Sunday, May 26, 2013

Lake Norman Charter, Swansboro, Cardinal Gibbons, and Green Hope Take Soccer Titles

Lake Norman Charter Outlasts Raleigh Charter in Overtime in NCHSAA State 1-A Women's Soccer Final

RALEIGH – Lake Norman Charter outlasted Raleigh Charter 6-3 in overtime in a wild back-and-forth North Carolina High School Athletic Association state 1-A women's soccer championship game at Dail Soccer Field at North Carolina State University.

There were four goals in the regulation 80 minutes and then six goals in overtime, including three in the space of five minutes in the first extra stanza.

Both teams scored within about 30 seconds of the first overtime, with sophomore forward Erin Iknayan, who was named the championship match Most Valuable Player, getting her second goal of the game to put Lake Norman Charter up 3-2. But moments later Rachel Hammond of Raleigh Charter knocked home a penalty kick to tie it again.

Madeline Iknayan scored in the 85th minute to put Lake Norman Charter back in front 4-3, and six minutes later a long shot by Rachel Quest of the Knights made it 5-3. Then Riley Kane scored her 21st goal of the season with less than two minutes to go in the second OT for the final tally.
Both teams had a couple of scoring opportunities in the first 40 minutes, but failed to capitalize as the first half was scoreless.

Then Lake Norman Charter broke the ice in the 47th minute when Kane tallied with a great individual effort, as the junior forward’s left-footed shot found the back of the net.
But seconds later, after the ensuing kickoff, junior midfield Alexa Dreyer of Raleigh Charter lofted a shot high over the keeper to even the score at 1-1.

The Phoenix then took a 2-1 advantage in the 59th minute as Dreyer delivered a beautiful cross to senior forward Ilana Green, who slammed it home to put Raleigh Charter ahead.

But Lake Norman Charter responded to deadlock the game at 2-2, which is the way the regulation 80 minutes ended. Erin Iknayan knocked in the equalizer in the 73rd minute.

Raleigh Charter was in the finals for the third time, winning the title in 2007 and making its first visit to the finals since 2009, while Lake Norman Charter played for the title for the first time. Lake Norman Charter wound up 19-3-3 overall while Raleigh Charter went 20-2.

Swansboro Blanks South Iredell 3-0 in NCHSAA State 2-A Women's Soccer Final

RALEIGH – Swansboro’s Tylor Ring scored two goals and assisted on a third to lead the Pirates to a 3-0 triumph over South Iredell on Saturday afternoon in the North Carolina High School Athletic Association state 2-A women's soccer championship game at Dail Soccer Field.

Ring, a freshman forward who opened the scoring in the 14th minute and then scored the final goal of the match, was selected as the championship match Most Valuable Player.

Swansboro led 1-0 at intermission after Ring’s first goal, with Brenna Kate Grass assisting, and then in the 56th minute sophomore Kimberly Moore scored her 40th goal of the season off an assist from Ring for a 2-0 advantage.

In the final minutes, with South Iredell pushing forward, Ring got a breakaway, took the ball down deep into the box and scored in the 71st minute to salt away the victory.

The victorious Pirates outshot South Iredell 11-6 and had three corner kicks to one for the Vikings.
Swansboro finished the season with a 23-5-1 record and won its final 10 matches, including outscoring its foes 30-0 in six state playoff matches. The Pirates should also be good in years to come with only two seniors in the starting lineup.

South Iredell suffered its third loss in 25 outings.
Swansboro was in the finals for the third time in the last five years and sixth overall, with the Pirates winning state crowns in 2006, ’09 and ’10. South Iredell made its first appearance in the championships after knocking off previously unbeaten East Bend Forbush 1-0 in the regional round.

Cardinal Gibbons Rolls Past St. Stephens in NCHSAA State 3-A Women's Soccer Championship
RALEIGH – Christina Gibbons scored a pair of goals to lead Cardinal Gibbons to a 3-0 victory over Hickory St. Stephens on Saturday afternoon for the North Carolina High School Athletic Association state 3-A women's soccer championship at Dail Soccer Field at N.C. State University.

Gibbons, a Duke signee who scored five goals in a playoff game against Burlington Williams earlier in the playoffs, was named Most Valuable Player of the championship match.

The Crusaders exerted heavy pressure in the first 20 minutes and tallied just 2:08 into the contest when all-American Morgan Reid found the back of the net. Then Cardinal Gibbons made it 2-0 in the 11th minute with a two on one that resulted in a goal by Gibbons.

In the 60th minute, Gibbons dribbled down the right side and then tucked it into the left corner of the net for the final 3-0 advantage.

The Crusader defense, with senior Kristen Twomey in goal, recorded its 18th shutout in 25 games. Twomey had five saves as Gibbons outshot St. Stephens 20-9.

Cardinal Gibbons finished the season 22-2-1 and played for the NCHSAA women’s soccer championship for the fourth time, winning its second state crown. The Crusaders won the 2-A title in 2007 and now have an amazing 38-6 record in state playoff competition in the last eight seasons. St. Stephens made its first appearance in the championship and the Indians ended the campaign 21-4-2.

Green Hope Blanks Cornelius Hough 2-0 to Earn NCHSAA State 4-A Women's Soccer Championship

RALEIGH – Cary Green Hope capped a perfect season and blanked Cornelius W.A. Hough 2-0 on Saturday afternoon to win the North Carolina High School Athletic Association state 4-A women’s soccer championship before a large crowd at Dail Soccer Field at North Carolina State University.

Green Hope avenged a loss in last year’s final, as it was a rematch of last year’s state 4-A title match in which Sarah Moon scored two goals in the final 11 minutes to lift Hough to a 2-1 victory over Green Hope.

Senior forward Alexis Shaffer, who scored the initial goal of the game and had an excellent all-around performance, was named the championship Most Valuable Player.

Green Hope took a 1-0 lead in the 33rd minute when Shaffer took the ball down the right side, wheeled back to the left and fired a left-footed shot into the back of the net for her 39th goal of the season. The Falcons had the better of play for most of the first half.

In the second half, as Hough pressed forward in the final minutes, Green Hope junior midfielder Kenley Sigmon found the ball in space, dribbled through a couple of defenders and then buried a shot for the 2-0 margin with 6:34 remaining.

Senior keeper Lisa Armstrong recorded the shutout in goal, with seven saves.

Green Hope completed a perfect 28-0 season and has not lost since its defeat in last year’s state championship game. Hough finished the year 21-3 overall and had a seven-match win streak snapped. 

Hough was in the finals for the second straight year in just the third year of the school’s existence.

The Raleigh Sports Consortium serves as the primary host city partner for the women's soccer championship, along with the Raleigh Convention and Visitors Bureau.