscored opponents by a combined 17-3 tally in three games in the state playoffs.

A team motto was displayed on the players’ warm-up shirts: “The Power of 1 – One Team, One Focus, One Destiny.”

Now the Eagles have one state championship.

By Bob Sutton