Charlotte Latin’s Caroline Balogh didn’t worry when the Hawks’ season-ending match against rival Providence Day went into sudden-death overtime.
Instead, Balogh stepped up her game, scoring the winning goal Saturday in Latin’s 2-1 overtime victory over the Chargers for the N.C. Independent Schools Athletic Association (NCISAA) field hockey championship.
Balogh punched a crossing shot from teammate Caroline Juckett into the back of the Providence Day goal with 5 minutes, 41 seconds remaining in the second overtime period.
The goal gave the Hawks their second straight NCISAA state field hockey title, their fourth since 2010 and sixth overall.
“We do pattern passing at every practice,” said Balogh, a junior. “It’s a natural instinct do that passing, and send it so someone can sweep it in.
“They both feel great – both were really great team efforts, and we worked so hard each time. We beat (Charlotte) Country Day last year, and we beat Providence Day this year. They’re both our big rivals, so its even better having beaten them both.”
After battling through a scoreless first half, Latin scored early in the second half, with Camille Kane’s goal off an assist from Hannah Burlingame with 24:42 left giving the Hawks a 1-0 lead.
The Chargers tied the match at 1-1 with 10:43 remaining on Laney Diehl’s goal, set up with an assist from Emma Goldean.
“We thought this would be a close game,” Providence Day coach Niki Osherow said. “We have a lot of speed on this team, and we’ve been working on teamwork and passing.
“I figured that if we got it into overtime we’d put the ball up the field and use our speed to take advantage of it.”
Instead, it was the Hawks who took advantage. They had two other scoring opportunities turned aside by Chargers goalkeeper Abbey Anne Briggs before Balogh put in the third.
“State finals games are always close,” Latin coach Deb Savino said. “We’ve got a pretty good core group. That second overtime, you could see that we were really going to put the pressure on and take control.”
Records: Charlotte Latin 16-0-1, Providence Day 13-5-1.
Worth mentioning: Charlotte teams have won 10 NCISAA state field hockey championships since 2000, split between two teams – Latin, which also won in 2010, 2011 and 2015; and Country Day, which has six state titles (2000, 2005, 2007, 2009, 2013 and 2014). The only other team to win a state title in that span is Durham Academy, which won seven times (2001-2004, 2006, 2008 and 2012).