The Episcopal Boys Varsity Soccer team captured the Virginia Independent Schools championship November 7, completing an undefeated season with a nearly flawless performance in a 4-0 win over NSCAA-nationally-ranked #3 Norfolk Academy at Sports Backers Stadium in Richmond.
Each team came into the match unbeaten, with Norfolk Academy earning 24 straight victories and Episcopal perfect through 22 games and ranked nationally at #21. Given Kalipinde was named Man of the Match for his two-goal, one-assist performance, and co-captain and center back Will Addis celebrated his birthday with an outstanding defensive effort as the Maroon shut down the powerful Bulldog attack.
Team co-captain Greg DiNardo and Shepard Chalkley also provided goals for EHS while freshman Ntokozo Tshuma had two assists.
Norfolk Academy took nine shots in the game, but the EHS team defense limited the Bulldogs to just one shot on target, which was cleanly caught by keeper Bennett Jones in the 52nd minute.
DiNardo said that the win was the culmination of a season of hard work and dedication by all the members of the team. We kept battling and working together to make this one of the most successful seasons in school history, despite injuries and close matches early on. A senior, DiNardo said that he was sad to finish his last season of soccer at EHS, but if it has to end, this is the perfect way to end it.
Head Coach Rick Wilcox praised the teams depth and chemistry, emphasizing that every player on the team contributed to the season meaningfully. Regardless of the score or the time in the games, everyone always believed that together they would get the job done, and inevitably someone would come up with a big tackle, a big save, a great pass or a game-winning goal.
All of Episcopals seniors were on the field as the final second ran off the clock, including co-captain and all-time leading scorer Shadow Sebele, who has been out with a wrist injury since the eighth game of the season. The team would not have made it to the final had it not been for his early season contributions (18 goals and 9 assists in just 8 games) and his dramatic and decisive penalty kick, which sealed the 5-3 shoot out victory over Paul VI in the semifinal match.
The team beat Paul VI 1-1 (5-3 PKs) and Flint Hill 4-0 on their way to the final game, and defeated longtime rival Woodberry Forest School to make it into the State Championship.