It had been nearly 750 days since the vaunted powerhouse Dimond High School girls soccer program suffered its last defeat.
During that span, the Lynx rattled off 35 straight victories with just one tie, and completed back-to-back Division I state championships, the second of which capped an undefeated season.
The team that played the Lynx to their lone stalemate during the stretch was also the last opponent to beat them. That team was longtime rival South, and in the first matchup between the two juggernauts of the 2023 season on Tuesday, the Wolverines used an early second-half surge to beat the Lynx 2-1.
The momentous victory marked the Wolverines’ fifth straight to open the season and marked Dimond’s first defeat in more than two years.
“That’s pretty much been our main goal this year,” senior captain Madison McDonald said. “We want to win every game but this is always a challenge.”
She was a sophomore on that 2021 team that triumphed over Dimond. On Tuesday, she scored what would eventually be the game-winning goal just over 11 minutes into the second half.
“Honestly, it’s not really about myself scoring,” McDonald said. “The pass was really perfect and set me up for that win. It feels great to be able to help us get there.”
After a scoreless first half, it was her teammate, freshman Brianna Bailey, who scored the first goal of the game on a penalty kick just over two minutes into the second half.
Despite having several prime opportunities to find the back of the net, the three-time defending state champions were held scoreless for nearly 79 minutes.
The Lynx managed to score their first goal on a penalty kick of their own from junior Mai Mateaki with just over a minute left in regulation. They tried to mount a furious rally to force overtime but weren’t able to convert before time expired.
The two teams will meet again at least once more this year and potentially a third time in the playoffs.
“Out of all the games, this is the one we worked for and was the real test,” McDonald said. “Winning that is really going to boost us going into the next time we play them and especially looking towards state. Our main goal is state and they’re always the ones we end up playing.”
The last time South claimed a state title was in 2018 when the Wolverines defeated Wasilla. That year they defeated Dimond in the quarterfinals following getting swept by their rivals in the regular season that year. Their next matchup will take place on the home turf of the Lynx on May 16.