December 6th, 2010
Walsh Jesuit At The Head Of The Class
Warriors capture fifth Ohio state soccer championship
The Walsh Jesuit High School girls soccer program, which finished the season as the CatholicSportsNet.com No. 1 team in the country, has only had one head coach in its history.
Chances are pretty good it will be his job as long as he wants it.
With a 3-0 victory over Pickerington North in Columbus, OH last month, WJHS Head Coach Dino McIntyre and his Walsh Jesuit (Cuyahoga Falls) Warriors captured the Ohio Division-I state championship - the program's fifth all-time. No team in Ohio soccer history, boys or girls, has ever collected that many titles.
McIntyre, who has been the Warriors leading man since 1993, says that his team was successful because of the way the unit gelled.
"Our team was a very close knit group," said McIntyre. "We started as a group of very nice young ladies in July, but as the season progressed, because of their character, unselfishness, and humility, we became a family. Without these factors, you cannot ever reach your full potential as a team. The ladies were unbelievable, with the five seniors leading the team in every aspect, on and off the field."
Led by youth national team member Sandra Yu (who scored twice in the state title match) and Kelsey Smigel (who added a goal in the three-goal win over Pickerington North in the final), Walsh Jesuit outscored its playoff opponents 30-0 and held a 63-1 scoring margin over its final 15 matches, which includes 14 shutouts.
But despite the utter domination of its opposition and its legacy as one of the finest teams in state girls soccer history, McIntyre says that his girls learned to win the correct way.
"Our biggest hurdle this season was understanding that talent alone never wins anything and remembering that winning just because of talent is not winning the right way," said McIntyre. "To win and doing it the right way is when you have a group of kids who genuinly believe that every single young lady is important to the success of the team, not just the goal scorers or the goalie, or just the starters, but even the player on the roster who never sees the field. That is a metaphor for life, really....you can never do it alone."
McIntyre also credited the players of Walsh Jesuit past with laying the foundation and establishing the traditions of the Warrior program - a program that has seen district, regional, state, and national success and recognition.
"Our success is down to the culture that has been placed by all the former WJ players," said McIntyre. "All the credit goes to the girls that have played at WJ, from 1993 to 2010, and all the traditions they started, the committment, the hard work, the unselfishness, and genuine caring of one another. All of this gets passed on every year by the seniors (senators) to the younger ladies and the rest of the team, and I am the lucky one to see all of this unfold every season."
As mentioned previously, Walsh Jesuit (who had previously captured state championships in 2000, 2001, 2004, and 2006) finished atop the CatholicSportsNet.com national rankings for high school soccer. And McIntyre says that while these accolades are wonderful and exciting for his team, the true value of such accomplishments extend beyond the soccer field.
Said McIntyre: "This means a lot to our program bacause every season we have certain goals we set and when the girls achieve them, it gives them lots of self confidence which helps them in more important aspect of their lives, such as the classroom and once they get into the real world. They realize that hard work, being committed and being humble can help them become successful in anything they do. What (the national ranking) does for the ladies is why it means so much to me."