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Charlotte Catholic boys, girls lacrosse teams squeak past Lake Norman

By Ben Weinrib
bweinrib@charlotteobserver.com

Charlotte Catholic’s lacrosse teams, in a pair of thrillers, topped Lake Norman in both the boys, 8-7 in double overtime, and girls, 13-12, playoff games Friday night to advance to the regional championship of the NCHSAA 4A playoffs.

In the girls’ game, Charlotte Catholic took a 7-5 lead at halftime capped off by Emma Armour’s goal as time expired. Armour would finish second on the team in goals to Natalie Wallon, who scored four.

That late first-half goal would be crucial after Armour scored her third goal with 1 minute, 17 seconds left, putting the Cougars up by three when Lake Norman mounted a comeback.

Michella Chester and Taylor Vaccaro each scored goals for Lake Norman with less than 22 seconds left, but the Wildcats ran out of time before they had an opportunity to tie the game.

“Definitely more than I want,” Charlotte Catholic girls’ lacrosse coach Dee Bier said on the excitement at the end of the contest. “Lake Norman’s a good team. We went a man down, and it was hard to get stops. I think the girls did a good job.”

The boys’ game managed even more excitement with four key plays throughout the game all coming with less than 5 seconds in a period.

Lake Norman looked like it was going to carry a 5-4 lead into halftime but Charlotte Catholic’s Jackson Harris scored with 2.8 seconds left to tie it up. The Wildcats weren’t nearly as fortunate when they had the ball coming off a timeout with 4.6 seconds left in regulation but couldn’t get a shot off.

Lake Norman’s bad fortune continued into the first overtime when they had the final possession of the period and put the ball in the net – but it was less than a second after the buzzer sounded.

Fittingly, Charlotte Catholic won on yet another last-second shot, when Connor Pool was able to score his team-leading third goal of the game with three-tenths of a second left in overtime.

“I’m telling you, tonight every goal, every little ground ball (counts),” Charlotte Catholic boys coach Bo Turner said. “Like I told the guys, the fundamental mistakes is going to be the difference, and that’s two good teams that just battled.

“I knew it was going to be exciting at the end. I’m not sure I can take too many of those.”

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