Sacred Heart celebrates its victory over St. Joseph by-the-Sea in...

Sacred Heart celebrates its victory over St. Joseph by-the-Sea in the CHSAA state Class AA girls soccer final at St. John's. Credit: Anna Sergeeva

This was four years in the works for Julianna Bivona and her Sacred Heart senior teammates.

The senior has done about all you can do for Sacred Heart girls soccer over her four seasons. She’s been a lockdown defender as well as a go-to scorer when needed for the Spartans. The one thing that eluded her was a state title.

You can cross that off after Sunday. Bivona had a goal and an assist as Sacred Heart defeated St. Joseph by the Sea, 3-1, to win the girls soccer state CHSAA Class AA championship at St. John’s University. It was Sacred Heart’s first title since 2016.

“It’s definitely an awesome feeling, no better way to end than how we did,” Bivona said. “Going out on top is the best way to go out and having it be my last season playing with all my friends was definitely the best way it could have ended.”

Freshman Maya Harrison had two goals for Sacred Heart (10-3-2), starting by finishing a touch from Bivona with less than six minutes left in the first half. Harrison also scored the team’s final goal and Bivona scored off a corner kick from Mae Mullen early in the second half.

“I definitely knew she had the potential to do that,” Bivona said about Harrison. “She’s been showing out all season and I feel like she was really able to rise to the occasion today.”

Coach Gabe Ramos, in his first year with the school, credited the players for setting a new standard within the program. Even before the first contest, Bivona saw a different focus from the team.

“I definitely felt the team coming together in a way I haven’t really seen before,” Bivona said. “That definitely gave me the confidence and assurance that this year was the year that we were going to win the league championship and have our opportunity at states.”


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