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Community School of Davidson earns berth in finals

By Herb White
Correspondent

HUNTERSVILLE Community School of Davidson is a game away from a perfect girls’ soccer campaign.

The Spartans earned a berth in the N.C. 1A finals in the program’s second season Tuesday with a 2-0 win against Gray Stone Day at Hopewell High to remain unbeaten at 18-0. Community School, which will play for the state title on Saturday at 5 p.m. at N.C. State, won despite losing its best offensive threat, sophomore striker Julia Grainda, to a first-half leg injury. With Grainda out, the Spartans rallied to maintain their momentum and a slice of school history.

“It was difficult.It wasn’t easy,” said freshman fullback Lissi Gordon, who scored a goal and an assist. “We decided we were going to play for Julia, play as hard as Julia plays because she plays the hardest on the team. She never stops running.”

Grainda accounted for the first goal, a rocket from 10 yards off Gordon’s pass in the 20th minute. When she went down in the 33rd minute, Community School didn’t falter, with Gordon adding an insurance goal on a breakaway in the 64th minute.

“I had the mindset I was going to run to every ball and never take a break,” Gordon said. “The first goal was just a good through ball on the ground that I could run on to and dribble a few yards, and I just curved it into Julia, who got a foot on it. The second goal was a ball over the defense, and I got right through them and onto goal.”

Gray Stone Day (18-2-1) picked up the pace early in the second half but couldn’t convert a couple of prime scoring opportunities against keeper Madison Good. As the match wore on, Community School’s speed and depth became more pronounced as the Spartans controlled the tempo along with possession.

“All year our players have had a step on every team,” Gray Stone Day senior midfielder Maggie Habeeb said. “We’ve always been a little bit faster. It’s definitely a challenge because they had a lot of speed, they had a lot of really good players.”

Exploiting their assets on both ends of the field puts the Spartans in position to win its first state title. Instead of being deflated over losing their best player, the Spartans seized the initiative for their 10th shutout of the season.

“It feels fantastic,” Community School coach Chad Solomonson said. “The girls have worked hard all season long, they’ve come together as a team. We have some amazing leaders that have just shaped the dynamic and really allowed the team to focus all year long.”

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