Charlotte Country Day’s girls’ players said they were never worried about losing in the N.C. Independent Schools Athletic Association state lacrosse championship game against Durham Academy. Even when they were down 10-9 in overtime.Senior Lucy Pitts scored to tie the game. Then sophomore Anna Comer got what coach Kristy Boyles called “the interception of the year.” That interception led to the Hannah Krueger goal with 20.5 seconds left and resulted in Charlotte Country Day’s third NCISAA state championship May 18 at Charlotte Country Day. “We had been working on that all week and we’ve always been working on me intercepting the ball on D because I’m not usually a defender,” Comer said. “The opportunity was there and, I don’t know, I could just see the ball kind of coming so I was just going to go for it.” Charlotte Country Day (19-0) is also the first girls’ lacrosse team to finish the season undefeated since the first NCISAA girls’ lacrosse championship in 2009. Country Day has made every NCISAA final and also won championships in 2010 and 2011.One weekend in March made the team realize how good it could be. The Buccaneers traveled to play Raleigh Ravenscroft School, the team that beat them in last year’s state championship, and won 20-9. The next day, they played East Chapel Hill High and beat that team 17-15. On April 5, Country Day beat Charlotte Catholic, 15-13. East Chapel Hill beat Charlotte Catholic in May for the public school state championship. “It gave me so much confidence because it was like, these are some of the best players in the state,” said junior goalkeeper Nelle Kester. “I was like, I can do this, we can do this. It gave me a lot of confidence.” The Bucs cruised through conference play, outscoring CISAA opponents Providence Day and Charlotte Latin 73-22.Country Day’s last regular season game was at home against Durham Academy May 3. The Bucs beat Durham Academy 15-14 but Boyles said the team didn’t play its best game. “I knew coming into this year that they were going to be kind of the team for us to beat because they didn’t really lose anything and they’re very athletic,” Boyles said. “That confirmed that.” Krueger, a senior, led the team with 119 points on 60 goals and 59 assists this year. Freshman Riley Harrison had 102 points (68 goals), freshman Lucy Pedlow had 71 (40 goals) and senior London Vaughn had 67 (28 goals). The team had nine all-conference players (Krueger, Vaughn, Pedlow, Harrison, Comer, Anna Kate Smith, Pitts, Caroline Allbert and Eryn Ratcliffe) and six all-state selections (Krueger, Vaughn, Pedlow, Harrison, Comer and Smith). Players said the team’s chemistry enhanced the talent. “We work so perfectly together,” said junior Mason Lucas. “The camaraderie is just unbeatable.” Boyles credits her eight seniors with creating that environment. “I was the quietest I’ve ever been on the sideline,” Boyles said. “In games, they were coaches. ... That was their team and the energy that they put out there and the desire, that’s what spread like wildfire.” Country Day was the top seed going into the playoffs and beat Forsyth Country Day 13-1 in the first round and Charlotte Latin 16-4 in the second. The Bucs led Durham Academy 5-1 at halftime of the championship game, but let Durham Academy tie the game late in the second half. Two Durham Academy goals came when Comer was off the field for four minutes. She was penalized for a dangerous shot and had to sit for two minutes. Because of a mix up on the time, she came back into the game too early and was penalized for another two minutes. When she finally came back on the field, she scored her third goal of the game in the fourth quarter and set up the game-winning shot in overtime.Boyles compared the feeling after this year’s championship to when the Bucs last won the title, 20-9 over Durham Academy in 2011. “It was so lopsided that it never even felt like a championship,” she said. This year’s “game was the way state championship games should be and it was great for the game of girls’ lacrosse to have that challenging of a game.”
Tuesday, Jun. 11, 2013
‘Interception of the year’ results in title for Bucs
All-NCISAA girls’ lacrosse Several local players made the private school all-state girls’ lacrosse team: • Charlotte Country Day: Hanna Krueger, London Vaughn, Lucy Pedlow, Riley Harrison, Anna Comer and Anna Kate Smith. • Charlotte Latin: Grayce Anderson, Sarah Waller and Catherine Crigler.
Inscoe: 704-358-5923; Twitter: @CoreyInscoe
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