When Judge won its 3A state titles in 2018 and 2019, John Chadwick was in sixth and seventh grade.
Now as Judge searches for its third straight 3A state title, Chadwick, a freshman, is the team’s leading goal scorer, and in a rematch of the last 3A title game Wednesday afternoon, he scored his 15th goal of the season as the Bulldogs cruised to a 2-0 quarterfinal victory over Summit Academy to advance to their third straight 3A semifinal game.
Chadwick has averaged a goal a game for the Bulldogs in his first high school soccer season.
“I didn’t know what we had with him coming into the season,” Judge head coach Kelly Terrill said. “I knew he was good, but at times he can really take over a game on his side of the field. The kids know it so they try to play the ball in front of him.”
Chadwick didn’t know what to expect coming into his first high school season either and has found himself a little surprised to be having the success he’s had.
“Honestly, not really,” Chadwick said when asked if he expected to have 15 goals in 15 games. “I scored a few goals in the first game and I didn’t think it would keep happening. I thought it was just a fluke, but I kept scoring and the team kept doing well. I set a goal this season for like 10 goals, but I didn’t expect to have as many as I do. It’s crazy.”
Chadwick looks like a freshman in stature, but his lack of size is made up for with pace and quickness that jumps out to any spectator who watches him play in his left wing position. His agility with the ball at his feet and pace off the ball was apparent Wednesday as he kept the Summit Academy back line on its heels.
Before he scored the second goal of the game with 20 minutes left, Chadwick recorded an assist with a ball to Anthony Galindo for the opening goal just nine minutes earlier. Galindo returned the favor by assisting Chadwick on his goal.
Chadwick wasn’t the only player who displayed eye-popping pace in the final third for Judge. Bulldog forwards Evan Nelson and Nahuel Batalla each displayed the ability to chase down the ball and separate themselves from marking defenders.
“We don’t talk about the ‘next game.’ We take on the mindset that we have the opportunity to play in this one game and that’s the end of our season.” — Judge head coach Kelly Terrill
Terrill said that pace can make it hard for defenders to keep up if they let the forwards slip by.
“Once we get in behind, they’re not going to catch us because we are pretty quick, especially up front with Chadwick, Nahuel and Evan,” Terrill said.
Chadwick said the speed he and his fellow attackers possess has given headaches and will continue to give headaches to anyone else they may face going forward.
“If you’re a defender and you see three fast attackers coming towards you who can combine, then you know it’s going to be really hard to stop,” Chadwick said. “We just need to finish them, but yeah, we’re unstoppable if we can do that.”
While Judge’s attackers were running wild, the Bulldog defense was rock-solid as it secured its fourth shutout of the season---two of which have now come against Summit Academy.
The Bulldogs were 2-0 against Summit Academy in the regular season, beating them by a combined margin of 7-1. Despite the regular season success, Terrill said he and his team knew they couldn’t look past the Bears, who had just upset No. 3 seed Manti the game before.
“We don’t talk about the ‘next game,’” Terrill said. “We take on the mindset that we have the opportunity to play in this one game and that’s the end of our season.”
Terrill added that his team will carry the same mindset into next Monday’s semifinal matchup at Juan Diego against No. 2 seeded Delta and 3A’s top goal scorer, Braiden Gonder.
The Bulldogs are looking for the potential three-peat after winning the last two 3A state championships, but Terrill said he and his players haven’t been spending much time dwelling on it.
“No,” Terrill said with a chuckle when asked if the three-peat is on his or any of the players’ minds. “No, we’re not talking about it.”