Lexington - Despite the final outcome of Saturday's Class A boys state soccer championship, the experience gained by playing in the finals will serve well for the future of the Charleston Charter program.
The Riptide made its second appearance in the state finals, losing in 2011 to Christ Church, and faced two-time defending state champion St. Joseph's Catholic in this year's title bout.
As expected, St. Joseph's won the contest, 10-0, but Charleston Charter coach Micki Boulineau had only four seniors on the roster this spring.
Boulineau says the experience gained this spring, and on Saturday, will help the program down the road.
"This was a great experience, a beautiful facility and atmosphere," said Boulineau. "Being out here on the field certainly should give our kids a sense of accomplishment. We can leave here holding our head high because we played as hard as we could play today. We showed a lot of heart today, and I am proud of them"
The Riptide (10-4) competed hard in the opening minutes but it was apparent early that the defending champions would be too tough to tame.
St. Joseph's scored in the eighth minute of the contest on Alex Luzzatti's header off a corner kick from Christian Heijjer.
Brennan Koslow added a penalty kick goal in the 19th minute and Heijjer scored on an 18-yard blast three minutes later for a 3-0 advantage.
The Knights added a goal by Theo Longenecker in the 33rd minute and the only suspense remaining was the final tally.
St. Joseph's outshot Charleston Charter, 24-0, in the first half and the Riptide crossed midfield only four times in the opening half.
"They (St. Joseph's) are a great team, and hopefully our kids see that and will be willing to step up and play more year-round soccer so that we can continue to compete for championships," said Boulineau. "We need more touches on the ball other than just in the high school season. We will miss our seniors, but we have a good number coming back. Now this group knows what it feels like, so hopefully we can continue with the desire to make it back."