When it comes to excellence on the soccer field, there’s no bigger dynasty in the state’s private school ranks than Veritas Academy. This year, the girls’ team won its third straight TAPPS Division III state championship.
“We had really hard workers and outstanding senior leadership on this team for the last four years,” said Veritas Academy Athletic Director Jonathan Hatfield. “These girls were dominant all season long.”
Veritas beat Colleyville Covenant Christian, 8–0 to win the state title. The win capped off a 27–1 season. The Defenders were led by Summerlyn Heller who scored 60 goals on the season and had 47 assists. In her four year career, Heller tallied an astounding 213 goals. She’s heading to Dallas Baptist to continue her academic and soccer career.
The Defenders were also led by three other talented seniors. All will continue playing soccer at the next level. Elianna Chavez racked up 21 goals; she’ll play at St. Edward’s next year. Sarah Edwards, who contributed 11 goals and seven assists, will play at Texas State next year. Cayla Gonzalez signed with Concordia. She tallied 16 goals and 17 assists.
“The key is getting good coaches who buy into the direction of the program,” said Hatfield. “Consistency is key, and we are building a winning culture here at Veritas.”
The Defenders girls’ tennis team also is bringing a state championship trophy back to Austin. Summer Apostalo and Ellie Yellitz finished second, and Hannah Ramirez and Jayne Richardson finished third in doubles. That was enough to give the Defenders the state team title.
It’s been a stellar athletic year for Veritas Academy. In addition to soccer and girls’ tennis, the boys’ swim team won state, and the football team captured a TAPPS Division I six-man title last winter.
Veritas Academy is a private school in Southwest Austin with an enrollment of 166 students. About 75 percent of them participate in athletics.
Photos by Mary Elliott