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Mars soccer run simply amazing


For any team to compile such a won-loss record in any sport at any level is incredible.

Then again, the word incredible aptly describes the Mars Area High School girls soccer program. The Planets’ 80-game unbeaten streak covered four full regular seasons — then district and state playoffs — before finally coming to an end last weekend with a 1-0 loss to Moon in the WPIAL Class 3A championship game.

That streak had to end sometime, of course. It took a Moon team that won the PIAA championship in Class 4A, only to drop down to 3A this year, to finally do so.

But let’s put that streak in its proper perspective.

UCLA once won 88 consecutive college basketball games, the only sports streak that comes to mind that surpassed what Mars just accomplished.

The New York Giants own Major League Baseball’s longest win streak at 26 games. The Los Angeles Lakers won 33 straight NBA games. The Colts won 23 consecutive NFL games, the Pittsburgh Penguins 17 straight NHL games.

Lengthy winning streaks aren’t easy.

To not lose a game for more than three seasons is rare territory, indeed.

And when you win at the rate that the Planets do — including at the state level — many rewards are reaped. Mars has been ranked the No. 1 high school girls soccer program in the country and has already sent plenty of players on to the collegiate level.

On early signing day this past Wednesday, eight Mars girls soccer players put pen to paper to extend their respective careers to the next level.

Ava Balazentis is headed to Slippery Riock University. Piper Coffield is going to Indiana University of the Big Ten. Her sister, Ellie, plays for the University of Pittsburgh.

Reese Dunaway is going to St. John’s University. Her sister plays at Purdue. Eden Gerlach — Mars coach Blair Gerlach’s daughter — will be joining Edinboro University. Gwen Howell is going to the University of Richmond,.

Ava Lewis is moving on to William & Mary. Olivia Wilson will be playing for Marietta College. Madeline Wolf is going to Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, N.Y.

Howell and Piper Coffield have been selected to play in the 2022 High School All-American Game in Florida on Dec. 10.

All of these girls are involved in activites other than soccer. Some serve as volunteer coaches for youth teams.

Wolf, for example, is a member of Bible Club, Chamber Choir, Interact Club, Key Club and the Water Protection Program. Wilson is a member of the Creative Writing Club, FOR Club and Spanish Club.

These are well-rounded student athletes who, as a group, extended the longest winning streak in Butler County sports history.

Mars girls soccer is a long way from going away — and it is already legendary.

John Enrietto is sports editor of the Butler Eagle

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